Structural Engineering and Mechanics Research

structures students working
A full-scale test on a steel braced frame in the Structural Research Laboratory evaluates the seismic performance of chevron braced frames with beams that that are weaker than current code requirements. 


Structural engineers at the University of Washington perform innovative research across a wide range of topics using experimental, numerical and analytical techniques. Current research projects are aimed at improving the resiliency of structures against earthquake, tsunami and wind hazards; creating more durable materials through the modeling, evaluation and design of reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete, steel, timber, and composite structures; improving the sustainability of structures and designs for rapidly constructed structures; enhanced structural systems for marine and aerospace environments; and developing computational mechanics tools for numerical modeling of complex physical phenomena. The diverse expertise of the structural engineering group at UW provides unique opportunities for graduate and undergraduate research.

The structural research laboratories provide capabilities for multi-scale experimental studies of component or system response to complex loading scenarios. Advanced computing capabilities enable the development of state-of-the-art models of seismic structural response, large-scale fluid-structure and soil-structure interactions, and complex computational mechanics, among other topics.

Research Topics

student with camera in structures lab


The following laboratories feature equipment that structural engineers utilize to conduct research:


UW CEE hosts several centers, funded by industry and government. The centers headquarter research on specific themes and act as hubs connecting faculty and students with resources to support research, education and outreach activities.

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