Research Topic:

Column Base Connections with Stiffeners

Niloufar Behboud

Ph.D. Student

Niloufar is a Structural Engineering Ph.D. student who specializes in structural steel connections. Niloufar's expertise encompasses all aspects of steel structure design, detailing and construction requirements in seismic zones. She is working on experimental and analytical aspects of steel beam to beam, beam to column, and column base connections.


Research Topic:

Statistical Analysis in PBEE

Jawad Fayaz

Ph.D. Candidate

Jawad has a broad-based engineering background in the areas of Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering, Risk and Reliability Analysis, Ground Motion Analysis, Seismic Design of Structures, and Problem-solving. He is proficient with the tools and techniques of Statistical Analysis, Machine Learning and Deep Learning. He is determined to implement earned skills and knowledge for the rapid mitigation of hazards posed by Earthquakes


Research Topic:

Damping Models for Buildings

Yijun (Jim) Xiang

Ph.D. Candidate

Jim specializes in building and bridge structure modeling, seismic design of structures, seismic hazard analysis, ground motion signal analysis, and engineering optimization techniques. He is proficient in statistical analysis including machine learning techniques.


Research Topic:

Performance Prediction Equations

Marta De Bortoli

Ph.D. Candidate & Bridge Engineer at Arup

Areas of expertise include bridge and building structural analysis, seismic design of structures, probabilistic seismic hazard analysis, ground motion selection, and modification. She has extensive experience in structural modeling, data analysis, and engineering optimization techniques. Marta is currently working as a Bridge Engineer at Arup.

Former Members


Research Topic:

Performance-Based Assessment of Bridge Structures

Dr. Wooseok Kim

Former Visiting Scholar (2019-20)

Currently: Associate Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at Chungnam National University

Dr. WooSeok Kim earned his Ph.D. from Penn State Univ. After finishing his Ph.D. study, he worked, as a bridge design engineer, at Parsons Brinckerhoff. He is an Associate Professor at Chungnam National Univ. in South Korea since 2011 and joined PBEE Lab as a visiting research associate in 2019. His research interest includes design and analysis of bridges, bridge maintenance, preservation and management, risk and uncertainty analysis, and force protection.


Research Topic:

Source-Based Ground Motion Simulation Validation (Buildings)

Huda Munjy

Former Graduate Student (2013-2019)

Currently: Assistant Professor, California State University, Fullerton

Huda specializes in statical analysis, seismic design of structures, seismic hazard analysis and engineering optimization techniques.


Research Topic:

Site-Based Ground Motion Simulation Validation

Sarah Azar

Former Visiting Scholar (2018-19)

Currently: Ph.D. Candidate, American University of Beirut

Sarah's areas of experience include earthquake hazard analysis and ground motion interpretation. Her research interests lie in the field of performance-based earthquake engineering, seismic risk assessment, and structural reliability. Sarah is skilled in statistical analysis and structural modeling and conversant with different programming languages.

digi 02

Research Topic:

Column Base Connections, SMRFs

Dr. Pablo Torres Rodas

Former Graduate Student (2014-2018)

Currently: Assistant Professor, Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Pablo is experienced and knowledgeable in the theories and principles of Structural Engineering. He is interested in the development of analytical models for steel structure components and systems for Earthquake Engineering.


Research Topic:

Mega-thrust Earthquakes, Ground Motion Duration

Miguel Medalla Riquelme

Former Visiting Scholar (2017-2018)

Currently: Ph.D. Candidate, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Miguel is an SE, MEng, PhD (c) with more than 10 years of practical experience in seismic design of structures and 5 years teaching undergraduate and graduate courses of structural design. His work emphasizes in the seismic design of steel building for industrial facilities (mining, cellulose, port, etc.). Miguel gathers experience in traditional seismic design and advanced seismic design (Isolation and dissipation seismic device). In terms of research, Miguel has experience in PBEE (design, modeling, analysis, reliability) of steel structures subjected to crustal and long duration megathrust subduction earthquakes.


Research Topic:

Simulation of Soil-Structure Interaction

Shaghayegh Vaseghiamiri

Former Visiting Scholar (2018)

Currently: Ph.D. Student, Sharif University of Technology


Research Topic:

Ground Motion Simulation Validation (Bridges)

Rachelle Habchi

Former Graduate Student (2015-2017)

Currently: Junior Engineer, Saiful Bouquet Structural Engineers

Bahreh Mobasher_photo2

Research Topic:

PBEE of Bridges

Dr. Bahareh Mobasher

Former Graduate Student (2010-2016)

Currently: Bridge Engineer, Caltrans

Bahareh's research focused on the quantification of California ordinary bridge performance variability modeling uncertainties. She developed modeling techniques for capturing the main aspects of the behavior of the exterior shear keys, and the effect of soil pile structure interaction on bridge response. She has been working at STV focusing on California high-speed rail projects. She joined Arup’s Los Angeles office as a full-time Bridge/Structural Engineer and recently joined Caltrans as a bridge engineer.


Research Topic:

Source-Based Ground Motion Simulation Validation (Buildings)

Poojitha Shashi

Former Graduate Student (2015-2017)


Research Topic:

Downtime in Highway Network Due to Seismic Activity

Preetish Kakoty

Former Graduate Student (2015-2017)

Currently: Ph.D. Student, University of British Columbia


Research Topic:

Performance-Based Design of Bridges for Loss Metrics

Dr. Behzad Zakeri

Former Visiting Scholar (2015-2017)


Research Topic:

PBEE for Bridges

Shayan Sheikhakbari

Former Graduate Student (2014-2016)

Currently: Graduate Student, University of Southern California


Research Topic:

Effect of Vertical Component of GMs on Tall Buildings

Shima Ebrahimi

Former Graduate Student (2014-2016)

Currently: Engineer, Saiful/Bouquet Structural Engineers


Research Topic:

Source-Based Ground Motion Simulation Validation (Waveforms and Buildings)

Dr. Peng Zhong

Former Graduate Student (2008-2016)

Currently: Project Vice General Manager, Country Garden Inc.


Research Topic:

Developing Efficient Algorithms for Building Loss Modeling

Dr. Omid Esmaili, P.E.

Former Graduate Student (2009-2014)

Currently: Associate at Englekirk Structural Engineers / Englekirk 


Research Topic:

PBEE of Bridges

Dr. Roshanak Omrani

Former Post-Doctoral Fellow (2012-2014)

Currently: Data Scientist, Ingram Micro Inc.


Research Topic:

Quantification of Building Modal and Stiffness Properties

Angie Harris

Former Graduate Student (2013-2016)

Currently: Design Engineer, KPFF Consulting Engineers


Research Topic:

PBEE of Curved Bridges

Pere Pla-Junca

Former Graduate Student (2009-2011)

Currently: Bridge Project Engineer, Stantec

Vitiea Noeun

Former Graduate Student (2010-2012)


Research Topic:

Source-based Ground Motion Simulation Validation (Buildings)

Dr. Carmine Galasso

Former Post-Doctoral Fellow (2011-2012)
Currently: Associate Professor, University College London

Dr Carmine Galasso is an Associate Professor in Catastrophe Risk Engineering with a joint appointment in the UCL's Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering and the UCL's Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction. He is also Deputy Director of the UCL’s Earthquake and People Interaction Centre (EPICentre), and Degree Programme Director for the MSc in Earthquake Engineering with Disaster Management.


Research Topic:

Collapse Assessment of SMRFs

Jose Carlos Faz, P.E, S.E

Former Graduate Student (2008-2010)

Currently: Structural Engineer, J5 Infrastructure Partners

Peyman Kaviani- Oct 2018

Research Topic:

PBEE of Skewed Bridges

Dr. Peyman Kaviani

Former Graduate Student (2008-2011)

Currently: Bridge Engineer, Caltrans

Experienced Professional engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the government. Skilled in Bridge Engineering, Earthquake Engineering, and Structural Dynamics. Ph.D. dissertation focused in performance-based seismic assessment of skewed bridges.

Pierson Photo

Research Topic:

Performance-Based Design of Tall Buildings

Dr. Pierson Jones

Former Graduate Student (2008-2011)

Currently: Structural Engineer, Murphy Burr Curry Engineers