Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Penn State University, 2020
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, Southern Illinois University, 2017
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Iran, 2014
Licenses & Certifications
  • Professional Engineer Civil, California, #94829
Academic Appointments
  • Adjunct Faculty, Construction, SIUE, 2017
  • Instructor, Civil Engineering, PSU, 2018
Professional Honors
  • 2020: Harry G. Miller Fellowship in college of engineering, University Park, PA.
  • 2019: International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC) Endowed Civil Engineering Award
  • 2019-2020: Itasca Education Partnership (IEP)
  • 2018-2019: CEE Mark E. and Claire L. Alpert Fellowship in Civil Engineering, University Park, PA.
  • 2018-2019: Leo P. Russell Graduate Fellowship in Civil Engineering, University Park, PA.
  • 2017-2018: The Pennsylvania State University Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, University Park, PA.
  • 2016: Outstanding Civil Engineering Graduate Student, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, IL.
Professional Affiliations
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Geo-Institute of ASCE (GI)
  • Deep Foundation Institute (DFI)
  • English
  • Persian

Dr. Salam specializes in computational geomechanics, numerical and analytical analysis of geosystems, and condition assessment of geotechnical assets.  His expertise encompasses natural and man-made slopes, embankments, retaining structures, roads and highways, ground improvement, and earth dams.  Dr. Salam is adept at providing both reactive and proactive consultation, alongside risk assessment for geotechnical assets.  Dr. Salam leverages his multidisciplinary background in engineering and statistics to deliver innovative solutions for civil and geotechnical engineering applications.  

Dr. Salam possesses extensive experience in the evaluation of sustainability and serviceability of geo-structures under operational loads and due to natural hazards, including earthquakes, storms, and wildfires.  He is experienced with design and construction of earth dams, for which he has performed static and seismic stability analyses, seepage analysis and drainage design.  Employing data-driven methodologies, Dr. Salam has navigated complex challenges through both numerical and experimental approaches to evaluate the liquefaction and flow failure potential of tailings dams, leveraging data from comprehensive laboratory and field investigations.  

He has conducted subsurface explorations and material characterization through interpretation of in-situ and laboratory data.  He has inspected and provided engineering consultation on shallow and deep foundations as well as ground improvement techniques.  Dr. Salam has experience in analyzing different mechanisms of soil movement including bearing failure, consolidation settlement, expansion, and collapse of soils.  He is experienced in the evaluation of rigid inclusions to enhance the engineering characteristics of weak soils, such as Peats and Soft Clays.  

He is skilled in performing slope stability analysis and has evaluated landslides and debris flows in diverse environments.  He has studied and provided slope stabilization measures and mitigation alternatives.  Dr. Salam has evaluated the design, construction, and performance of retaining structures such as modular walls, mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls, and shoring walls used for excavation support.  Dr. Salam has investigated the advancement and stability of underground mines, mine subsidence, and ground collapse (often referred to as "sinkholes").  He has made observations and assessment of underground utility lines and determined cause and origin of failures.  Dr. Salam has been involved with reviewing design, development, and construction of several windfarms.  He has also evaluated the adequacy of foundations of wind turbines and roadways in the windfarms.  Dr. Salam has led and contributed to statewide projects focused on enhancing sustainability and safety for utility company assets.  As a project manager, he has effectively coordinated efforts across multiple teams to achieve project goals within set budgets and timelines.

Dr. Salam has conducted in-depth research on numerous aspects related to the design and sustainability of infrastructural systems.  He has experience with advanced laboratory testing and physical modeling of geotechnical materials.  Dr. Salam's research has explored the impact of soil index properties on the strength of unbound aggregates, emphasizing the selection of high-quality aggregates for roadway applications.  Furthermore, his investigations into the stability of slurry backfilled underground mines have shed light on how geometry specifications influence stability within the Illinois Basin context.  Dr. Salam's doctoral research offered insights into the cyclic behavior of tailings and the stability of tailings dams during, and following, extreme events like earthquakes and blasts.  His work included shake table testing to examine tailings' cyclic behavior under a sequence of shaking events, alongside adoption of advanced and innovative numerical modeling tools.  Dr. Salam studies and research included a minor in statistics and use of statistical methods to assess failure probability and improve the reliability of outcomes.  Dr. Salam has taught several undergraduate and graduate courses on the topics of Soils in Construction and Engineering Materials Laboratory.