man in hardhat in bucket lift

Delaware has the fourth highest coast-to-area ratio in the nation. Consequently, coastal infrastructure problems are a core focus of structural engineering faculty at UD. Coastal problems are not, however, unique to Delaware as coastal populations account for 40% of the US population. Driven by climate change and population expansion, aged coastal infrastructure is facing ever-growing challenges across the country, ranging from increased use/loading, to exposure to more frequent natural hazards, to accelerated degradation driven by the changing environment. To address the most immediate and future needs of coastal infrastructure, structural engineering faculty focus on:

  • understanding the effects of the changing environment on the durability and performance of bridges; and
  • evaluating coastal infrastructure using nature-based solutions (“engineering with nature”).

Given the nation’s aging infrastructure and its overexposure to wear and tear, structural engineering faculty at UD also focus on: 

  • development and implementation of advanced materials for accelerated construction and enhanced durability of buildings and bridges;
  • development and deployment of smart structural health monitoring systems for improved maintenance, repair, and operation of civil infrastructure systems; and
  • methods for evaluation and repair of existing bridges for improved performance and service life extension.



Current course offerings and degree requirements are included in the current version of the Graduate Handbook.


Michael Chajes


Bridges for the Future, Infrastructure, Structural, Sustainability

Associate Professor

Bridges for the Future, Disasters, Infrastructure, Structural, Sustainability

Jennifer McConnell

Bentley Systems Early Career Professor

Big Data, Bridges for the Future, Infrastructure, Materials, Structural, Sustainability

Tripp Shenton


Bridges for the Future, Environmental and Water Resources, Structural

Jovan Tatar

Associate Professor

Bridges for the Future, Infrastructure, Materials, Structural, Sustainability