Dr. Girum Urgessa is a tenured Associate Professor of Structural Engineering in the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering (CEIE) at George Mason University (GMU). Prior to joining GMU, he was a research engineer in the Applied Science Division of Weidlinger Associates (now Thornton Tomasetti) and a structural engineer at Dekker/Perich/Sabatini.
His main research interests include dynamic response of structures subjected to air-blast, impact, progressive collapse, and underwater explosions; and engineering education and outreach. His research has been supported by DoD, ASCE, and ITA. Over the past 13 years, he has taught ten different structural engineering and mechanics courses, and received the GMU Teaching Excellence Award in 2015 and the Chi Epsilon Cumberland District-level James M. Robbins Excellence in Teaching Award in 2020. He has played active roles in faculty governance at GMU, including serving on the Faculty Senate and chairing its Faculty Matters Standing Committee. He is currently an active member of the GMU Standing Committee on Faculty Handbook Revision.
Outside of GMU, Dr. Urgessa is currently a member of the sub-committee on Retrofit of Structures under Dynamic Loads of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the Minorities in Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). His past involvements include serving as a voting member of the American Concrete Institute Committee on Blast and Impact Load Effects (ACI 370) and the Transportation Research Board Committee on Field Testing and Non-destructive Evaluation of Transportation Structures (AFF 40). Dr. Urgessa is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Maryland.