Dr. Quiel’s research focuses on the resistance of buildings, bridges, tunnels, and other structures to extreme loads, particularly fire, blast, and progressive collapse. His research group is actively engaged in experimental testing of large-scale assemblies, experimental characterization of structural material performance, and a wide spectrum of numerical analysis approaches.  Dr. Quiel’s projects have been awarded more than $1.5 million from organizations including the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, AISC, and PCI. His work has been published in both domestic and international journals and has been presented at conferences in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Before coming to Lehigh, Dr. Quiel worked professionally at Hinman Consulting Engineers in Washington, D.C., where he performed analysis and design of structures to resist extreme loads. During his four years in practice, he was involved in the design and analysis of various structural systems to resist the effects of blast, fire, and progressive collapse. Since arriving at Lehigh, he has served as a technical advisor to several major infrastructure projects as well as a bridge failure investigation. He is a licensed engineer in Pennsylvania and Virginia and is an active member of several professional organizations, including ASCE, AISC, and PCI.

Before entering professional practice, Dr. Quiel completed his doctorate in structural engineering at Princeton University on a Department of Homeland Security Graduate Fellowship. As part of his DHS fellowship, he spent two months at the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where he collaborated on a study of the role of fire in the collapse mechanism of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers.


Teaching and Service

Dr. Quiel currently serves as the instructor for two required courses in the civil engineering undergraduate curriculum: CEE 003, Engineering Statics (sophomore level) and CEE 290, Civil Engineering Design (our department’s capstone course for seniors).  His graduate course offerings include CEE 465, Structural Fire Engineering.

Dr. Quiel is currently the vice chair of the PCI Blast Resistance and Structural Integrity (BRSI) Committee.  In that role, he recently supervised an effort to develop new guidelines for the design of precast concrete structures to resist progressive collapse.  He is also a past member of the ASCE Fire Resistance Committee (2008-2017).  In that role, he served as a contributing author and task group leader for the new Appendix E (and the associated commentary) for fire loads in ASCE 7-16.  Dr. Quiel also served as a contributing author and group leader for the ASCE Manual of Practice 138: Structural Fire Engineering, which was published in 2018.


Selected Publications

Quiel, S.E., Naito, C.J., Fallon, C.T. (2019). “A non-emulative moment connection for progressive collapse resistance in precast concrete building frames.” Engineering Structures (Elsevier), Vol. 179, pp. 174-188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2018.10.027

Gombeda, M.J., Naito, C.J., Quiel S.E. (2018). “Performance-based framework for evaluating the flexural response of precast concrete wall panels to blast loading.” Engineering Structures (Elsevier), Vol. 168, pp. 473-486. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2018.04.050

Cao, L., Lu, S., Laflamme, S., Quiel, S., Ricles, J., Taylor, D. (2018). “Performance-based design procedure of a novel friction-based cladding connection for blast mitigation.” International Journal of Impact Engineering (Elsevier), Vol. 117, pp. 397-412. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2018.03.003

Gong, Y., Cao, L., Laflamme, S., Quiel, S., Ricles, J., Taylor, D. (2018). “Characterization of a novel variable friction connection for semi-active cladding system.” Structural Control and Health Monitoring (Wiley), Vol. 25, No. 6, e2157. https://doi.org/10.1002/stc.2157

Bai, F., Guo, Q., Root, K., Naito, C., Quiel, S. (2018). “Blast vulnerability assessment of road tunnels with reinforced concrete liners.” Transportation Research Record (Sage Publications), No. 0361198118798458. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361198118798458

Gombeda, M.J., Trasborg, P., Naito, C.J., Quiel, S.E. (2017). “Simplified model for partially-composite precast concrete insulated wall panels subjected to lateral loading.” Engineering Structures (Elsevier), Vol. 138, pp. 367-380. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2017.01.065

Gombeda, M.J., Naito, C.J., Quiel, S.E., Fallon, C.T. (2017). “Blast and the potential for progressive collapse in building frames: A threat-dependent framework with damage mapping.” Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities (ASCE), Vol 31, No. 2. https://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000949

Fallon, C.T., Quiel, S.E., Naito, C.J. (2016). “Quantifying the robustness of framed structural systems to single column removal and disproportionate collapse.” Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities (ASCE), Vol. 30, No. 6. doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000912

Quiel, S.E., Marjanishvili, S.M., Katz, B.P. (2016). “A performance-based framework for quantifying structural resilience to blast-induced damage.” Journal of Structural Engineering (ASCE), Vol. 142, No. 86. doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0001310

Khorasani, N.E., Garlock, M.E.M., Quiel, S.E. (2015). “Modeling steel structures in OpenSees: Enhancements for fire and multi-hazard probabilistic analyses.” Computers & Structures (Elsevier), Vol. 157, pp. 218-231. https://dx.doi:10.1016/j.compstruc.2015.05.025 

Quiel, S.E., Yokoyama, T., Bregman, L.S., Mueller, K.A., Marjanishvili, S.M. (2015). “A streamlined framework and case study for calculating the response of bridges to open-air tanker truck fires.” Fire Safety Journal (Elsevier), Vo. 73, pp. 63-75. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2015.03.004

Quiel, S.E., Garlock, M.E.M., Dwaikat, M.M.S., Kodur, V.K.R. (2014). “Predicting the demand and plastic capacity of axially loaded steel beam-columns with thermal gradients.” Engineering Structures (Elsevier), Vol. 58, No. 1, pp. 49-62. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2013.10.005 

Quiel, S.E., Marjanishvili, S.M. (2012). “Fire resistance of a damaged steel building frame designed to resist progressive collapse.” Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities (ASCE), Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 402-409. doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000248

Quiel, S.E., Garlock, M.E.M., Paya-Zaforteza, I. (2011). “Closed-form procedure for predicting the capacity and demand of steel beam-columns under fire.” Journal of Structural Engineering (ASCE), Vol. 137, No. 9, pp. 967-976.  doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0000443

Dwaikat, M.M.S., Kodur, V.K.R., Quiel, S.E., Garlock, M.E.M. (2011). “Experimental behavior of steel beam-columns subjected to fire-induced thermal gradients.” Journal of Constructional Steel Research (Elsevier), Vol. 67, No. 1, pp. 30-38. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcsr.2010.07.007

Quiel, S.E., Garlock, M.E.M. (2010). “Calculating the buckling strength of steel plates exposed to fire.” Thin-Walled Structures (Elsevier), Vol. 48, No. 9, pp. 684-695. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tws.2010.04.001

Quiel, S.E., Garlock, M.E.M. (2008). “A closed-form analysis of perimeter member behavior in a steel building frame subject to fire.” Engineering Structures (Elsevier), Vol. 30, No. 11, pp. 3276-3284. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2008.05.006

Garlock, M.E.M., Quiel, S.E. (2008). "Plastic axial load - moment interaction curves for fire-exposed steel sections." Journal of Structural Engineering (ASCE), Vol. 134, No. 6, pp. 874-880. doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9445(2008)134:6(874)

Spencer Quiel
Spencer Quiel
Associate Chair and Associate Professor of Structural Engineering
(610) 758-5498
ATLSS Engineering Research Center
IMBT Labs - Room A112
Lehigh University
117 ATLSS Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015


Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Princeton University, 2009
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Notre Dame, 2004