Portrait of Sherif El-Tawil

Sherif El-Tawil

Antoine E. Naaman Collegiate Professor


2048 GG Brown, 2350 Hayward

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2125

Primary Website

Sherif El-Tawil

  • Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1996
  • M.S., Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, 1991
  • B.S., Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, 1989

My overarching research interest lies in natural and man-made hazard mitigation, for example, due to earthquakes, blast, and impact. I have a broad portfolio in convergent and multi-disciplinary research that addresses how structural and, more generally, infrastructure systems, respond to extreme events. I am especially interested in modeling the intricate and potentially cascading interactions that occur in socio-technical systems stressed by disruptive events. I have conducted research in structural failure, human decision making, social interactions during extreme events and the use of agent based models for egress simulations. I am also interested in visualization and have developed new techniques for applying virtual reality in the field of finite element simulations and the use of augmented reality for rapid assessment of infrastructure damage in the wake of disasters. Much of my research is directed towards the computational and theoretical aspects of hazards engineering, with particular emphasis on new materials and structural systems, distributed computing, computational simulation, multiscale techniques, and nonlinear solution strategies.

Here are videos of myself discussing a variety of topics:

I am a Fellow of both ASCE and the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI). During my long associated with ASCE, I was the Editor-in-Chief for the Society’s flagship journal, the Journal of Structural Engineering, for a decade (from 2010 through 2020). I was former chair of the Society’s Technical Administrative Committee on Metals and former chair of the committee on Composite Steel-Concrete Construction. I am a member of the ASCE Blast, Methods of Analysis and Seismic Effects committees.

In additional to professional service, I have served as consultant to major companies and agencies such as the Florida Department of Transportation, Louisiana Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Research Awards

  • Shortridge Hardesty Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2022

Award Citation: For “cumulative efforts and outstanding achievements in the areas of computational modeling of steel structures, seismic design of hybrid steel-concrete coupled wall systems, progressive collapse of buildings, and structural behavior under extreme loading conditions.”

  • Arthur M. Wellington Prize, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2020.

Award Citation: For the paper, “Heavy Truck Collision with Bridge Piers: Computational Simulation Study,” Journal of Bridge Engineering, June 2019 by Ran Cao, Anil K. Agrawal, Sherif El-Tawil, Xiaochen Xu and Waider Wong.

  • Raymond C. Reese Research Prize, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2019.

Award Citation: For the paper “Highly Ductile Limits for Deep Steel Columns,” published in the April 2018 issue of Journal of Structural Engineering by Tung-Yu Wu, Sherif El-Tawil and Jason P. McCormick.

  • Antoine E. Naaman Collegiate Professorship, University of Michigan, 2018. Link.  
  • Monroe-Brown Foundation Award for Research Excellence, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, 2014.
  • State-of-the-Art Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2012

Award Citation: The ASCE State-of-the-Art of Civil Engineering Award recognizes the individual, individuals or committee that has prepared, for the benefit of the profession, the most outstanding paper which reviews and interprets state-of-the-art scientific and technical information. The 2012 award is for the paper “Seismic Design of Hybrid Coupled Wall Systems:  State of the Art,” by Sherif El-Tawil, PH.D., P.E., F.ASCE; Kent A. Harries, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE; Patrick J. Fortney, Ph.D., M.ASCE; Bahram M. Shahrooz, Ph.D., M.ASCE; and Yahya Kurama, Ph.D., M.ASCE, published in the July 2010 issue of Journal of Structural Engineering.

  • Moisseiff Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2012

Award Citation: For the paper “Progressive Collapse Resistance of Steel-Concrete Composite Floors,” published in the Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, October 2010.  The selection committee particularly noted the paper’s novel approaches to influence details commonly used in building construction.

  • Recipient of the New Millennium Yuelu Lectureship in Civil Engineering from Hunan University, China, 2011.
  • Elected Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 2010.
  • Paper of the Year Award, Korean Concrete Institute (KCI), 2010.

The award was given to the paper “High Performance Fiber Reinforced Cement Composites with Innovative Slip Hardening Twisted Steel Fibers” published in the International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials (Vol.3, No.2, December 2009).

  • Moisseiff Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2008.

The award was given for the paper “Collapse Behavior of Steel Special Moment Resisting Frame Connections,” Journal of Structural Engineering, May 2007. The selection committee particularly noted the paper’s novel approaches, important practical conclusions and original contributions.

  • ASCE Award  Engineers, 2007

This is a research achievement award for engineers less than 40 years old. The award citation reads “For the development and application of novel numerical simulation models for the analysis and design of steel and hybrid steel-concrete structures.” The selection committee particularly noted that the developed modeling techniques span several length scales, are rooted in fundamental structural mechanics and have great practical and theoretical significance.

  • Arthur M. Wellington Prize, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2006.

The award was given for the paper “Vehicle Collision with Bridge Piers,” in the Journal of Bridge Engineering, May/June 2005. The paper was noted for its contribution to the field of Transportation Engineering.

  • Best Paper Award (with co-author Vineet Kamat), Construction Research Congress 2005 in San Diego, CA, American Society of Civil Engineers.
  • ASCE Award  Norman Medal, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2002

The Norman medal is the oldest and most prestigious awards given by ASCE. Each Division within ASCE nominates one paper for judging on a Society-wide basis, so the winner goes through a rigorous and highly competitive process. The award states, “The medal and certificate are awarded to the author, or authors, of a paper that is judged worthy of special commendation for its merit as a significant contribution to engineering science”.

Service Honors and Awards

  • Herbert Kopf Service Excellence Award, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, 2016.
  • Richard R. Torrens Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2014

The award is made in recognition of Richard R.  Torrens’ distinguished service and honors volunteer journal editors who have made outstanding contributions to the ASCE journals’ program. Achievements in categories such as journal competitiveness, turnaround time, growth, and creativity and innovation shown by the editor are recognized among other measures of accomplishment.

  • Elected Fellow of the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 2013.
  • Outstanding Achievement Award, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, April 2005.

Teaching Honors and Awards

  • Teaching Innovation Prize, University of Michigan, 2014
  • Faculty Recognition Award, University of Michigan, 2006.
  • Chi Epsilon “James M. Robbins” Excellence in Teaching Award for the Great Lakes District, 2005.
  • Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, Dept. of Civil and Env. Eng., Univ. of Central Florida, 2002.
  • TIP Teaching Award, State University System of Florida, 2000.
  • Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, College of Engineering, Univ. of Central Florida, 1999.
  • Sediek, O.A., Wu, T-Y, McCormick, J.P. and El-Tawil, S. (2022), “Prediction of Seismic Collapse Behavior of Deep Steel Wide-Flange Columns Using Machine Learning Methods and Steel Column Net (SCNet),” Accepted for Publication in the Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE
  • Sediek, O.A., Wu, T-Y, McCormick, J.P. and El-Tawil, S. (2022), “Modeling Interdependencies between the Building Portfolio, Transportation Network, and Healthcare System in Community Resilience,” Natural Hazards Review, ASCE, 23(1), https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000538
  • Lin, S-Y, Hlynka, A.W., Xu, L., Lu, H., Sediek, O., El-Tawil, S., Kamat, V.R., Spence, S.M.J., McCormick, J.P, Menassa, C.C., Prakash, A., and Aguirre, B. (2022), “Simple Run-Time Infrastructure (SRTI): An Accessible Distributed Computing Platform for Interdisciplinary Simulation,” Journal of Computational Science, Elsevier, 55, 101455, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocs.2021.101455.
  • El-Tawil, S., Sediek, O.A., Hlynka, A., Abdelhady, A.U., Spence, S.M.J and McCormick, J.P. (2021), “Experiencing Natural Disasters in Virtual Reality: An Opportunity for Outreach and Education”, Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE, 2021(9), https://www.asce.org/publications-and-news/civil-engineering-source/civil-engineering-magazine/issues/magazine-issue/article/2021/09/virtual-reality-helps-communities-get-the-feel-of-natural-disasters
  • Alzughaibi, A., Ibrahim, A., Na, Y., El-Tawil, S. and Eltawil, A. (2021), “Community-Based Multi-Sensory Structural Health Monitoring System: A Smartphone Accelerometer and Camera Fusion Approach,” IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation & Measurement, 2021-09-15, DOI: 10.1109/JSEN.2021.3097696.
  • Hung, C-C, Chao, S-H and El-Tawil, S. (2021), “A Review of Developments and Challenges for the use of UHPC in Structural Engineering: Behavior, Analysis, and Design,” Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, 147(9), https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0003073.
  • Aguirre, B. E. and El-Tawil, S (2020), “The Emergence of Transdisciplinary Research and Disaster Science,” American Behavioral Scientist, SAGE Journals, July 2020, pp 1-17https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764220938114