Faculty Profile


  • Ph.D., Structural Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1998.
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1993.
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1990.

Reginald DesRoches is the dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University and an adjunct professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. From 2012 to 2017, he served as Karen and John Huff School Chair and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tech.  His primary research interests are design of buildings and critical infrastructure under earthquake loads, and seismic risk assessment. He has a particular interest in mitigating the impacts of earthquakes in the Caribbean and Western Africa.   He has published over 250 articles in the general area of earthquake engineering and seismic risk assessment and has given over 100 presentations in 30 different countries.

Dr. DesRoches has served as a key technical leader in the US response to the Haiti earthquake, and has traveled to Haiti numerous times since the earthquake.  He was a member of an early response team which traveled to Haiti immediately following the earthquake to conduct critical building safety assessments for the United Nations.  He later led a team of 28 engineers, architects, city planners, and social scientists to study the impact of the earthquake.  This visit resulted in a series of recommendations on the recovery and rebuilding of Haiti, and was the foundation for the Earthquake Spectra special issue on the Haiti earthquake, which consisted of a compilation of research papers on the lessons learned from the Haiti earthquake.

Dr. DesRoches has been called on for expert testimony following recent earthquake events by CNN, CNN International, LiveScience, National Geographic, Asia Times online and other news media. He has participated in numerous congressional briefings in the United States to underscore the critical role that University research must play in addressing the country’s infrastructure crisis and resilience to natural hazards. 

Dr. DesRoches has served as Chair of the ASCE Seismic Effects Committee (2006-2010), Chair of the executive committee of the Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering (2010), and Board of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI).  He is currently a member of the executive committee of the National Academy of Sciences Roundtable on Risk, Resilience, and Extreme Events, and is on the advisory board for the Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure and Emergency Management Research Center (DIEM).  Dr. DesRoches has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2002.  The PECASE award is the highest honor bestowed upon scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers.  Most recently, he was a recipient of the 2007 ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, the Georgia Tech Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Advisor Award (2010), and the Georgia Tech ANAK Award (2008).  The ANAK award is considered the highest honor the undergraduate student body can bestow on a Georgia Tech faculty.

Dr. DesRoches earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering, and PhD in Structural Engineering – all at the University of California, Berkeley.  He was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and grew up in Queens, New York.


  • Auto-adaptive materials
  • Earthquake engineering
  • Structural dynamics
  • Impact dynamics
  • Design and analysis of bridge structures
  • Protective systems
  • Structural applications of smart materials


  • 2014 Northeastern University Department of CEE Distinguished Lecture Series
  • 2013 Distinguished Lecturer for Structural Engineering and Mechanics Lecture Series at UCLA
  • 2012 Georgia Engineer of the Year in Education Award (Georgia Engineering Alliance)
  • 2011 GEM Consortium Alumni of the Year Award
  • 2011 Richard Carroll Lecturer, John’s Hopkins University
  • 2010 Subaru Professor of Excellence Award
  • 2010 John A. Blume Distinguished Lecture, Stanford University
  • 2010 Georgia Institute of Technology Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Advisor Award.
  • 2009 National Academy of Engineering, 1st China-America Frontiers of Engineering, Session Chair
  • 2007 ASCE Walter L. Huber Prize
  • 2007 Georgia Tech ANAK Award for Outstanding Research, Teaching, and Service.
  • 2006 Georgia Tech, University Leadership Program
  • 2004 National Academy of Engineering, US-Germany Frontiers of Engineering Invitee
  • 2004 School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Innovation Award
  • 2004 Excellence in Mentoring Award, NASA Sharp Program
  • 2002 National Academy of Engineering, Frontiers of Engineering Invitee
  • 2002 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers (PECASE)
  • 2001 National Science Foundation Career Award
  • 2001 School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Outstanding Teacher Award


  • Shafieezadeh, A., DesRoches, R., Rix, G.J., and Werner, S.D. (2013). “A Probabilistic Framework for Correlated Seismic Downtime and Repair Cost Estimation of Geo-Structures,” Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, DOI: 10.1002/eqe.2369, November, 2013.
  • McCarthy, E., Wright, T., Padgett, J. E., DesRoches, R., and Bradford, P. (accepted online 2013). “Development of an Experimentally Validated Analytical Model for Modular Bridge Expansion Joint Behavior.” Journal of Bridge Engineering.
  • German, S., Jeon, J. S., Zhu, Z., Brilakis, I., DesRoches, R., Bearman, C., and Lowes, L. (2012). “Machine vision enhanced post-earthquake Inspection,” ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, In Review.
  • Ramanathan, K., Jeon, J., Zakeri, B., DesRoches, R., Padgett, J. E. (2012). “Seismic Response Prediction and Modeling Considerations for Multispan Continuous Curved and Skewed Concrete Box-Girder Bridges,” Journal of Earthquake Engineering, In Review.
  • Ramanathan K., Shafieezadeh A., Padgett J. E., and DesRoches R. (2012), “Review and Comparison of Probabilistic Methods for Seismic Fragility Analysis of Bridges,” Earthquake Engineering Structural Dynamics, In Review.
  • Vega-Behar, P., Yang, C.S.W., DesRoches, R., Leon, R.T. (2014) "Cost-benefit analysis of retrofitted non-ductile concrete frame buildings in the central and western US." To be presented in 2014 Structures Congress, Boston, MA.
  • Yang, CS. W., DesRoches, R. (2014). “Smart Hybrid SMA-Steel Rotary Dampers.” The SPIE Symposium on SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring, San Diego, California, USA.
  • Soleimani, F., McKay, M., Yang, CS. W., Kurtis, K.E., and DesRoches, R.(2014) “Seismic Performance Assessment of Columns Using Recycled Concrete Debris,” Georgia Tech Research and Innovative Conference (GTRIC), Atlanta, Georgia, February 11, 2014.
  • McCarthy, E., Padgett, J. E., Hodgeson, D., DesRoches, R., Bradford, P. (2013). “Alternative shape
  • Jeon, J.-S., DesRoches R., Brilakis, I., and Lowes, L.N. (2013). “Comparison of Fragility Curves for an Older RC Frame with Column and Beam-Column Joint Shear Models,” 11th International Conference on Structural Safety & Reliability (ICOSSAR), Columbia University, New York, NY, June 16–20.
  • Crittenden et al. (2013). “ Energy and Water Interdependence and Their Implications for Urban Areas,” Electrical Transmission Systems and Smart Grids, Spinger New York.
  • Padgett, J.E., and DesRoches, R. (2013). “Shape Memory Alloy Enhanced SMART Expansion Joints, NCHRP-IDEA Project 147, November, 2013.
  • DesRoches, R. et al. (2006). “Hurricane Katrina: Performance of Transportation Systems,” ASCE Technical Council in Lifeline Earthquake Engineering, August, 2006.
  • Johnson, R., Maragakis, E., Saiidi, M., and DesRoches, R.. (2004). "Experimental Evaluation of Seismic Performance of SMA Bridge Restrainers," Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, Report No. CCEER-04-2, February 2004.
  • DesRoches, R (2002). “Seismic Retrofit of Bridges in Mid-America,” MAE Center Report, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2002.
  • Application of Smart Materials in Seismic Resistant Design, EBK Colloquium, ETH Zurich, April 3rd, 2012, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Application of Recentering Systems in Seismic Resistant Design and Retrofit, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, February 23, 2012.
  • The 2010 Haiti Earthquake – Two Years Later: Challenges and Opportunities, Georgia Tech, Earth and Atmospheric Science, January, 20th, 2012.
  • Seismic Retrofit Using Recentering Systems, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, Sept 26th, 2011.
  • Application of Shape Memory Alloys in Natural Hazard Mitigation, University of Torino, Torino, Italy, June 6, 2011.