P.C. Rossin College of
Engineering and Applied Science

Position: 
Professor of Structural Engineering
Address: 
Fritz Engineering Laboratory 303
13 E. Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Phone Number: 
(610) 758-3494
Stephen P. Pessiki

Areas of Research

Behavior and Design of Structures
Fire Effects on Steel
Fire Effects on Steel, Concrete and Masonry Structures
Nondestructive Evaluation of Materials and Structures
Innovative Structural Materials and Systems
Earthquake Engineering and Simulation

Profile

Dr. Pessiki has conducted research and teaches courses in areas of behavior and design of structures; nondestructive evaluation of materials and structures; fire effects on structures; earthquake engineering; and innovative building materials and systems. Dr. Pessiki has worked on numerous funded research and laboratory experiment projects. His findings have been published in dozens of conference proceedings and journal publications, in addition to book chapters and technical reports.

Dr. Pessiki is a member of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), which awarded him the Leslie Martin Award of Merit in 2006. PCI named Pessiki a Fellow and a Distinguished Educator. He is also a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute. Other honors and awards include Lehigh teaching and service recognition as well as Drexel University's Distinguished Alumni Lectureship, a fellowship from the Japan Society for Promotion of Science, honorary membership in the Brazilian Society of Structural Engineers, and a best paper award from ASCE Journal of Architectural Engineering.

Dr. Pessiki has experience at a variety of prestigious schools. He was a visiting professor at Purdue University, post-doctoral associate and research assistant at Cornell University, and visiting assistant professor at Syracuse University. Prior to his career in higher education, Dr. Pessiki worked as a structural engineer for the architectural firm Kling-Lindquist Inc., which has since evolved into Kling Stubbins. He is a member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and The Masonry Society. He is also a member of Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon.

 

Teaching and Service

Since 1990, Dr. Pessiki has taught a wide array of undergraduate and graduate courses in structural engineering, structural design, materials, nondestructive evaluation of materials and structures, and condition evaluation of structures. A dedicated teacher, Dr. Pessiki has taught thousands of students in a career that spans more than 25 years. He was awarded the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science Teaching Excellence Award in 2007; the College of Engineering and Applied Science Teaching Excellence Award in 1997;  the Lehigh Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1996; and was a finalist for the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching (Lehigh University’s highest recognition for distinguished teaching) in 1993. In 2002, he was recognized as a distinguished educator by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. His undergraduate institution, Drexel University, recognized him with a Distinguished Alumni Lectureship in 2005.

From 2005 through 2011 Dr. Pessiki served as chair of Lehigh’s department of civil and environmental engineering (CEE). During his tenure as chair, CEE improved its U.S. News and World Report departmental ranking from 31 to 19 out of 141 doctoral-degree-granting programs nationwide; created a new, professional masters program in structural engineering that served as the template for several subsequent programs in Lehigh’s P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science; achieved an inaugural, 6-year accreditation of CEE’s new B.S. in environmental engineering degree program; relocated all environmental and geotechnical engineering research laboratories to the newly constructed STEPS building; completed a major overhaul renovation of the environmental and geotechnical engineering teaching laboratories in Fritz Engineering Laboratory; and maintained annual research expenditures of approximately $8M.

Dr. Pessiki currently serves as a senior faculty adviser in Lehigh’s Office of International Affairs, where he assists with several initiatives. He has developed two new international internship programs for Lehigh undergraduates in China and Malaysia.

Outside of Lehigh, Dr. Pessiki is an avid painter, referees youth ice hockey, and serves on the Committee on Science & the Arts at the Franklin Institute.

 

Selected Publications

Keller, W., Pessiki, S., “Effect of Earthquake-induced Damage on the Sidesway Response of Steel Moment-frame Buildings during Fire Exposure, accepted to Earthquake Spectra, 2013.

Perez, F.J., Pessiki, S., Sause, R., “Experimental Lateral Load Response of Unbonded Post-tensioned Precast Concrete Walls,” ACI Structural Journal, Vol. 110, No. 6, November-December 2013, pp. 1045-1055.

Pessiki, S., Bayreuther, J., “Analytical Investigation of Vehicle Fires in Precast Concrete Parking Structures,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 58, No. 3, Summer 2013, pp.111-123.

Okasha, N., Pessiki, S., “Restraint Mechanisms in Precast Concrete Double-tee Floor Systems Subjected to Fire,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 58, No. 3, Summer 2013, pp. 95-110.

Keller, W.J., Pessiki, S., “Effect of Earthquake-induced Damage to Spray-Applied Fire-resistive Insulation on the Response of Steel Moment-frame Beam-column Connections During Fire Exposure,” Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2012, pp. 271–299.

Braxtan, N.L., Pessiki, S., “Post-Earthquake Fire Performance of Sprayed Fire Resistive Material on Steel Moment Frames,” Journal of Structural Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 137, No. 9, September 2011, pp. 946-953.

Braxtan, N.L., Pessiki, S., “Bond Performance of SFRM on Steel Plates Subjected to Tensile Yielding,” Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, Vol. 21, No. 1, February 2011, pp. 37-55.

Trautner, C., McGinnis, M., Pessiki, S., “Application of the Incremental Core Drilling Method to Determine In-Situ Stresses in Concrete,” Materials Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 108, No. 3, May-June 2011, pp. 290-299.

Lee, B.J., Pessiki, S., “Revised Zone Method R-value Calculation for Precast Concrete Sandwich Panels Containing Metal Wythe Connectors,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 53, No. 5, September-October 2008, pp. 86-100.

Lee, B.J., Pessiki, S., “Experimental Evaluation of Precast Prestressed Concrete Three-Wythe Sandwich Wall Panels,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 53, No. 2, March-April 2008, pp. 95-115.

Lee, B.J., Pessiki, S., “Design and Analysis of Precast Prestressed Concrete Three-Wythe Sandwich Wall Panels,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 52, No. 4, July-August 2007, pp. 70-83.

Perez, F. J., Sause, R., and Pessiki, S., "Analytical and Experimental Lateral Load Behavior of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Precast Concrete Walls," Journal of Structural Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 133 No. 11, pp. 1531-1540, November 2007.

McGinnis, M.J., Pessiki, S., “Differential Shrinkage Effects in the Core-Drilling Method,” Magazine of Concrete Research, Vol. 59, No. 3, 155-164, 2007.

McGinnis, M.J., Pessiki, S., “Water Induced Swelling Displacements in the Core-Drilling Method,” ACI Materials Journal, Vol. 104, No. 1, 13-22, 2007.

Ozevin, D., Greve, D.W., Oppenheim, I.J., Pessiki, S., “Resonant Capacitive MEMS Acoustic Emission Transducers,” Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 15, 2006, pp. 1863-1871.

Thompson, J., Pessiki, S., “Experimental Investigation of Precast, Prestressed Inverted Tee Girders with Large Web Openings,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 51, No. 6, November-December 2006, pp. 32-47.

Lee, B.J., Pessiki, S., “Thermal Performance Evaluation of Precast Concrete Three-wythe Sandwich Wall Panels,” Energy and Buildings, Vol. 38, Issue 8, August 2006, pp. 1006-1014.

Lee, B.J., Pessiki, S., “Analytical Investigation of the Thermal Performance of Precast Concrete Three-wythe Sandwich Wall Panels,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 49, No. 4, July-August 2004, pp. 88-101.

Perez, F.J., Pessiki, S., Sause, R., “Seismic Design of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Precast Walls with Vertical Joint Connections,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 49, No. 1, January-February 2004, pp. 58-79.

Pessiki, S., Mlynarczyk, A., “Experimental Evaluation of the Composite Behavior of Precast Concrete Sandwich Wall Panels,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 48, No. 2, March-April 2003, pp. 54-71.

Kurama, Y., Sause, R., Pessiki, S., Lu, L.W., “Seismic Response Evaluation of Unbonded Post-tensioned Precast Concrete Walls,” Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 99, No. 5, September-October 2002, pp. 641-651.

Pessiki, S., Graybeal, B., Mudlock, M., “Proposed Design of High Strength Spiral Reinforcement in Compression Members,” Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 98, No. 6, November-December 2001, pp. 799-810.

Pessiki, S., Harries, K.A., Kestner, J.T., Sause, R., Ricles, J.M., “Axial Behavior of Concrete Confined with Fiber Reinforced Composite Jackets,” Journal of Composites in Construction, American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 5 No. 4, 2001, pp. 237‑245.

Pessiki, S., Graybeal, B.A., “Axial Load Tests of Concrete Compression Members with High Strength Spiral Reinforcement,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 45, No. 2, March-April 2000, pp. 64-80.

El-Sheikh, M.T., Pessiki, S., Sause, R., Lu, L.W., “Moment-Rotation behavior of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Precast Concrete Beam-Column Connections,” Structural Journal, American
Concrete Institute, Vol. 97, No. 1, January-February 2000, pp. 122-131.

Kurama, Y.C., Sause, R., Pessiki, S., and Lu, L.W., "Lateral Load Behavior and Seismic Design of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Precast Concrete Walls," Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 96, No. 4, July-August 1999, pp. 622-632.

El-Sheikh, M.T., Sause, R., Pessiki, S., Lu, L.W., “Seismic Behavior of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Precast Concrete Frames,” PCI  Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 44, No. 3, May-June 1999, pp.54-71.   

Kurama, Y.C., Pessiki, S., Sause, R., and Lu, L.W., “Seismic Behavior and Design of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Precast Concrete Walls,” PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 44, No. 3, May-June 1999, pp. 72-89.

Pessiki, S., van Zyverden, W., Sause, R., Slaughter, E. S., "Proposed Concepts for Floor Framing Systems for Precast Concrete Office Buildings," PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 42, No. 5, September-October 1997, pp. 66-76.

Slaughter, S., Sause, R., Pessiki, S., "Development of a Framework for Structural Floor Framing Systems to Accommodate Nonstructural Requirements,” Journal of Architectural Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 3, No. 3, September 1997, pp. 109-117.

Pessiki, S., Rowe, M., "Influence of Steel Reinforcing Bars on the Evaluation of Early-Age Concrete Strength Using the Impact-Echo Method," Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 94, No. 4, July-August 1997, pp. 378-388.

Pessiki, S., Pieroni, A., "Axial Load Behavior of Large-Scale Spirally-Reinforced High-Strength Concrete Columns," Structural Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 94, No. 3, May-June 1997, pp. 304-314.

Pessiki, S., Kaczinski, M., Wescott, H., "Evaluation of Effective Prestress Force in 28-Year Old Prestressed Concrete Bridge Beams," PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 41, No. 6, November-December 1996, pp. 78-89.

Pessiki, S., Prior, R., Sause, R., Slaughter, S., van Zyverden, W., "Assessment of Existing Precast Concrete Floor Framing Systems," PCI Journal, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 40, No. 2, March-April 1995, pp. 70-83.

Pessiki, S., Johnson, M., "Nondestructive Evaluation of Early-Age Concrete Strength in Plate Structures by the Impact-Echo Method," Materials Journal, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 93, No. 3, May-June 1996, pp. 260-271.

Education

Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University
B.S., Civil Engineering, with Honors, Drexel University