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, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Professor of 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’ publications have been cited more than 4900 times with an h-index of 39 (Google Scholar), 31 (Scopus) or 28 (Web of Science) and he is a Fellow of the ASME. Professor Jacobs’ research has been funded by DOE, NSF, ONR, AFOSR, DARPA, NASA, US DOT, Georgia DOT, Exxon-Mobil, EPRI, Sandia National Lab and GE. He has been the PI or co-PI on over $8M worth of contracts since 1990. Dr. Jacobs has graduated 16 Ph.D. students (5 women and 2 African Americans) and 65 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


  • (Currently under review) Torello*, D., Selby*, N., Kim, Jin-Yeon, Qu, Jianmin, and Jacobs, L.J., “Determination of absolute material nonlinearity with air-coupled ultrasonic receivers,” Ultrasonics, submitted, 2016.
  • Kim*, Gun, Kim, Jin-Yeon, Kurtis, K.E., and Jacobs, L.J. “Monitoring drying shrinkage in hydrated concrete using nonlinear ultrasound,” Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 92, pp. 16-20, 2017.
  • Scott*, K., Kim, Jin-Yeon, Wall, J.J., Park, Duck-Gun and Jacobs, L.J., “Investigation of Fe-1.0% Cu surrogate specimens with nonlinear ultrasound,” NDT&E International, Vol. 89, pp 40-43, 2017.
  • Doerr*, C., Kim, Jin-Yeon, Singh, Preet, Wall, J.J., and Jacobs, L.J., “Evaluation of sensitization in stainless steel 304 and 304L using nonlinear Rayleigh waves,” NDT&E International, Vol. 88, pp. 17-23, 2017.
  • Kim*, Gun, Kim, Jin-Yeon, Kurtis, K.E., and Jacobs, L.J. “Monitoring drying shrinkage in hydrated concrete using nonlinear ultrasound,” Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 92, pp. 16-20, 2017.
  • 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.
  • Method for Measuring Reactor Bed Level from Active Acoustic Measurement and Analysis, RDH-0715, USSN 61/132,647.
  • Air Void Characterization in Cement Based Materials, Provisional Disclosure GTRC 4938 7/18/2009.