Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Farhang Ostadan

Farhang Ostadan Ph.D., P.E., G.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Farhang Ostadan received his Ph.D. (1983) in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate school focus was in geotechnical earthquake engineering. He also received a B.S. degree (1977) in Civil Engineering from the University of Tehran and an M.S. degree (1978) in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Since graduation, Dr. Ostadan has worked essentially his entire career for the Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco. Today he is a Bechtel Fellow and Chief Engineer; he also serves as Manager of Bechtel’s Earthquake Engineering Center.

As Chief Engineer for Bechtel, Dr. Ostadan has overall responsibility for, and manages the efforts of, a large and diverse group of specialists in locations across the U.S. and around the globe involved in major transportation, power, energy, petrochemical, and nuclear projects. Of note, throughout his career, he has worked on the analysis and design of numerous nuclear power plants. While at Berkeley, he co-developed a computer code for dynamic soil-structure interaction analysis (SASSI). Subsequently, he was instrumental in obtaining U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission certification for use of SASSI for seismic analysis of nuclear power plant designs. As a result, SASSI is used around the world for the design of these critical facilities and it is the standard by which other soil-structure interaction computer codes are tested. In addition to nuclear power plants, Dr. Ostadan has also applied SASSI to the analysis of the BART Transbay tube, key structures of the California High Speed Rail system, and other critical infrastructure.

Dr. Ostadan is an international authority on soil-structure interaction analysis. He is a frequent lecturer at universities and research organizations on this topic. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 technical papers on topics relating to soil-structure interaction analysis, and more broadly, earthquake engineering. Among his professional recognitions, Dr. Ostadan was elected an ASCE Fellow in 2010, and in 2019 he received the ASCE Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. Energy Award. Throughout his career, he has been active in service to the profession, including ASCE, the American Nuclear Society, and both the American and International Associations for Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (SMiRT). He was the chairman of the SMiRT-22 International conference in 2013 and currently serves on the advisory board for the SMiRT organization.

Dr. Ostadan has been a frequent lecturer on soil-structure interaction topics in the CEE Department at Berkeley. He has also offered the course on the subject through the U.C. Berkeley extension program.  In addition, he has been a long-time supporter of graduate student fellowships through contributions in memory of his former CEE mentor Prof. John Lysmer.