Jerome F. Hajjar Elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering

Jerome Hajjar

Jerome Hajjar, CDM Smith Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been elected a Member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Election to NAE is considered the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer. Hajjar was recognized for his distinguished contributions to engineering for “development of design criteria and models for stability and seismic design of innovative steel and composite structures.”

Through experimental testing, computational simulation, and the development of design concepts and criteria, Hajjar has made significant contributions to the development of innovative steel and composite steel/concrete structures. He has developed new resilient and sustainable structural systems, strength and stability design provisions for steel and composite structures, and nonlinear analysis formulations for structural stability and seismic design of steel and composite structures.

Hajjar’s work on structural stability began in the 1990s. Structural stability is the theory behind how structures withstand extreme loads without collapsing. His research contributed to new approaches for structural design for stability that are currently embedded in design specifications for steel and composite structures used throughout the U.S. and internationally. His more recent research on structural systems led to a new structural concept for resilience: All energy from an extreme event is focused into replaceable energy-dissipating components of a structure rather than the structure absorbing the energy through permanent damage of its primary structural members like beams, columns, and braces. He has also been advancing the concept of design for deconstruction, where structural systems can be taken apart at the end of the useful life of the structure and the components reused in other structures to reduce waste and the amount of energy needed for recycling. Throughout his career, Hajjar has been researching seismic behavior and design of steel and composite structures. Years of studying fundamentals related to the behavior of these structures, and seeing how they performed in extreme events, led to him rethinking their design to achieve sustainability and resilience goals for earthquakes, hurricanes, and other extreme loads, and underpins his most recent work on developing new and innovative systems.

Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

“With the election to the NAE comes the opportunity and responsibility to serve the nation through participation in the National Academies workshops and reports on engineering issues of importance related to national security, energy, education of future engineers, resilience of urban infrastructure, and sustainability,” says Gregory D. Abowd, dean of the College of Engineering at Northeastern University.

Giving back through the work of the NAE is something Hajjar is looking forward to. “I am grateful for all the many collaborations and wonderful students I’ve had throughout my career, without whom my work would not have been possible,” he says. “I am especially grateful for the partnerships I’ve had with practitioners, industry, and academics from around the world, as well as the opportunity Northeastern has provided to innovate and collaborate.”

Abowd adds, “Under Hajjar’s leadership, the power to innovate has enabled unprecedented accomplishments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, which are reflective of the future of the fast-evolving field.”


Related Faculty: Jerome F. Hajjar

Related Departments:Civil & Environmental Engineering