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Headshot photo of Hessam Yazdani

Hessam Yazdani (He/His)

Associate Professor

  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, CEA
  • College of Engineering and Architecture (CEA)


Dr. Yazdani is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and the director of the Sustainable Infrastructure, Geotechnics, and Materials (SIGMa) Research Lab at Howard University.

Dr. Yazdani specializes in geotechnical engineering, experimental and computational materials science (particularly polymer nanocomposites), reliability analysis, machine learning, and optimization. His multidisciplinary research centers on fostering sustainability and resilience in civil and marine infrastructure through addressing the geotechnical aspects of renewable energy systems, designing high-performance and multifunctional materials (e.g. for self-monitoring structures), incorporating risk assessment, sustainability, and optimization into the design of geotechnical and structural systems, and estimating the performance of engineering systems using machine learning techniques.

Dr. Yazdani has (co)authored over 50 publications in books, journals, conference proceedings, and reports and has received several competitive international and national awards, including the NSF CAREER Award, the DURIP Award from The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the 2013 DFI Best Student Paper Award in Phoenix, AZ and an ASTM International Project Grant in 2013.

Dr. Yazdani currently serves as the advisor to the ASCE HU Student Chapter and is the recipient of "The 2022 Faculty of the Year," "The 2022 Advisor of the Year," “The 2019 Faculty of the Year,” “The 2017 Best Mentor,” and “The 2017 Best Teacher” awards of the Chapter.

At Howard, Dr. Yazdani has taught several undergraduate and graduate courses, including Introduction to Engineering, Soil Mechanics, Foundations, Engineering Economics, Undergraduate Research, Civil Engineering Software and Design, Senior Design, Advanced Geotechnical Engineering, SEMINAR - FE/EIT Preparation Review (Geotechnical), Research Methods, Interdisciplinary Advanced Research I and II, and Special Topics Geotech. I and II. At other institutions, Dr. Yazdani has taught Statics, Mechanics of Materials, Design of Steel Structures, and Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures.

Dr. Yazdani has a strong record of accomplishments in working and publishing with undergraduate, underrepresented, and female students from different disciplines and preparing civil engineering undergraduate and graduate students to proactively contribute to solving the 21st century’s grand engineering challenges. His Undergraduate Research course has so far led to the publication/presentation of journal papers/posters from several undergraduate students.

Dr. Yazdani is a member of several organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, Deep Foundations Institute (DFI - Honorary Member), and North American Geosynthetics Society. He is a frequent reviewer of multiple prestigious journals, including Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Carbon, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, Computers and Geotechnics, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, and Applied Mathematical Modelling, among many others.

Education & Expertise


Civil/Geotechnical Engineering

The University of Oklahoma

Civil Engineering

University of Kerman, Iran

Civil Engineering

University of Kerman, Iran


Geotechnical Engineering

Design, Simulation, and Characterization of Polymer Nanocomposites

machine learning and metaheuristic Optimization



Soil Mechanics


Introduction to Engineering

Senior Design

Civil Engineering Software and Design

Engineering Economics

SEMINAR - FE/EIT Preparation Review (Geotechnical)

Undergraduate Research

Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Interdisciplinary Advanced Research I and II

Research Methods

Special Topics Geotech. I and II




High-performance, multifunctional materials; Geotechnical engineering

Group Information

Hamid Ghasemi, Ph.D. Candidate (Google Scholar)



The NSF CAREER Award, 2021

DURIP Award, The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), 2020

Faculty of the Year Award, Howard University ASCE Student Chapter, 2019

Invited Presenter, “Computational mathematics for model reduction and predictive modelling in molecular and complex systems” workshop, Bernoulli Center, (CIB), EPFL Lausanne, 2019

Best Paper Award, Technology Systems & Ships (TSS), Washington, DC, 2018

Best Mentor Award, Howard University ASCE Student Chapter, 2017

Best Teacher Award, Howard University ASCE Student Chapter, 2017

Best Paper Awardee, the 10th Annual Conference in Computer Science, Norman, OK, December 2014

Elected Member of the Civil Engineering Honor Society, Chi Epsilon (χε), 2014

Elected Member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (ΦΚΦ), 2013

ASTM International Project Grants Awardee, 2013

Honorary Member, the Deep Foundations Institute, since 2013

Best Paper Award/Grand Prize Winner, the DFI Educational Trust 2013 Student Paper Competition

Third place for the GeoWall design paper in GeoChallenge 2012 Student Competition - GeoCongress 2012, Oakland, CA, March 2012

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