Dr Abbie Liel smiling and resting her arms on a table
Associate Professor
Civil Environmental and Architectural Engineering

Abbie is an Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She earned undergraduate degrees in Civil Engineering, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, at Princeton University. She started her graduate studies in the United Kingdom on a Marshall Scholarship, where she received a M.Sc. in Civil Engineering and a M.Sc. in Building and Urban Design and Development. Abbie did her Ph.D. at Stanford University, under the guidance of Professor Gregory Deierlein, focusing on collapse risk of older non-ductile concrete frame structures.  At CU, Abbie has worked on problems related to seismic safety of concrete buildings, snow loads on structures, earthquake-induced liquefaction and mitigation strategies, induced seismicity, and diversity and inclusion in the structural engineering profession.  She has been the recipient of the Shah Family Innovation Prize from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and recently received the College of Engineering’s Charles A. Hutchinson Memorial Teaching Award.

Research Interests

  • Seismic collapse performance prediction of structures and structural systems

  • Building code provisions for extreme loads, such as earthquakes or snow

  • Nonlinear modeling of structures, particularly non-ductile reinforced concrete

  • Propagation of modeling and design uncertainties in structural performance assessments

  • Life safety risks and economic losses associated with extreme loading

  • Earthquake performance of housing and schools internationally


  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 2008

  • M.Sc., Building and Urban Design and Development, University College London, 2004

  • M.Sc., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University College London, 2003

  • B.S.E., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, 2002

Honors and Awards

  • Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering Teaching Award, 2013

  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2012

  • CU IMPART (Implementation of Multicultural Perspectives and Approaches in Research and Teaching) Faculty Fellowship Award, 2012

  • Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering Young Researcher Award, 2011

  • Recognized as “Next Generation Hazards and Disaster Researcher,” 2009

  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship, 2006

  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship, 2004

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2004

  • Marshall Scholar, 2002

Recent Publications

Venable, Casie, Javernick-Will, Amy, and Liel, Abbie B. Perceptions of Post-Disaster Housing Safety in Future Typhoons and Earthquakes. Sustainability, 12, 3837. 2020.

Liu, Taojun, Nicolas Luco, and Abbie B. Liel. Increases in Life-Safety Risks from Induced Earthquakes in the Central United States. Earthquake Spectra. In Press. 2019.

Valigura, Jakub, Abbie B. Liel, and Petros Sideris. Risk-Based Assessment of Seismic Repair Costs for Reinforced Concrete Bridges, Considering Competing Repair Strategies. Journal of Bridge Engineering. Accepted and In Press. 2019.

Robert E. Chase, Abbie B. Liel, Nicolas Luco, and Bridger W. Baird. Seismic Loss and Damage in Light-frame Wood Buildings from Sequences of Induced Earthquakes. Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics. Accepted. 2019.

Paramasivam, Balaji, Shideh Dashti and Abbie B. Liel. Impact of Spatial Variations in Permeability of Liquefiable Deposits on the Seismic Performance of Structures and Effectiveness of Drains. ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. Accepted and In Press. 2019.

Bullock, Zach, Shideh Dashti, Abbie B. Liel, Keith A. Porter, and Zana Karimi. Assessment Supporting the Use of Outcropping Rock, Evolutionary Intensity Measures for Prediction of Liquefaction Consequences on Structures. Earthquake Spectra. Accepted and In Press. 2019.