Wael Hassan

A headshot of Wael Hassan with a light blue tessellation on the left side.
A headshot of Wael Hassan with a light blue tessellation on the left side.
Featured Faculty: Jack P. Moehle

Dr. Wael Hassan (Ph.D.'11 CE), Associate Professor of Structural and Earthquake Engineering at the University of Alaska, is a former Ph.D. student and post-doctorate at Berkeley under CEE Professor Jack Moehle. His recent recognition with three significant awards from the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) underscores his unique contributions to the field. The ACI Board of Direction elected him as Alaska's first and sole ACI Fellow, while the ASCE Board of Direction and the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) honored him as their first and sole SEI Fellow in Alaska. This triple recognition, received within 12 months of the first nomination, is a testament to his high-caliber accomplishments and his peers' trust in him.

Dr. Hassan's academic interests are reinforced concrete mechanics, earthquake engineering, numerical simulation and large-scale testing of structural systems and components under the effect of extreme natural hazards, seismic assessment and retrofit of existing construction, performance-based seismic design, and innovative material applications. Several U.S. and international standards and guidelines adopted Dr. Hassan's research on existing building assessment. During his Ph.D. and Post-doctorate, he worked under Professor Moehle on a $3.6M NSF project: NEES Grand Challenge, Mitigation of Collapse Risk of Older Concrete Buildings. The project led the City of Los Angeles to issue a new legislature in 2015 to enforce retrofitting its 1500 seismically vulnerable non-ductile concrete buildings and its 15,000 soft-story wood buildings. 

Dr. Hassan also had the opportunity for another significant, broader impact. One month after his arrival to Anchorage, AK, to join the faculty at the University of Alaska, the 2018 M7.1 Anchorage earthquake took place, the strongest earthquake in the U.S. in more than 50 years near population. Widespread damage resulted from the quake; soon after, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) appointed Dr. Hassan to co-lead the EERI field reconnaissance mission in Alaska to document the damage and investigate the earthquake's impact in the region. Dr. Hassan also led the structural reconnaissance EERI team and developed a significant report and several publications on the event that eventually impacted the seismic policy in Alaska.

Before joining academia, he established and led the performance-based seismic design practice at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) in San Francisco, where he designed several tall buildings in the U.S. and abroad. He also participated in and led the design of many projects in the U.S. and the Middle East, including residential, office, civic, multi-purpose, hospitality, and education buildings, sports facilities, transportation and industrial facilities, and liquid storage structures.