Shamim Pakzad takes on new role as of July 1

Shamim Pakzad, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named interim chair of Lehigh's CEE department, effective July 1, 2020. 

Pakzad, a renowned scholar in structural engineering who joined Lehigh’s faculty in 2008 and has served as the CEE department’s director of graduate studies since 2017, says he is looking forward to taking on this new role.

“My priority this year is to make sure the civil and environmental engineering department continues its tradition of excellence in education and research despite the uncertainties caused by the pandemic," Pakzad says. “This is a challenging time, but thanks to a truly exceptional faculty, dedicated staff, and outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, we will come out of this unprecedented period stronger than ever.”

Associate professor Paolo Bocchini, a leading voice in computational mechanics and probabilistic structural analysis, will serve as director of graduate studies for CEE, also beginning on July 1.

Pakzad takes the helm from Panayiotis “Panos” Diplas, a P.C. Rossin Professor of water resource engineering and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Diplas joined Lehigh’s faculty in 2013, following 25 years as a professor at Virginia Tech. He has authored more than 90 publications in refereed journals, more than 95 refereed conference papers, and 11 book contributions. He has also given numerous invited lectures, keynote addresses, and presentations. Having guided approximately 45 MS and PhD theses to completion and nine former students into academic positions around the world, Diplas plans to return his focus to research and teaching.

Pakzad’s research interest is in broad topics related to smart cities and data analytics for physical infrastructure systems. An expert in structural health monitoring, he has developed and studied wireless sensor networks and mobile sensors to monitor structures. Pakzad has published widely on these subjects in academic journals, technical reports, and conference proceedings.