Usama El Shamy, Ph.D.

Dr Usama El Shamy

Usama El Shamy, Ph.D.

Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering 

Office Location: Embrey 301k


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  • Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Aug. 2004.
  • M.S. Civil Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt, August 1996.
  • B.S. Civil Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt, June 1991.


Dr. El Shamy’s expertise is in multiscale computational modeling of geotechnical systems. Extensive effort is being carried out using state-of-the-art computational modeling techniques to provide a scenario-based predication tool of the impact of severe loading conditions on geotechnical systems. These include stability analyses of earthen dams and levees subjected to earthquakes and intense rainstorms. It also enables analyzing phenomena such as scour around bridge piers and coastal erosion induced by wave action or tidal currents. Dr. El Shamy’s work extends to incorporate major research facilities and web-based gaming in undergraduate engineering education.

Dr. El Shamy’s research has been mainly funded by the National Science Foundation and The US Army Corps of Engineers. Dr. El Shamy served as a PI or Co-PI on grants totaling over $2 million. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. Dr. El Shamy serves as the Associate Editor of the ASCE International Journal of Geomechanics since 2023.

Honors and Awards

  • Bronze Winner in the Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Competition for the project ‘Integration of Major Research Instrumentation in Undergraduate Engineering Education at Remote Campuses’, Reimagine Education 2015 Conference, Philadelphia, PA, 7-9 Dec. 2015.
  • Best of Session Award, ASCE Texas Section 2008 Fall Meeting for the paper “Micromechanical Model for Ultimate Side Resistance of Piles in Rock,” Proceedings, the ASCE Fall Meeting, Dallas, TX, October 1-4, 2008.
  • ExCEEd Fellowship Award, ASCE, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, July 13-18, 2008.
  • Recipient of the Bedford Prize for Outstanding Research in Civil Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, May 2005.
  • Academic honors: Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt, June 1991.




  • Mechanics of Granular Materials

  • Structural Performance Modifiers

  • Fluid-Soil-Structure Interaction

  • Geothermal Energy

  • Undergraduate Engineering Education

Recent Publications

  • Karimipetanlar, M., El Shamy, U., Kalfas, K., and Makris, N. (2023). “Numerical Simulations of Particle Behavior and Crushing within a Pressurized Sand Damper Subjected to Cyclic Loading,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, DOI: 10.1061/JENMDT/EMENG-7365.

  • Kalfas, K., Makris, N., and El Shamy, U. (2023). “Assessment of the Effect of Design Parameters of Pressurized Sand-Dampers from Component Testing,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE, 149(10), 04023072.

  • Khamiss, A., and El Shamy, U. (2023). “Discrete-Element Method Simulations of the Seismic Response of Tunnels in Deep Granular Deposit,” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 172, 108012.

  • Sabi, E., El Shamy, U., and Makris, N. (2023). “Numerical Simulation of the Force Output of a Pressurized Sand Damper under Cyclic Loading,” Journal of Sound and Vibration, 553, 117666.

  • Sizkow, S.F., and El Shamy, U. (2022). “Seismic Response Analysis of Submerged Slopes using Coupled SPH-DEM Scheme,” International Journal of Geomechanics, (ASCE),