Shay Abtahi, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept

Pronouns: she, her, hers


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept
6-215 Donadeo Innovation Centre For Engineering
9211 116 St
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5


Area of Study / Keywords

Structural Engineering Uncertainty Analysis Resilience Performance-based Engineering Infrastructure Risk Computational Modeling


My name is Shaghayegh Abtahi, but since my first name (pronounced as "ʃəˈɡaɪjɛɡ") is quite the tongue-twister, feel free to call me Shay! It fills me with immense joy to introduce myself as the first and, up until this moment, the only female faculty member of the Structures group in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Fuelled by an unwavering passion for innovative engineering, I relish the opportunity to push boundaries, challenge conventions, and create groundbreaking solutions. Every day, I am driven by my commitment to excellence and my deep desire to inspire the next generation of engineers, especially women and other underrepresented minorities. Together, let's shape a future where ingenuity knows no bounds!


  • Ph.D., Structural Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, 2022.
  • M.Sc., Structural Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, 2016.
  • B.Sc., Civil Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, 2014.

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, May 2023 - Present.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, November 2022 - April 2023.
  • Structural Engineer, Parsjooyab Consulting Engineering Company, Esfahan, Iran, June 2016 - August 2017.


Developing resilient and sustainable infrastructure systems to meet the needs of present and future generations is a global priority. With the emergence of climate change, infrastructure systems are increasingly vulnerable to deterioration from aggressive environmental stressors. Improving the condition and performance of infrastructure and building systems is a key concern for the next-generation built environment, focusing on hazard- and climate-resilience. Toward developing resilient infrastructure and building systems, my research program aims to establish new tools and knowledge for rational risk-informed decision-making. This innovative engineering approach incorporates advanced computational modeling, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and a comprehensive understanding of risk and uncertainty, which aims to revolutionize the field and create a more resilient and sustainable built environment. Accordingly, my research interests include:

  • Advanced mechanics-based computational modeling for resilient infrastructure
  • ML-powered physics-based modeling 
  • AI-assisted infrastructure inventory modeling
  • Risk and uncertainty analysis for infrastructure systems under natural hazards
  • Damage identification and condition assessment
  • Post-disaster functionality of resilient infrastructural systems using digital twins
  • Probabilistic performance evaluation of structures
  • Performance-based design in Structural and Earthquake Engineering


I enthusiastically invite applications from prospective graduate students and visiting scholars with a robust background in a range of fields, including but not limited to advanced mechanics-based computational modeling, risk and uncertainty analysis, performance-based engineering, resilience, and artificial intelligence. Embracing diversity and inclusion is a core value of my research group, and I especially encourage applications from underrepresented minority groups. Your unique experiences and insights will be highly valued as a member of our team. If you are passionate about contributing to cutting-edge research and making a positive impact in your field, please email me your application, including your CV and research interests. Highly motivated undergraduate and M.Eng. students seeking valuable research experience are also warmly welcome to send their applications.