Meet new civil engineering professor Katerina Genikomsou

Posted on May 17, 2017

Impressed and inspired by the complex design and construction of buildings and bridges across North America and Europe, Queen’s engineering professor, Katerina Genikomsou, decided early on that she wanted to pursue a career in civil/structural engineering.

Following her passion for both mathematics and physics, and some insightful advice from family members, Genikomsou set her sights on academia, attending the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece and the University of Waterloo where she earned her MSc and PhD in Civil Engineering, respectively.

“I always wanted to learn something new and deepen my knowledge” says Genikomsou. “After completing my bachelor’s and master’s I wanted to continue for a PhD to be involved with actual research and expand my horizons tremendously. During my PhD, I had access to important experiences that had been proven essential in my current and future academic career pursuits.”

Professor Katerina Genikomsou

ADDED EXPERTISE: "The concept of my research here at Queen’s University is going to be a combination of laboratory testing and nonlinear finite element analysis of innovative reinforced concrete connections using new materials such as high performance fiber-reinforced concrete,” says Queen's engineering professor, Katerina Genikomsou.

Bringing along with her a passion for learning, Genikomsou joined the Department of Civil Engineering at Queen’s in January 2017 as an assistant professor, a position that grants her the opportunity to continue her research and also to teach. This year, Genikomsou was awarded both the Research Initiation Grant from Queen’s and the NSERC Discovery Grant (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada), allowing her to explore new, intriguing research possibilities.

“During the previous century, civil engineers constructed significant infrastructure helping all people around the world,” says Genikomsou. “Now, civil engineers are required to learn to maintain the already built infrastructure and develop new sustainable materials, new processes and an improved understanding of how these new materials can perform in structural applications.”

The global implications and applications of her research are exciting and practical, have the potential to lengthen the lifespan of structures, and to save taxpayers millions.

Genikomsou is on the search for industry partners with whom she can work collaboratively to tackle problems in structural engineering. They are relationships that can also earn new funding for the Department of Civil Engineering, and she hopes eventually to receive industry backing to provide graduate students with more new state-of-the-art research facilities.

As a member of multiple noteworthy groups, such as the American Concrete Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers, and the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering, Genikomsou has already established connections with researchers and industry professionals around the world. This level of international involvement has led her to attend conferences and present at several prestigious conventions.

During her first semester at Queen’s, Genikomsou took advantage of the various teaching workshops offered by the university. Many of these workshops focus on the varying learning styles of students and the development and incorporation of new educational techniques into the classroom.

“I’m inspired to promote innovative teaching methods into the classroom for the civil engineering analysis and design courses,” says Genikomsou. “I really think that by becoming a professor in academia, I have a career in which I belong. I am continually growing and developing as an instructor and I look forward to continuing this growth through future teaching opportunities at Queen’s University, where I would be honored to pursue my teaching goals and to contribute towards the high quality education of future engineers.”

Genikomsou is actively seeking graduate students to join her research team; and in the fall, will be teaching Structural Analysis (CIVL 330), looking to bring state-of-the-art teaching pedagogy to her students.