Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, 2020
  • M.S., Civil/Structural Engineering, University of Illinois, 2017
  • B.S., Bioengineering, University of Illinois, 2015
Licenses & Certifications
  • Professional Engineer, Illinois, #062074351
Additional Education & Training
  • Finite Element Software Seminars on Accuracy and Innovative Methods
  • LUSAS Nonlinear Software Training and Certificate
  • Finite Element Analysis Tools: ANSYS, LS-DYNA, ABAQUS
  • Analysis and Design Tools: AutoCAD, MicroStation, LARSA 4D, CSi Bridge, Bentley Systems, LUSAS, VecTor2, SAP2000, Risa, ETABS
Professional Honors
  • Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) ASCE Award, 2020
  • Abraham Lincoln Fellowship, 2017
  • Christopher Burke Competition Award, 2017
  • Illinois State Professional Engineer (ISPE) Award Recipient, 2015
  • Bell Honor Recipient, 2015
  • Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society
  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
  • Magna Cum Laude Honor
Professional Affiliations
  • American Society of Civil Engineers/ Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE/SEI)
  • • Committee: Advances in Simulation
  • • Committee: Young Engineers Professional
  • Structural Engineering Association of Illinois (SEAOI)
  • American Concrete Institute (ACI)
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
  • Society of Women in Engineering (SWE)

Dr. Torra-Bilal, a licensed professional engineer, specializes in structural failure investigations, behavior assessment of various structures subjected to extreme loading, and strengthening and repair of various structures. Her expertise includes structural design and code compliance evaluations, failure analysis and cause determination, and seismic evaluation. 

Dr. Torra-Bilal's research interests focused on studying the methods & techniques to bridging theory into practice and capturing the accurate behavior of various structural materials up to failure using finite element tools. Her doctoral dissertation was focused on investigating the seismic performance of various precast concrete beam-column connections leading to safer applications of precast concrete structures during seismic events. She conducted an integrated experimental and numerical study to develop novel connection methods to be used during earthquake events and developed a design procedure to be incorporated in current applicable design codes to be used by practicing engineers. Additionally, Dr. Torra-Bilal has performed research on fire resistance of steel structures with damaged fireproofing materials, performance and design procedure of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and performance of composite structures. 

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Torra-Bilal was a structural engineer at HNTB Corporation, where she performed advanced analysis, design, detailing and plan development throughout various design phases of complex bridges and other infrastructure related structures for multiple US DOTs. During her time with HNTB Corporation, she applied innovative tools to address clients' needs and propose effective solutions. Dr. Torra-Bilal served as a research assistant and lecturer at University of Illinois at Chicago and as a patent analyst at the Office of Technology Management, before joining HNTB Corporation.

In conjunction with her technical consulting work, Dr. Torra-Bilal is a member of several professional organizations including the American Society of Civil Engineers/ Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE/SEI), Structural Engineering Association of Illinois (SEAOI), American Concrete Institute (ACI), Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Within ASCE, she is a member of Young Member Professional Committee and Advances in Simulation Committee and within SEAOI, she is a member of WiSE (Women in Structural Engineering) Committee. She serves as a reviewer of Elsevier Structures Journal, and Journal of Structural Engineering as well as ASCE Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction Journal. She is a recurring guest lecturer at University of Illinois at Chicago.