Faculty Profile


  • Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, Columbia University, 1987.
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of New York, 1981.
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Lafayette College, 1979.

Laurence J. Jacobs is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Jacobs received his PhD in Engineering Mechanics from Columbia University and joined the faculty of Georgia Tech in 1988. Prior to receiving his PhD, he worked for two years in the aerospace industry and for one year as a structural engineer.

Professor Jacobs’ research focuses on the development of quantitative methodologies for the nondestructive evaluation and life prediction of structural materials. This includes the application of nonlinear ultrasound for the characterization of fatigue, creep, stress-corrosion, thermal embrittlement and radiation damage in metals. His work in cement-based materials includes the application of linear and nonlinear ultrasonic techniques to quantify microstructure and progressive micro-cracking in concrete.

Dr. Jacobs has authored/co-authored over 200 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings. His publications have been cited more than 2600 times with an h-index of 29 (Google Scholar) or 22 (Web of Science). He is a Fellow of the ASME, a past Associate Editor of ASCE’s Journal of Engineering Mechanics and currently on the editorial board of NDT&E International. Professor Jacobs’ research has been funded by DOE, NSF, ONR, AFOSR, DARPA, NASA, US DOT, Georgia DOT, Exxon-Mobil, EPRI and GE. He has been the PI or co-PI on $6.5M worth of contracts since 1990. Dr. Jacobs has an established record of recruiting and advising students including 16 Ph.D. students (4 women and 2 African Americans) and 51 M.S. thesis students.


  • Quantitative nondestructive evaluation of civil engineering materials
  • Wave propagation in solids, emphasizing guided waves, nonlinear methods and heterogeneous materials
  • Signal processing techniques applied to nondestructive evaluation
  • Development of acoustic sensors for condition monitoring of structural components


  • Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, January, 2014
  • Georgia Tech Chapter of Sigma Xi, Best Faculty Paper Award, April, 2007
  • Freshman Partner of the Year Award, Freshman Experience, May, 2005
  • Faculty Excellence Award, Women in Engineering, May, 2003
  • ANAK Award, May, 1998
  • Class of 1940 W. Roane Beard Outstanding Teacher Award, May, 1993
  • Amoco/CETL Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, July, 1991
  • Lilly Teaching Fellowship, July, 1990
  • Grumman Aerospace Masters Fellowship, April, 1980


  • Rix, G.J., Jacobs, L.J. and Reichert, C., “Evaluation of Nondestructive Test Methods for Length, Diameter and Stiffness Measurements on Drilled Shafts,” Transportation Research Record, No. 1415, pp. 69-77, 1993
  • Kim*, Gun, Kim, Jin-Yeon, Kurtis, K.E., Jacobs, L.J., Le Pape, Yann, and Guimaraes, M., “Quantitative evaluation of carbonation in concrete using nonlinear ultrasound,” Materials and Structures, Vol. 49, pp. 399–409 DOI 10.1617/s11527-014-0506-1, 2016 (Selected one of the ten outstanding papers in Materials and Structures in 2015).
  • Matlack*, K.H.., Bradley*, H.A., Thiele*, S, Kim, Jin-Yeon, Wall, J.J., Jung, Hee Joon, Qu, Jianmin, and Jacobs, L.J., “Nonlinear ultrasonic characterization of precipitation in 17-4PH stainless steel,” NDT&E International., Vol. 71, pp. 8-15, 2015.
  • Zhao, Youxuan, Qiu, Yanjun, Jacobs, L.J. and Qu, Jianmin, “Frequency-dependent tensile and compressive effective moduli of elastic solids with randomly distributed two-dimensional microcracks,” Journal of Applied Mechanics, DOI 10.1115/1.4030538 Vol. 82(8), 081006, 2015.
  • Kishore, M.B., Park, D.G., Jeong, J.R., Kim, Jin-Yeon, Jacobs, L.J., and Lee, D.H., “Detection of deep subsurface cracks in thick stainless steel plate,” Journal of Magnetics, Vol. 20, pp. 312-316, 2015.
  • Kim, Jin-Yeon, Jacobs, L.J., and Qu, Jianmin, “Material Characterization by Nonlinear Ultrasonic Techniques,” in Ultrasonic and Electromagnetic NDE of Structure and Material Characterization, T. Kundu, Editor, CRC Press, pp. 493-514, 2012.
  • Qu, Jianmin and Jacobs, L.J., Cylindrical Waveguides and Their Applications in Ultrasonic Evaluation, in Ultrasonic Nondestructive Evaluation: Engineering and Biological Material Characterization, T. Kundu, Editor, CRC Press, pp. 311-362, 2003.
  • Voyiadjis, G.Z., Bank, L.C. and Jacobs, L.J. (Editors), Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Proceedings of the Symposium in Honor of Professor Maciej P. Bieniek at the ASCE-ASME-SES Joint Meeting, Studies in Applied Mechanics Vol. 35, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1994.