Our Structures program faculty have a deep affinity for the physical pieces that collectively form the built environment. Like the rest of civil engineering, mechanics is at the core of this research. The program’s key strengths include earthquake engineeringstochastic mechanics and structural reliability, optimization, and cold-formed steel structures.

The Structures program also spans outside of the built environment to problems and challenges that benefit from the perspective or knowledge-base of structural engineering. Collaborations are particularly common when working across a variety of scales; such as materials with the Mechanics of Materials program or cities with the Systems program.

Program Lead:

Benjamin W. Schafer

Affiliated Faculty: 


Structures Affiliated Research Groups


Join Structures

Graduate students interested in pursuing the Structures Program area should express this interest in their application, and they should be interested in working with one of the Structures-affiliated faculty.

Graduate Admissions »

Earthquake Engineering

Earthquake Engineering: A wide variety of faculty have opportunities in this area, including multi-hazard performance-based design, development of novel fuse elements for structural components, extending performance-based design principles to new materials, smart structures, and more. Applications include buildings and bridges as well as the broader infrastructure (pipes, towers, etc.) and span from the material scale to the city/regional scale as well as from theory (e.g. in control algorithms) to practice (e.g. in new building specifications).



Stochastic Mechanics and Structural ReliabilityStochastic mechanics and structural reliability: Structures at Johns Hopkins has a rich tradition that continues today. A distinguishing feature of the work conducted in the program is the degree to which probabilistic methods and uncertainty are embraced in all of the research: from optimization of structural topology to advanced analysis for steel structures. The central role of uncertainty analysis and quantification, as well as reliability, runs throughout the training and research.


Optimization: Optimal design of structures has long been an important consideration, but the emergence of multi-physics tools to simulate structural performance along with multi-objective goals to improve both structural (across all hazards) and energy performance to create more sustainable structures has lead to increased needs in this area. Research in the program is largely focused on topology optimization and other free-form design techniques.


Cold-Formed Steel StructuresCold-Formed Steel Structures: The Thin-walled Structures Group within the Structures Program provides one of the world’s most comprehensive research experiences in the development, behavior, and design of cold-formed steel structures. Research in this area has lead to far-reaching changes in the design of these efficient, but complex, stability-critical structures.

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