Dr. Girum Urgessa is an 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 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 has served on several committees including the Minorities in Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education, the sub-committee on Retrofit of Structures under Dynamic Loads of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Blast and Impact Load Effects Committee of the American Concrete Institute, and the Field Testing and Non-destructive Evaluation of Transportation Structures Committee of the Transportation Research Board. Dr. Urgessa is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Maryland.