Dr. Girum Urgessa is a tenured Associate Professor of Civil Engineering in the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering (CEIE) at George Mason University (GMU). He received his MS (2002) and PhD (2006) from the University of New Mexico, and his BS (2000) from Addis Ababa University. 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 research interests include dynamic response of structures subjected to air-blast, impact, progressive collapse, and underwater explosions; the use of fiber reinforced polymer composites in structural design and retrofit applications; and structural stability of temporary structures. His research has been supported by DoD, ASCE, and ITA. Over the past 12 years, he has taught ten different structural engineering and mechanics courses, and received the GMU Teaching Excellence Award (2015). He has played active roles in faculty governance at GMU, including serving on the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Handbook Revision Committee, the Term Faculty Task Force, and several Academic Program Review committees. He has also chaired the Faculty Matters Senate Standing Committee.
Outside of GMU, Dr. Urgessa is currently a member of the sub-committee on Retrofit of Structures under Dynamic Loads under the Committee on Dynamic Effects of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was 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.