Carnegie Mellon University

James H. Garrett, Jr.

James H. Garrett, Jr. (E 1982, 1983, 1986)


Warner Hall
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


James H. Garrett, Jr. was named provost and chief academic officer of Carnegie Mellon University in January 2019.

As the university's chief academic officer, Garrett is responsible for leading CMU's schools, colleges, institutes and campuses and is instrumental in institutional and academic planning and implementation. 

A member of the faculty since 1990, James H. Garrett, Jr. became Dean of Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering in 2013. Immediately prior to that, he spent six years as head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Garrett is Carnegie Mellon plaid through and through, having received his B.S. ('82), M.S. ('83), and Ph.D. ('86) degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the institution. He joined the faculty of the College as an assistant professor in 1990 and was promoted to full professor in 1996. Garrett has served in other administrative roles including Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs (2000-2006) and Acting Dean (2004), as well as faculty co-director of the Smart Infrastructure Institute, a research center aimed at developing sensing technology for construction and infrastructure systems.

Throughout his research career, Garrett focused on how sensors and data analytics can make our cities more adaptive and efficient. This approach aims to give built infrastructures the ability to detect and report on problems directly to the humans charged with maintaining those structures, allowing for more proactive and cost-effective infrastructure management.

Among his many recognitions and awards, Garrett was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2016, awarded the title of Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2018, and elected to the National Academy of Construction in 2020.


BA 1982 - Carnegie Mellon University
MS 1983 - Carnegie Mellon University
PhD 1986 - Carnegie Mellon University


  • Applications of sensors and sensor systems to civil infrastructure condition assessment
  • Mobile hardware/software systems for field applications
  • Representations and processing strategies to support the usage of engineering codes, standards, and specifications
  • Knowledge-based decision support systems


E. B. Anil, B. Akinci, J. H. Garrett, O. Kurc.  2016  “Information Requirements for Earthquake Damage Assessment of Structural Walls”, Adv. Eng. Inform., Vol 30, pp. 54-64.

E. B. Anil, B. Akinci, O. Kurc, J. H. Garrett, Jr.  2015.  “Building-Information-Modeling-Based Earthquake Damage Assessment for Reinforced Concrete Walls”, J. Comput. Civ. Eng.

S. Taneja, B. Akinci, J. H,. Garrett, Jr., L. Soibelman.  2016.  “Algorithms for Automated Generation of Navigation Models from Building Information Models to Support Indoor Map-Matching”, Autom. Constr., Vol. 61, pp. 24-41.

S. Chen, F. Cerda, P. Rizzo, J. Bielak, J. H. Garrett, Jr. and J. Kovačević.  2014.  “Semi-Supervised Multiresolution Classification Using Adaptive Graph Filtering with Application to Indirect Bridge Structural Health Monitoring”, IEEE Trans. Signal Process., 62(11), pp. 2879-2893.

Taneja, S., Akinci, B., Garrett, J., Soibelman, L., Jr., and Karimi, H.  2014.  "Effects of Positioning Data Quality and Navigation Models on Map-Matching of Indoor Positioning Data.J. Comput. Civ. Eng., 04014113.

Liu, X., Akinci, B., Bergés, M., and Garrett, J., Jr.  2014.  “Domain-Specific Querying Formalisms for Retrieving Information about HVAC Systems.”  J. Comput. Civ. Eng., 28(1), pp. 40–49.

Gao, T., Ergan, S., Akinci, B., and Garrett, J.  2014.  "Evaluation of Different Features for Matching Point Clouds to Building Information Models."  J. Comput. Civ. Eng., 04014107. 

Ying, Y., Garrett Jr., J. H., Oppenheim, I. J., Soibelman, L., Harley, J., Shi, J., and Jin, Y. “Towards Data-Driven Structural Health Monitoring: Application of Machine Learning and Signal Processing to Damage Detection,” Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, Special Issue. (Invited)

Ying, Y., J. H. Garrett Jr., J. Harley, I. J. Oppenheim, J. Shi, and L. Soibelman (2012) "Damage Detection in Pipes under Changing Environmental Conditions using Embedded Piezoelectric Transducers and Pattern Recognition Techniques," Journal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice, Special Issue for International Conference on Pipelines and Trenchless Technology, doi:10.1061(ASCE)PS.1949-1204.0000106.

Taneja, S., Akcamete, A., Akinci, B., Garrett Jr., J.H., Soibelman, L., East, E.W., “Analysis of three indoor localization technologies for supporting operations and maintenance field tasks”, ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering.

Shahandashti, M.S., Razavi, S.N., Soibelman, L., Berges, M., Caldas, C.H., Brilakis, I., Teizer, J., Haas, C., Garrett Jr., J.H., Akinci, B., Zhu, Z. (2011) “Data Fusion Approaches and Applications for Construction Engineering,” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 137(10): 863-869.

Taneja, S., Akinci, B., Garrett, J.H., Soibelman, L., Berges, M., Atasoy, G., Liu, X., Shahandashti, S.M., Anil, E.B., Ergen, E., Pradhan, A., Tang, P. (2011) “Sensing and field data capture for construction and facility operations,” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 137(10): 870-881.


Recent Awards

  • 2020    Elected to National Academy of Construction
  • 2018    Distinguished Member of American Society of Civil Engineers
  • 2016    William Metcalf Award, Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania
  • 2014    Civil Engineer of the Year, American Society of Civil Engineers, Pittsburgh Section
  • 2014    Recognition Award, American Society of Civil Engineers.  In recognition of outstanding dedication and leadership as co-editor-in-chief of ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering
  • 2012    Alexander von Humboldt Research Award
  • 2010    Awarded the Thomas Lord Professorship of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
  • 2009    Elected to ASCE Fellow Status. Fellows occupy ASCE's second-highest membership grade, and fellow status must be attained by professional accomplishments via application and election by the Membership Application Review Committee.