Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Gregory L. Fenves

Gregory L. Fenves Ph.D., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Gregory L. Fenves received his M.S. (1980) and Ph.D. (1984) degrees in Civil (Structural) Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He also obtained a B.S. (1979) degree in Civil Engineering from Cornell University. After earning his Ph.D., he was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin (1984-1987). He then moved back to Berkeley where he advanced from Assistant Professor through the ranks to T.Y. and Margaret Lin Professor of Engineering (1998-2008) and Chair (2002-2007) of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). In 2008, he returned to U.T. Austin as Dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. In 2013, he was appointed U.T. Austin Executive Vice President & Provost. 

Prof. Fenves served on the Cal CEE faculty for more than 20 years. During that time, he was a key contributor to the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, a multi-disciplinary center funded by the National Science Foundation. In addition, he led a major industry-sponsored program to improve the seismic safety of utility and transportation systems. An internationally recognized structural engineer, Dr. Fenves' research focus is on computational simulation of structures subjected to earthquakes and technology for performance-based earthquake engineering. He was one of the first engineers to develop object-oriented design and programming methods for simulation. His visionary research resulted in the Open System for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (OpenSees), a highly modular software framework for modeling the earthquake response of structural and geotechnical systems. During his tenure as Dean, the Cockrell School of Engineering at U.T. Austin rose to be a nationally top-10 ranked engineering college. He also successfully led a $350 million capital campaign, including the development of an Engineering Education and Research Center.

Amongst his many honors, Professor Fenves is a recipient of the National Science Foundation's Presidential Young Investigator Award (1987), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) James J. Croes Medal (2009), ASCE Walter L. Huber Research Prize (1995), ASCE Moisseiff Award (1993), and ASCE Raymond C. Reese Research Prize (1989). He is author or coauthor of numerous scientific publications and served as an Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering.

In addition to his leadership as Chair of the Berkeley CEE Department from 2002 to 2007, Professor Fenves impacted the education and careers of nearly one thousand students, often serving as a mentor and advisor to those students. In 2006, he founded the CEE Advisory Council, which today has become an important contributor to the department. While Dean at U.T., Prof. Fenves continues to be a strong supporter of Berkeley CEE in a variety of ways.