Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Jonathan P. Stewart headshot

Jonathan P. Stewart Ph.D., P.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Jonathan P. Stewart earned his B.S. (1990), M.S. (1992), and Ph.D. (1996) degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Since graduation, he has served on the faculty of the Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he has mentored or co-mentored 38 doctoral students, with 32 graduates in leading positions in academia, government, and the private sector.

Dr. Stewart served as Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA from 2012 to 2018, significantly shaping the department's growth and fostering diversity among the faculty. He has also held leadership positions as Chief Editor of two major journals served on the Board of Directors of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and Statewide California Earthquake Center (SCEC), and served on the Steering Committee of the U.S. Geological Survey National Seismic Hazard Model (NSHM) and as a Member of the Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

An expert in geotechnical earthquake engineering and engineering seismology, Dr. Stewart’s research portfolio encompasses highly impactful work in soil-structure interaction, ground motion modeling, seismic ground failure, and site response analysis. He has contributed to the development of methodologies for non-ergodic site response analyses, working jointly with students and collaborators, that have revolutionized probabilistic seismic hazard assessments for site-specific applications and are now widely used on high-value projects.  He has developed ground motion models that play a crucial role in the NSHM, informing seismic design across the United States. His work on soil-structure interaction (SSI) informs current building code provisions and is applied in major projects across the U.S. and globally.  He has co-led, with Steven L. Kramer, a major research initiative related to soil liquefaction that is democratizing access to essential data and pioneering improved procedures for liquefaction risk assessments. Dr. Stewart has led or participated in post-event reconnaissance teams responding to worldwide disasters, including 15 major earthquakes from 1994 to 2023  and the 2020 Beirut explosion. 

Dr. Stewart has received a number of awards and honors for his career accomplishments, including: the National Science Foundation Career Award in 1998, a Fulbright Scholarship from the U.S. State Department (2005), the ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (2008), the Distinguished Teaching Award from the UCLA Academic Senate (2012), the Joyner Lecture Award from EERI and the Seismological Society of America (SSA, 2016), and the Bruce Bolt Medal from EERI, SSA, and the Consortium of Organizations for Strong Motion Observation Systems (2018). 

Dr. Stewart serves the University of California as a member of the system-wide Seismic Advisory Board. He is a long-time contributor to the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, headquartered at Berkeley. He routinely encourages outstanding students to apply to Berkeley CEE graduate programs (including a current member of the CEE ADA) and has contributed financially to the department.