Michele Barbato

Michele Barbato is a professor of structural engineering and structural mechanics in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis. He is also co-director and co-founder of the UC Davis Climate Adaptation Research Center. He received his summa cum laude “laurea” degree in civil engineering from the Sapienza University of Rome (Rome, Italy) in 2002, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in structural engineering in 2005 and 2007, respectively, at the University of California, San Diego. He is a licensed professional engineer, or PE, in Louisiana and Italy.

Barbato is an expert in both traditional and innovative construction methodologies and materials, with particular emphasis on new recycled and green materials. His research includes modeling, analysis and design of structural and infrastructure systems subject to earthquake, wind, storm surge and wildfire hazards. He is active in the development of performance-based methodologies in earthquake, wind and hurricane engineering, as well as in multihazard applications. Barbato’s research also embraces nonlinear finite element modeling and analysis of structural systems, random vibration theory, structural reliability analysis, multihazard assessment and mitigation under current and changing climate conditions, and life cycle cost optimization of resilient and sustainable structures subject to multiple hazards. His research aims to develop safer, economic and more rational design procedures, accounting for natural and human-made hazards, which support the development of sustainable infrastructures and more resilient communities under current and changing climate conditions.

His research, teaching and service activities have a strong focus on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion principles.

Barbato is the author of more than 200 technical publications and the co-inventor of a fluorogypsum-based green concrete. He received the 2007 ICASP10 Overseas Student Scholarship, the 2009 ASCE Moisseiff Award, the 2011 European Association of Structural Dynamics Junior Research Prize, the ISSE-12 Best Paper Award for Young Experts, the 2020 ASCE Sacramento Section Fredrick Panhost Structural Engineer Award and the 2020 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, as well as several teaching and service awards. He was elected a fellow of the Structural Engineering Institute and the Engineering Mechanics Institute in 2019, and a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2021.

Barbato served as the chair of the ASCE EMI Dynamics Committee in 2017–20 and of the ASCE SEI Multihazard Mitigation Committee in 2018–21, and is currently the chair of the ASCE SEI Performance Based Design of Structures Committee. He is a member of the ASCE Committee on Climate Intelligence in Codes and Standards, a member of the ASCE Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate, an associate member of the ASCE 7-22 Wind Loads Subcommittee, and a member of the EMI Board of Governors.

Research Thrusts

Research Areas



  • UC Davis | Civil and Environmental Engineering