Academic Credentials
  • M.S., Engineering Mechanics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1989
  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1988
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1984
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1982
Licenses & Certifications
  • Professional Engineer Structural, California, #4330
  • Professional Engineer, Hawaii, #PE-12310
  • Professional Engineer Structural, Nevada, #21563
  • Professional Engineer, Oklahoma, #22510
  • Professional Engineer, Oregon, #81321PE
  • Professional Engineer Structural, Oregon, #81321PE
  • Professional Engineer Structural, Utah, #11650885-2203
  • Professional Engineer Civil and Structural, Washington, #37689
  • Professional Engineer, Wisconsin, #35893-6
Academic Appointments
  • Former Adjunct Professor and current Adjunct Lecturer, Stanford University
Professional Honors
  • Chair of the Nonductile Concrete Subcommittee for the Structural Engineers Association of California
Professional Affiliations
  • Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (member #270581)
  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (Member SE, past Chair of the Existing Buildings Committee, past Chair of the Research Committee, past Chair of Nonductile Concrete Subcommittee)
  • American Concrete Institute (member #00121237)
  • American Institute of Steel Construction (member #064972)
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (member ID 8096)

Dr. McDonald specializes in the design and construction of complex structures, structural damage assessment and repair, and quantitative risk assessment of buildings and structures exposed to hazards such as extreme winds, wildfires and climate change.

During more than 30 years at Exponent, Dr. McDonald has evaluated problems with the design and construction of industrial, transportation, residential and commercial structures constructed of wood framing, concrete, masonry and steel. Dr. McDonald has specialized experience designing and evaluating overhead power transmission lines and cable-supported or fabric structures.

Dr. McDonald provides quantitative risk assessments for electrical transmission structures, power plants, nuclear structures at national laboratories, and industrial facilities. In addition, Dr. McDonald has participated on expert teams to provide loss estimates and retrofit strategies for California residential structures subject to intense earthquake ground shaking. Dr. McDonald also provides design peer review services for the design of complex structures, including safety-critical nuclear power plant structures.

Dr. McDonald has investigated structures damaged by wind, snow, explosion, fire, construction errors, design defects, decay and corrosion, as well as hundreds of structures damaged by seismic shaking after earthquakes including Loma Prieta, Northridge, San Simeon, and Hawaii. Dr. McDonald's work often includes nonlinear and dynamic structural analysis, instrumentation and full-scale testing of structures, and material failure evaluations including fracture and plasticity analyses.

Dr. McDonald has held several positions in the fields of structural engineering and software design, most recently as Chief Analyst at Krawinkler, Luth, and Associates, a leading structural design firm. He has taught a graduate level course in Finite Element Analysis at Stanford University, where he is currently an Adjunct Lecturer teaching a graduate course on the performance of structures. Dr. McDonald chairs the American Society of Civil Engineers committee that develops and maintains structural design standards for nuclear structures, and is an invited member of the Nuclear Standards Committee.