Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos

Associate Professor
Research Interests
Geotechnical Engineering infrastructure, Population growth and densification, Soil dynamics, Multi-hazard stressor mitigation strategies

421 Davis Hall

Office Hours
Adda Zekkos headshot

Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley. Zekkos’ research focuses on assessing and mitigating the impact of multi-hazard stressors on geotechnical engineering infrastructure. Her research aims to address infrastructure challenges, including age-related deterioration, population growth and densification, natural and manmade hazards, and evolving demands from climate change. She also received the prestigious National Science Foundation award and the Thomas Middlebrooks Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).


Ph.D., Civil & Environmental Engineering Dept, University of California at Berkeley, 2008

MSc., Civil & Environmental Engineering Dept, University of California at Berkeley, 2004

Ptychion, Civil Engineering Dept (5-year mandatory program), University of Patras, Greece, 2003

Athanasopoulos-Zekkos’ research focuses on the development of new analytical and design solutions to soil dynamics problems such as the resiliency of flood protection systems and soil structures under extreme loading conditions including hurricanes and earthquakes. Her current research projects investigate the response of flood protection systems, the performance of critical systems such as ports during earthquakes, the effects of man-induced vibrations from pile driving in dense urban environments, and the use of new materials and field testing to inform efficient and sustainable maintenance strategies of aging systems. Here are a few of the research projects Athanasopoulos-Zekkos is currently working on below:

  • Liquefaction triggering and residual strength - With the majority of research in soil liquefaction engineering focused on the assessment of the likelihood of "triggering" of liquefaction in sands and silty soils, new approaches, and transformative methods for characterizing gravels are needed. Athanasopoulos-Zekkos’ research proposes a plan combining unique large-scale laboratory testing and innovative field testing at key gravel liquefaction sites to develop liquefaction triggering charts and post-liquefaction shear strength recommendations for gravelly soils. 
  • Transportation asset management - The purpose of transportation asset management is to meet life-cycle performance goals by managing physical assets in the most cost-effective manner. Currently, many agencies manage geotechnical features on the basis of "worst-first" conditions, reacting to failures and incurring significant safety, mobility, environmental, and other intangible costs. Athanasopoulos-Zekkos’ research explores the development of a comprehensive risk management framework for the asset management of retaining wall structures. 
  • Thriving in a networked world - Collaboration often results in greater productivity and innovation than when working alone. Given the increasing complexity of the problems Geotechnical Engineers address and the increasing connectivity in the world, faculty need to be able to manage their professional connections with greater efficiency and effectiveness. Athanasopoulos-Zekkos’ research applies social network analysis and professional development activities to improve networking and collaboration among geotechnical engineering faculty, especially among women faculty, in order to bridge the isolation created by geographical distances, low representation, and connectivity gaps


No mentions in News


No mentions in Spotlights

Student Updates

Title Publication Date
CEE Hosts Advising Forum for Undergraduate Students