Steven Glaser

Professor Steven Glaser has been a member of the faculty at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Berkeley since 1996, a faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 1997, and a research associate at the Intel Laboratory at Berkeley since 2002. He previously served as the Faculty Director for the CITRIS Intelligent Infrastructure Initiative.

In 2010 Glaser was named the first endowed TÜV-Süd Guest Professor at the Technical Institute of Munich (TUM), the finest technical institution in Germany. He is also a permanent Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies, TUM. The governing board of the Institute is comprised of internal and international members from science and industry, including two Nobel laureates. Amongst the first group of Fellows are UCB Prof. Leon Chua and MIT Prof. Gilbert Strang.

Prof. Glaser’s specialty is designing, making, and using sensors. His research covers a wide range of applications – from the first application of the Berkeley Mote to monitor the seismic safety of wood-frame houses, to measuring the seismic response of the Masada mountain in Israel, to measuring environmental and structural hazards at historical sites such as Dunhuang and Masada. He currently operates the largest ecological wireless network in the world, monitoring forest hydrology of snow melt and water balance in the Sierra Nevada.

Glaser also leads projects involving wave propagation from the pico- to mega-scale. The high-fidelity nanoseismic displacement sensors he develops, which are sensitive to ±1 pm displacement over a wide bandwidth, allow monitoring of laboratory earthquakes, particularly the laboratory examination the fundamental behavior of friction and fracture. Glaser is the team leader of the Transparent Earth experiment at the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) at the old Homestake gold mine in Lead, SD.

Perhaps the eclectic nature of Prof. Glaser’s work is due to his eclectic background. After high school he earned a BA in philosophy. During this time he entered the apprentice program of Local 77 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, became a journeyman, and then worked eight years as a driller. After a year working in Iraq, he began his engineering career as an undergraduate freshmen at The University of Texas, Austin.

Significant Recent Employment History

  • Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA., July 2005 – present.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA., April 2000 – June 2005
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA., January 1997 – March 2000.
  • Faculty Scientist, Energy Resources Dept., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1997 – present.
  • Intelligent Infrastructure theme leader, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, Feb., 2008 – present.
  • Research Associate, Intel Berkeley Laboratory, October 2001 – present.
  • Assistant Professor, Engineering Division, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO. Professor of Nondestructive Evaluation, January 1994 – December 1996.
  • Research Geotechnical Engineer, Structures Div., National Institute of Standards and Technology; Gaithersburg, MD, November, 1991 – December 1993.
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin. October 1990 – November 1991.
  • Graduate student, The University of Texas, Austin. September, 1984 – October 5, 1990.
  • Summer Technical Staff for TRW Inc., San Bernardino, CA., June 1984 – August 1984. Completed TBM utilization study as constructibility analyst for Deep Basing, special emphasis on tunnel lining design. Estimated cost and lining design of tunnels in rock.
  • Drilling and site supervisor for Western-Kharafi on large grain silo foundation project in Baquba, Iraq, October 1980 – July 1981. Responsibilities included training and supervising thirty-man local crew, drilling, site liaison with resident engineer and general contractor, procuring parts and equipment in Bagdad, and associated planning.
  • Driller and mechanic, Western Caisson, McKinney Drilling, 1975 – 1980.
  • Apprentice, Local 77, International Union of Operating Engineers, 1974–1977.


  • TÜV SÜD Guest Professor, Technical University of Munich, 2010 – 2011.
  • Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies, Technical University of Munich, 2010 – .
  • Member, NAE Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering in the New Millennium: Opportunities for Research and Technological Innovation, 2003-2005.
  • Fulbright Research-Lecturer Award, The Technion, 2003.
  • Session Organizer, Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, NAE, 2003.
  • Invited participant, 1st Symposium, Frontiers in Engineering, NAE, Sept., 1995.
  • National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, 1994.
  • Basic Research Award 1993, US National Committee for Rock Mechanics, NAS/NRC.
  •  Texas Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Scholarship, 1988-1989.
  • University Fellow, University of Texas at Austin, 1987-1988.
  • Presidential Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 1987-1988, 1985-1986.
  • Woodward-Clyde Fellowship in the Earth Sciences, 1985-1987.

Research Thrusts