Jamie Padgett named CEE department chair, effective July 1

Professor, who joined Rice in 2007, is faculty director of recently-launched Gulf Scholars Program at Rice.

Headshot of Jamie Padgett

Jamie Padgett, Stanley C. Moore Professor in Engineering, will become chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Rice, effective July 1, 2022.

She will succeed Phil Bedient, Herman Brown Professor of Engineering, who has served as chair since 2019. Padgett earned her Ph.D. in civil engineering from Georgia Tech in 2007 and joined the Rice faculty that year.

“I’m honored to serve as department chair with a group of outstanding faculty, staff and students,” Padgett said. “Rice CEE is poised to contribute major research innovations and prepare future leaders to address pressing challenges facing our nation related to infrastructure and climate change. It’s an exciting time for civil and environmental engineers.”

Padgett’s research focuses on risk assessment of structures and infrastructure exposed to multiple hazards, such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. She serves on the leadership of national research centers that advance resilience modeling for infrastructure and their surrounding communities.

Last year she was named a fellow of the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) and was founding chair of its technical committee on Multiple Hazard Mitigation. Padgett has received a 2011 NSF CAREER Award and the 2017 ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize. In 2019 she was named the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute’s Objective Resilience Distinguished Lecturer.

Padgett has published more than 200 articles in journals or archived conference proceedings in the field of structural response, reliability and life-cycle assessment. She is a member of several national technical committees within ASCE, including leadership of the Technical Council on Performance, Safety, Reliability and Risk of Structural Systems.

At Rice, she received the 2017 (T+R)2 Award for excellence in teaching and research. Padgett is the faculty director of the recently-launched Gulf Scholars Program at Rice, supported by the National Academies Gulf Research Program. She serves on editorial boards for several journals including the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, Natural Hazards Review, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, and Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics.

Padgett serves in leadership roles for several large national or regional research efforts, including the NIST-funded Center of Excellence for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning, the NSF-funded Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Cyberinfrastructure “DesignSafe-CI,” and the Severe Storm Prediction Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center at Rice.