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Delatte selected as Fulbright U.S. Scholar focusing on improving structural safety in Italy and US

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Media Contact: Kristi Wheeler | Manager, CEAT marketing and Communications | 405-744-5831 |

Dr. Norb Delatte — M.R. Lohmann Endowed Professor and Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology — has received a 2024-25 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to teach and conduct research in Naples, Italy. 

In spring 2025, Delatte will travel to the University of Naples Federico II to teach a graduate course on nondestructive evaluation, which uses tools to "see inside" materials and structures to examine hidden features and flaws. Additionally, Delatte will conduct research about structural performance and vulnerability assessments of masonry and concrete buildings and bridges, which provides vital benefits for society. 

Dr. Norb Delatte
Dr. Norb Delatte, Head and M.R. Lohmann Professor of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The host university was founded by the Holy Roman Emperor Federico II and is 800 years old, one of the 10 oldest universities still operating. It's ranked as one of the top 200 universities in the world. 

“When built infrastructure fails, it is important to learn why and to share the information with engineers to improve public health, safety and welfare,” Delatte said. “However, to learn why something failed, it is important to carry out a systematic and thorough failure investigation. This information is vital to improve building codes, design procedures and construction processes. These investigations are often carried out by forensic engineers.”

Italy is subjected to significant natural hazards, particularly earthquakes and volcanoes. Italy also has many heritage structures dating back centuries or millennia that are vulnerable to earthquakes and other hazards, as well as limited funding to strengthen or repair them. Delatte’s research will make important contributions to the safety, resilience and sustainability of the built infrastructure in Italy, the U.S. and elsewhere.

“I hope to contribute to forensic engineering and engineering education in both Italy and the U.S. through this effort and also elevate the practice in both countries,” Delatte said. “I expect to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of actual practice in various international contexts. Furthermore, I look forward to bringing what I’ve learned back to my department at Oklahoma State University.” 

Delatte received a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from The Citadel, a Master of Science in civil engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Delatte served as an ABET Program evaluator since 2010 and a commissioner for the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) from 2016-21. He was elected for a three-year term on the EAC Executive Committee as a member-at-large, effective 2022. He was formerly the chair of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers Technical Council on Forensic Engineering, since renamed the Forensic Engineering Division. He was the chair of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Properties of Concrete and Constituent Materials from 2016-21.

He just completed a six-year term as the chair of American Concrete Institute (ACI) Committee 522 Pervious Concrete. He was the former chair of ACI Committee 325 Concrete Pavements; Committee 327 Roller Compacted Concrete Pavements; and ACI S803 Faculty Network. He served as secretary of ACI 522 Pervious Concrete and a member of several other ACI Committees.

Fulbright is the United States' first international cultural and educational exchange program intended to build mutual understanding between nations, advance knowledge across communities and improve lives around the world. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers opportunities for U.S. faculty (Ph.D. or terminal degree equivalent) and career professionals to teach courses, conduct research and complete special projects in over 135 countries worldwide.

Learn more about the Fulbright Program

Learn more about Dr. Delatte

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