generic speaker image
Lauren Stewart - Georgia Tech College of Engineering. Atlanta, GA, US

Lauren Stewart

Associate Professor, Director of Structural Engineering/Materials Laboratory, Civil Engineering | Georgia Tech College of Engineering


Lauren Stewart is considered by many to be among the top blast researchers in the US.






Georgia Dome Implosion The Uncommon Engineer: Boom Goes the Dynamite




Dr. Lauren K. Stewart, a renowned expert in blast research, comes to Georgia Tech from the University of California, San Diego, where she earned her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in structural engineering and was a postdoctoral scholar and lecturer. She is also a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow and holds a P.E. license.

Stewart has been involved with many blast and earthquake experimental projects, including blast testing of steel structural columns, steel stud wall systems, and high performance concrete panels using the UCSD blast simulator. She has also conducted advanced finite element analysis for the World Trade Center 7, AFRL Munitions Directorate small munitions program and programs supported by the Technical Support Working Group. She is considered by many to be among the top blast researchers in the US, and has served as a senior blast engineering consultant to a number of organizations since 2007.

Stewart also serves as the director of the School's 18,000-square-foot Structural Engineering and Materials Laboratory.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Computational Mechanics

Mechanical Shock/Impact

Blast Engineering

Hazard Engineering

Selected Accomplishments (5)

Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellow


Bill Schutz Junior Faculty Teaching Award


National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow


National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention


Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center Undergraduate Scholar


Education (3)

University of California, San Diego: Ph.D., Structural Engineering 2010

University of California, San Diego: M.S. 2006

University of California, San Diego: B.S., Structural Engineering 2004

Selected Media Appearances (4)

Italy bridge collapse: Search for bodies continues as authorities seeks answers

WXYZ Detroit  online


Lauren Stewart, director of the Structural Engineering and Materials Laboratory at Georgia Tech University, told CNN that there could be issues with maintenance, explaining that there are a "huge number of bridges and infrastructure in general that's reaching this end-of-service life," as was the case with the Morandi Bridge...

view more

Georgia dome demolition wakes up Atlanta

Georgia Tech News Center  online


School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Lauren Stewart, one of the country's leading blast experts, watched it happen from about 600 feet away. "We saw the different detonation points go off, heard the blasts and saw the structure come down. That’s how it’s supposed to go, and it looks like it went pretty much as planned," Stewart said.

view more

What was burning under the I-85 overpass?

11Alive News  online


Dr. Lauren Stewart, an engineering professor at Georgia Tech, said that it doesn't combust easily, "but if under high temperature environment, it can combust and I believe it burns relatively hot.”

view more

I-85 collapse likely caused by softened steel, overheated concrete

WSB Atlanta  online


"This definitely was not a typical event. You don't see this happening very often in our world. It's something we can learn from, and try to improve safety," Georgia Tech engineering professor Lauren Stewart said. Stewart said it will probably take several months for the highway to be rebuilt, but added there is reason to be thankful...

view more

Selected Articles (5)

Ballistic Performance of Cross-laminated Timber (CLT)

International Journal of Impact Engineering

K Sanborn, TR Gentry, Z Koch, A Valkenburg, C Conley, LK Stewart

2019 Cross-laminated Timber (CLT) is a relatively new building material that has gained recent attention in the United States construction industry. CLT is a prefabricated, engineered wood product, composed of three or more plies of lumber with alternating ply directions. CLT is relatively strong and stiff, with the potential to meet the requirements for structures that are subjected to a variety of loading conditions. While CLT’s response to static, dynamic (i.e., seismic), and fire loads has been characterized in the past, its response to the loads seen in force protection scenarios (i.e., blast or ballistic) is much less understood.

view more

High-g Shock Acceleration Measurement Using Martlet Wireless Sensing System

Sensors and Instrumentation, Aircraft/Aerospace and Energy Harvesting, Volume 8

Xi Liu, Xinjun Dong, Yang Wang, Lauren Stewart, Jacob Dodson, Bryan Joyce

2018 This paper reports the latest development of a wireless sensing system, named Martlet, on high-g shock acceleration measurement. The Martlet sensing node design is based on a Texas Instruments Piccolo microcontroller, with clock frequency programmable up to 90 MHz. The high clock frequency of the microcontroller enables Martlet to support high-frequency data acquisition and high-speed onboard computation. In addition, the extensible design of the Martlet node conveniently allows incorporation of multiple sensor boards. In this study, a high-g accelerometer interface board is developed to allow Martlet to work with the selected microelectromechanical system (MEMS) high-g accelerometers. Besides low-pass and high-pass filters, amplification gains are also implemented on the high-g accelerometer interface board. Laboratory impact experiments are conducted to validate the performance of the Martlet wireless sensing system with the high-g accelerometer board. The results of this study show that the performance of the wireless sensing system is comparable to the cabled system.

view more

Analysis methods for CFRP blast retrofitted reinforced concrete wall systems

International Journal of Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements

GL Pezzola, LK Stewart, G Hegemier

2016 A blast retrofit technique for concrete structures using carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) layers was investigated for use in large infrastructure systems with the overarching goal of preventing against major loss of life and considerable damage that would require extensive repair. Large-scale experiments were conducted and the retrofit behavior was investigated for application on relatively large reinforced concrete walls subjected to blast-like loadings. The experimental program utilized the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Blast Simulator. The Blast Simulator is able to induce various blast-like shock waves to the test specimen in a controlled laboratory environment. The performance of this blast retrofit was tested and then analyzed using SDOF and finite element modeling methods. A finite element model was created using LS-DYNA and utilized contact algorithms for the CFRP-concrete interface. Results and comparisons between the two analysis methods are given.

view more

Dynamic Response of a Full-scale Reinforced Concrete Building Frame Retrofitted With FRP Column Jackets

Engineering Structures

Jiuk Shin, David W Scott, Lauren K Stewart, Chuang-Sheng Yang, Timothy R Wright, Reginald DesRoches


view more

Demonstration of tailored impact to achieve blast-like loading

International Journal of Impact Engineering

A Freidenberg, A Aviram, LK Stewart, D Whisler, H Kim, GA Hegemier


view more