Christine Beyzaei

Featured Alumni


Christine Beyzaei got a taste of engineering during high school and has never looked back. As a high school senior, she completed a year-long internship and research project at the U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center that allowed her to work with graduate students and professional engineers, introduced her to the "real world" of science and engineering, and confirmed her decision to study engineering in college. 

She enrolled in the civil engineering program at GW in 2005 and immediately made it her home for the next four years.  "One of the best parts about GW was living in the Engineering Living and Learning Community during my freshman year," says Christine. "I got to know some of my CEE classmates and SEAS students from other majors even before classes had started!  During lots of late night study and snacking sessions, we formed friendships that still continue years (and thousands of miles) later."

Christine credits the school and the CEE department with providing her a great place to begin her career as an engineer.  "The smaller class sizes and close-knit community encouraged cooperation and camaraderie among my classmates that continued to develop over the entire four-year program.  Our professors were incredibly approachable, devoting extra time and effort to ensure our understanding and success," she says.

During her time at GW, Christine was very active.  She participated in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates, and did an internship at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Bethesda, MD.  She also was active in Tau Beta Pi and in the steel bridge competition for GW's chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

A dedicated student, Christine received a number of awards and honors at GW including the GW Freudenthal Prize (2009), the GW Benjamin C. Cruickshanks Award (2009), the GW Outstanding Academic Achievement Citation (2007 – 2009),  the ASCE National Capital Section Scholarship Recipient (2008), and the ASCE National Capital Section Outstanding Senior Award (2009).

Christine graduated in 2009 with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and enrolled in UC Berkeley's master of science program in civil engineering.  She says that "the nine-month program built on the classes I'd taken at GW and provided a cohesive continuation of my studies in civil engineering."

After receiving her master's degree, she began working at a consulting firm in New York City, Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers.  During her three years with the firm, she gained both field and office experience (analysis, technical reports, budget development, proposal writing) working on a variety of large and small projects. 

4 students at graduation

In the fall of 2013, Christine returned to UC Berkeley to pursue a Ph.D. in civil engineering. During her time there, she performed field investigations and advanced laboratory testing in Christchurch, New Zealand to investigate liquefaction performance following the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence. She was also selected for NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI), conducted collaborative research with host faculty at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. Additionally, Christine received the EERI/FEMA-NEHRP Graduate Fellowship in Earthquake Hazard Reduction.

After completing her PhD, Christine worked as a practicing engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area on projects related to geotechnical engineering, earthquake engineering, critical infrastructure, lifeline systems, and failure investigations.

In December 2021, she moved from industry back to research and joined the Earthquake Engineering Group in the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).


Professional organization activities:

  • ASCE
    • Steering Committee member of Innovative Technologies and Tools in Geotechnical Engineering Committee
  • EERI
    • Co-Chair - Safety, Advocacy, and Messaging Subcommittee of School Earthquake Safety Initiative 
    • Lecturer - Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program
    • 2021 Younger Member Award
  • GEER
    • Advisory panel member of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association and served previously as GEER Recorder.  
    • On GEER reconnaissance teams following the 2018 Anchorage, Alaska earthquake and the 2014 South Napa, California earthquake. 
    • Supported post-event research investigations following the 2011 Mineral, Virginia earthquake.