Al-Qadi, Hashash named Grainger Distinguished Chairs of Engineering


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Imad Al-Qadi
Imad Al-Qadi

CEE at Illinois professors Imad L. Al-Qadi and Youssef M A Hashash have been named Grainger Distinguished Chairs of Engineering. Named faculty appointments are awarded in recognition of faculty excellence and prominence in research, teaching and service. The Grainger Distinguished Chairs in Engineering are made possible by the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative, the result of a $100 million investment in the Grainger College of Engineering.

Al-Qadi is the Director of the Illinois Center for Transportation, the Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory, and the Smart Transportation Infrastructure Initiative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been on the CEE at Illinois faculty since 2004.

Al-Qadi has expertise in a wide variety of topics falling under the broad umbrella of transportation engineering. Some of his teaching, research and consulting interests include pavement materials, sustainability and life-cycle assessment, highway and airfield pavement mechanics and advanced modeling, autonomous and conceded vehicles and trucks, truck platooning, and forensic engineering and arbitration. He developed numerous AASHTO standards and tools, including the widely used Illinois Flexibility Index Test. In 2010, he was elected as ASCE Distinguished Member, the highest honor by ASCE.

“I’m honored to have been selected to represent the excellence that Grainger College of Engineering represents,” Al-Qadi said. “I credit this achievement to my hardworking friends, colleagues and students who have helped me in my career. I accept this honor on their behalf.”

Youssef Hashash
Youssef Hashash

Hashash joined the CEE faculty in 1998 where he teaches courses in geotechnical engineering, numerical modeling in geomechanics, geotechnical earthquake engineering, tunneling in soil and rock, and excavation and support systems.

Hashash’s research focus includes deep excavations and tunneling in urban areas, earthquake engineering, soil-structure interactions, and the resiliency and sustainability of built infrastructure. Hashash also works on geotechnical engineering applications involving deep learning, artificial intelligence, visualization, augmented reality, imaging and drone technologies. His research group developed the software program DEEPSOIL, which is used worldwide for the evaluation of soil response to earthquake shaking. His work on seismic design of underground structures is extensively used in engineering practice. He is the geotechnical co-leader of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-led investigation into the Champlain Towers South Collapse in Surfside, Fla. Hashash was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2022.

“I am deeply grateful for this honor and the recognition by the Grainger College of Engineering and the Grainger Breakthrough Initiative,” Hashash said. “This appointment will further support my pursuit of innovative solutions to physical infrastructure resilience under extreme events.”


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This story was published August 23, 2022.