Meet Dr. Doeun Choe, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at NMSU

By Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

Dr. Doeun Choe, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, NMSU

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Doeun Choe, who recently joined NMSU’s Department of Civil Engineering. Dr. Choe joins us from Prairie View A&M University where she was an Assistant Professor for seven years conducting research on data-informed modeling including Probabilistic Modeling, Reliability and Uncertainty Quantification as well as Machine Learning in bridge design and offshore wind turbines. Prior to that, she worked for five years as a structural engineer in the industry in Houston, Texas where she was engaged in structural analyses and design of blast-resistant buildings, nuclear plants, and other structures.

Question: Welcome to NMSU Dr. Choe! What courses are you teaching this semester?

Thank you! I’m excited to be here. I have no teaching assignment in this semester, but my favorite undergraduate course to teach is Steel Design. My favorite graduate course is Applied Data Science in Civil Engineering (I: Machine Learning & II: Deep Learning).

Question: What are your career plans at NMSU?

My short-term goal is to establish new theories in Structural Engineering that have lately been enabled due to the recent application of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning/deep learning. This includes merging some of AI techniques into the existing structural engineering theories mathematically and computationally.

My long-term plan is to advance knowledge and educate students in uncertainty, risk, and reliability within the human-built environments and enhance the resilience of structures such as buildings, bridges, and other facilities that support human’s basic and critical needs. These include the improvement of the structural safety subject to natural and man-made hazards as well as the aging of the structures. I would like to make NMSU’s Civil Engineering program a nationally recognized program at the forefront of AI in Civil Engineering. Students graduating from this program should be known as engineers strong in the data science and future technology.

Question: Does your research lend itself to collaboration with researchers in other disciplines? If so, which disciplines? Computer Science? Physics? Others?

All of them. My immediate collaborators would be from Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering (I will be helpful to them), and Computer Science (They are going to be helpful to me). However, researchers from any engineering discipline dealing with uncertainties in systems, having large data accumulated but unused or don’t know what to do with them would be great candidates. I always look for data. I can do many things if there are data, the larger the better.  

Question: What about social sciences?

Yes, and I am always looking for social scientists interested in the collaborating with engineers. My brain performs the best when the research contributes to solving social issues. In addition to structural damage, natural/man-made threats always have social implications. These hazards include earthquakes, hurricanes, and terrorist acts, among others. Social impact is sometimes measured in terms of cost, which includes cost from the structural damage. I’m interested in incorporating measures to reduce social impact in the design of structures to protect “people,” not just reduce structural damage as a cost cutting measure. This certainly requires collaborations with social science.

Dr. Choe received her Ph.D. in 2007 in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University where she wrote her dissertation on Seismic Fragility Estimates of Deteriorating RC bridges. She also earned a B.S. and an M.S. in Architectural Engineering with an emphasis on Structural Engineering from Inha University, South Korea.

She is currently serving as a member of multiple ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) technical committees including Structural Fire Protection and Life-Cycle Performance, Safety, Reliability and Risk of Structural Systems. She is also a STEM NOVA mentor of Boy Scouts of America and has served as a Lego Robotics Group coach and a catechist at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church.

Dr. Choe can be reached at dchoe@nmsu.edu.


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