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Local Assistant Professor Named New Face of Civil Engineering


Media Contact(s):
Tracy Withrow, 703-295-6326,

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reston, Va.—Behrouz Shafei, a 29-year-old assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, was recently named a New Face of Civil Engineering by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Shafei was recognized for this honor at the Society’s annual Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Gala, held March 22, 2012, at the Renaissance Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Va. This premier black-tie event brought together the most recognizable names in civil engineering.

An integral part of ASCE’s 2012 National Engineers’ Week initiatives, the program promotes the achievements of young civil engineers by highlighting their contributions and impact on society.

As a result of research funding provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Shafei developed a system for instantaneously detecting damage in water distribution networks. He believes that the outcome of this research will significantly enhance the safety and reliability of drinking water pipelines around the United States, and potentially worldwide.

As a member of the Seismic Effects Committee of ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute, Shafei has been a reviewer for a number of industry and scholarly publications, including ASCE’s Journal of Bridge Engineering. With 22 peer-reviewed journal articles and papers to his credit, he was honored with the James D. Cooper Best Paper Award in 2011 for his reliability analysis of highway bridges in the United States subjected to multiple hazards and conditions.

Shafei has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Tehran, in Iran. In addition, he obtained a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of California at Irvine.

ASCE names 10 New Faces of Civil Engineering each year, some of whom were also submitted to the national New Faces of Engineering program run by the Engineers Week Foundation. This program includes representatives from the civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, industrial and manufacturing engineering professions. Selected New Faces profiles were featured in a USA Today ad during Engineers Week (Feb. 19-25) and were profiled on the National Engineers Week Web site at, as well as at

As an addition this year, ASCE recognized the tremendous strides that civil engineering students are making to improve the quality of life for all with its first annual New Faces of Civil Engineering - College Edition. Read more about this year’s college honorees at

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit