Ahsan Kareem

Moran Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences

Following Your Own Path

Coming from a family where his father and uncles were all chemical engineers, Ahsan Kareem, Robert Moran Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, seemed destined to embrace the family profession. However, he chose to follow his own path, a path that led him to election as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and recognition as one of the world’s most esteemed civil engineers.

Kareem, who serves as the director of Notre Dame’s NatHaz Modeling Laboratory, specializes in probabilistic structural dynamics, fluid-structure interactions, structural safety and the mitigation of natural hazards. To better understand and predict the impact of natural hazards on the constructed environment, he uses computer models and laboratory and full-scale experiments to study the dynamic effects of environmental loads under winds, waves and earthquakes and to develop mitigation strategies to enhance the performance and safety of structures.

“The goal of my research is to effectively determine how these hazards affect the built environment in order to develop innovative strategies to mitigate and manage their effects,” Kareem said. “Ensuring the safety and security of those that occupy and use the structures is the main objective of the research on which NatHaz focuses.”

Kareem teaches a course titled “Analysis of Wobbly Structures: An Introduction to Structural Dynamics.”

“This is a class that is truly unique to Notre Dame (the only such course in the world) and focuses on how structures move,” he said.

Kareem was the inaugural recipient of the Alan G. Davenport Medal, presented by the International Association for Wind Engineering in recognition of his distinguished achievement in the dynamic wind effects on structures. He also received the Robert H. Scanlan Medal for outstanding original contributions to the study of wind-load effects on structural design and the Jack E. Cermak Medal in recognition of his contributions to wind effects on structures. His receipt of the Davenport, Scanlan and Cermak medals is an unmatched recognition in this field.