Sara Wadia-Fascetti

Professor and Vice Provost of PhD Network,  Civil and Environmental Engineering


Social Media


  • 340 RP
  • 617.373.5828

Related Links

Research Focus

Condition assessment methodologies for infrastructure systems; life cycle and life span analysis; structural and earthquake engineering uncertainty


Sara Wadia-Fascetti is the Vice Provost for the PhD Network and a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University.  As Vice Provost, she provides university-level leadership for PhD education across Northeastern’s global university system. As the academic interface responsible for PhD programs, she works with the deans to deliver quality and distinctive student-centric PhD education across all disciplinary and interdisciplinary PhD programs. She partners with university leaders to create and deliver initiatives that bring distinction to PhD education including global partnerships, cross-cutting interdisciplinary education, and burgeoning Experiential PhD programs.

Prior to joining the Office of the Provost in 2017 Sara served as the College of Engineering Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Development, and the founding Director of Northeastern ADVANCE. These leadership roles, all at Northeastern, resulted in the establishment of longstanding institutional initiatives that promote student experience, diversity, faculty development, experiential learning, graduate education, and research.

Sara’s research is at the intersection of nondestructive sensing technologies and diagnostics of civil infrastructure structural systems. She has led projects resulting in nearly $30M in external resources that support Northeastern research, education, and institutional initiatives.  She led the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant resulting in the Northeastern ADVANCE Office for Faculty Development; co-led the VOTERS Civil Infrastructure Assessment Center funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that resulted in the StreetScan start-up company; led the establishment of the NSF-funded Interdisciplinary Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) site for Intelligent Diagnostics for Aging Civil Infrastructure; and served on the Executive Committee for the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (CenSSIS).

Sara received her MS and PhD degrees in Structural Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Civil Engineering with a double major in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. She has been recognized for her teaching, research, and administrative leadership. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Development Award, the American Society of Engineering Education Minorities in Education Award, and the American Society of Engineering Education Sharon Keillor Woman in Engineering Education Award.  In 2003, she was recognized at the White House with a 2002 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.  She has served as a member of the Rochester Institute of Technology ADVANCE Institutional Transformation External Advisory Board and several advisory councils at Carnegie Mellon University. She is founding Co-Chair of the board level Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for the Structural Engineers Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is a member of the Board of Trustees for Geohazards International, a global nonprofit committed to taking actions before disasters.


  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Stanford University, 1994
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, Stanford University, 1991
  • B.S., Civil Engineering (double major in Engineering & Public Policy), Carnegie Mellon University, 1990

Honors & Awards

  • 2004 – 2008 Distinguished Research Fellow, Northeastern University
  • 2006 Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering Education
  • 2005 Progress in Equity Award, a national award granted to the CONNECTIONS program by the American Association of University Women
  • 2004 Massachusetts Progress in Equity Award awarded to CONNECTIONS by the Massachusetts chapter of the American Association of University Women
  • 2002 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring selected by President Bush and awarded at the White House March 18, 2003
  • 2002 Minorities in Engineering Award for leadership related to the recruitment and retention of women in engineering, American Society of Engineering Education National Award
  • 2002 President’s Aspiration Award from Northeastern President Freeland for leadership related to Northeastern University aspirations to become a national research student-centered urban university
  • 1997 CAREER Development Award, National Science Foundation
  • 1997 Civil Engineering Professor of the Year, Northeastern University Chi Epsilon Chapter

Teaching Interests

  • Advanced Structural Analysis
  • Strength of Materials and Structural Analysis
  • Structural Analysis II
  • Steel Design

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • American Society of Engineering Education
  • Boston Society of Civil Engineers
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
  • Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • Transportation Research Board Affiliate
  • Women’s Engineering Leadership Institute

Research Overview

Condition assessment methodologies for infrastructure systems; life cycle and life span analysis; structural and earthquake engineering uncertainty

Selected Research Projects

Selected Publications

  • D. Vine, S. Shahini Shamsabadi, Y. Zhao, R. Birken, M. Wang, S. Wadia, City-Wide Application of the Affordable and Rapid StreetScan Pavement Management System, ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 2017
  • A. Ganguli, C.M. Rappaport, D. Abramo, S. Wadia-Fascetti, Synthetic Aperture Imaging for Flaw Detection in a Concrete Medium, NDT & E International, 45(1), 2012, 79-90
  • K. Belli, S. Wadia-Fascetti, C. Rappaport, Integrated Sensor and Media Modeling Environment Developed and Applied to Ground-Penetrating Radar Investigation of Bridge Decks, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 25(1), 2011, 10-20
  • K. Belli, C. Rappaport, S. Wadia-Fascetti, A Time Domain Equivalent Source Model of an Impulse GPR Antenna Based on Measured Radiation Field, Research in Nondestructive Evaluation, 22(4), 2011, 197-207
Sara Wadia-Fascetti


Sep 15, 2022

In Mexico City, Public Transit Takes to the Air

Vice Provost of the PhD Network & CEE Professor Sara Wadia-Fascetti was featured in the Northeastern Experience magazine article “In Mexico City, public transit takes to the air.”

Sara Wadia-Fascetti, Jackie Isaacs, Rangal Hughes, Richard Harris


Aug 30, 2022

Expanding the Bridge to Doctorate STARS Program

Vice Provost of the PhD Network & CEE Professor Sara Wadia-Fascetti, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs & MIE Professor Jacqueline Isaacs, CEE Affiliated Faculty Randall Hughes, and Associate Dean, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Richard Harris were awarded a $1M NSF grant to expand the Northeastern LSAMP BD STARS Fellowship Pathway.


May 04, 2021

One Program, Two PhDs, Two Continents

Northeastern’s new international doctorate program—the Global Experiential PhD—provides students with an opportunity to earn separate PhDs from two universities in two continents while dramatically expanding the breadth of their research. As an added benefit, the program also expands the international job opportunities for graduates.

two students working in lab looking in microscope

Mar 12, 2020

Taking Graduate Experience-Powered Learning to the Next Level

Northeastern has been building its worldwide network of co-op partners for more than a century and in 2020 was ranked No. 1 in the nation for co-ops/internships by U.S. News and World Report. Graduate students at Northeastern’s College of Engineering are gaining real-world experiences on co-op in industry and research, locally and globally, and also through our innovative Experiential PhD program.


Mar 14, 2018

Northeastern to Host LSAMP’s Bridge to the Doctorate Program under $1M NSF Grant

Provost and MIE Professor James Bean (PI) and co-PI Professors Barbara Guthrie (Bouvé), Carla Mattos (COS), Hameed Metghalchi (MIE), and Benjamin Hescott (CCIS), along with collaborators Richard Harris, COE Assistant Dean and Director of the Northeastern University Program in Multicultural Engineering, and Sara Wadia-Fascetti, Vice Provost of the PhD Network and CEE Professor, were awarded a $1M NSF grant for the “Strategic Advancement of Rising Scholars (STARS) Nominated by the Northeast Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NE-LSAMP).”


Jun 19, 2017

PhD Network

Sara Wadia-Fascetti has been named as vice provost for the new PhD Network which will focus on building a sense of community among doctoral students and providing opportunities that will enhance their educational experiences. Source: News @ Northeastern Northeastern has launched the PhD Network, an organization designed to serve a key link for doctoral students […]


Jan 31, 2017

Addressing the Nation’s Pressing Transportation Challenges

Northeastern University is one of 18 “forward thinking and influential institutions” selected by the USDOT to focus on exploring the challenges facing land and transit systems in America’s Northeast.

Oct 04, 2016

StreetScan Patent Nominated for Invented Here!

Ming Wang (CEE), Sara Wadia-Fascetti (CEE), & Carey Rappaport's (ECE) patent for “Roaming mobile sensor platform for collecting geo-referenced data and creating thematic maps” was nominated for the Boston Patent Law Association’s Invented Here! program.

Jul 14, 2016

VOTERS Awarded Patent

VOTERS professors Ming Wang (CEE), Sara Wadia-Fascetti (CEE), & Carey Rappaport (ECE) were awarded a patent for “Roaming mobile sensor platform for collecting geo-referenced data and creating thematic maps”. Abstract Source: USPTO A roaming sensor system collects data on the condition of roads and bridge decks and identifies and maps defects, including cracks, potholes, debonding, […]

Sep 28, 2015

CEE PhD student David Vines-Cavanaugh wins Young Researcher Award

CEE PhD student David Vines-Cavanaugh won first place for the Young Researcher Award at the International Symposium on Non-Destructive Testing in Civil Engineering (NDT-CE 2015).

View All Related News