Michael Chajes

Michael Chajes
Office: 186 S. College Ave.

Michael Chajes

Dean of Honors College


Bachelors | University of Massachusetts
Masters | University of California, Davis
Ph.D. | University of California, Davis

Executive Summary

Michael J Chajes, PhD., P.E., is currently Dean of the Honors College at the University of Delaware (UD) and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Chajes joined the UD faculty in 1990, and during his nearly 30 years at the university has served as chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering and dean of the College of Engineering. Dr. Chajes teaches classes and conducts research in the areas of structural engineering, structural health monitoring of bridges, and applications of sustainability.

Chajes received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and graduated with honors in 1984.  He attended the University of California at Davis (UCD) and received his M.S. in 1987 and his Ph.D. in 1990. While at Davis, Chajes was twice awarded that university’s Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award. Chajes is a registered Professional Engineer in Delaware and served on the state’s Professional Engineering Registration Board from 1995–2000.

Chajes has supervised 46 master’s students and eight Ph.D. students while at UD, as well as more than 60 undergraduate research students. He has served as PI or co-PI on more than $5M of research grants, has published more than 100 papers and presented his work through more than 70 talks in the U.S. and abroad. Some of his current research activities include the structural health monitoring of the Indian River Inlet bridge, turning food waste into energy, harvesting energy from long-span bridges, and investigating the potential of distributed rooftop solar power plants.

In 2010, Chajes was named Delaware’s Engineer of the Year and also was awarded a UC Davis College of Engineering Distinguished Engineering Alumni Medal. In 2012 he was a member of UD’s NSF Advance team that was awarded UD’s E. A. Trabant Award for Women’s Equity. In 2016 he was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni at the University of Massachusetts.

Chajes is a member of the University’s Faculty Athletic Board and also serves on UD’s Sustainability Council. He also serves on the State of Delaware’s Sustainable Energy Utility Board. Chajes is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE).  Within ASCE, he was a member of the Department Heads Council Executive Committee from 2002–2007, serving as the chair of the council from 2005–2007.  He also served as a member of the committee that planned a major national summit on the “Future of the Civil Engineering Profession in 2025” held in 2006 and on the Government Affairs and Educational Activities Committees.  Within ASEE, he was a member of the Dean’s Council and the Public Policy Committee.

Research Areas

  • Bridges for the Future
  • Infrastructure
  • Structural
  • Sustainability