University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


College Adds National Academy Member


Erin D. McKenzie

Surendra P. Shah, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University, this spring joined faculty at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering as a visiting professor.

During his yearlong appointment, Shah will travel back and forth between UH and Northwestern. While in Houston, he will be focused on engaging researchers across engineering disciplines and colleges in collaborations furthering the development of more durable, greener materials that help address the country’s aging infrastructure.

“One of the challenges facing our nation as we enter the next century is rehabilitating our infrastructure,” said Shah, during a recent trip to UH. “A better understanding of concrete and the development of stronger, tougher and more durable cement-like materials can make a substantial contribution to quality of life and contribute to the success of U.S. industry.”

As director of the National Science Foundation funded Center for Advanced Cement-Based Materials at Northwestern, Shah is doing pioneering work in everything from high-performance concrete to fiber reinforced cement-based composites.

Decades as a researcher and educator have earned him one of the highest honors bestowed upon an engineer—membership in the National Academy of Engineering’s Civil Engineering Section for his work on advanced cement-based materials and for promoting interdisciplinary research as well as education on concrete materials.

In addition, he is a fellow of the Indian Academy of Engineering and was recently named to the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He is also a member of the editorial boards of numerous journals, has authored more than 400 publications and is co-author of three books.

Shah earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from India’s Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya Engineering College, Lehigh University and Cornell University, respectively.

Since 1981 he has served as a member of Northwestern’s engineering faculty.


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