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Julie Mark Cohen

Visiting Associate Professor


Dr. Cohen, PE, SECB, is a Consulting Structural and Forensic Engineer who has 30+ years in practice. Her experience includes the design and analysis of structural framing for new steel and reinforced concrete framed buildings up to 22 stories in a high seismic zone. She has worked on the analysis and rehabilitation of a number of structures, including buildings and bridges, several in high wind zones. In addition, she has participated in litigation as an expert witness and consultant to attorneys on larger buildings that have collapsed in full or in part.

She is also an Historian of Engineering Design. Her research is founded on knowledge flow (creators, carriers, conveyors, users, impeders, and (lack of) feedback loops) and how knowledge (and external forces such as budgets and schedules) have shaped engineering design decision-making. She is studying previously unrecognized commonalities among related engineering fields (structural, mechanical, marine, offshore, naval architecture, and aerospace). She is particularly interested in (sudden, brittle) failures of relatively small components that have not been recognized as critical components, have been difficult to inspect and maintain, and whose failure has led to the disproportionate progressive collapse of entire structures that have caused extensive, adverse impacts on society including loss of lives and financial burdens on taxpayers (even for failures of publicly-funded structures).

She has published a number of peer-reviewed technical papers. Her more recent nontechnical articles include:

Cohen, Julie Mark. (2020, December 18). “An Astronomical Collapse: Implications of Engineering Design Decisions on the In-Service Performance of an Unprecedented Structure.” The Maintainers.

Cohen, Julie Mark (2021). “Building Design Collaborator or Implementing Technician?” A Structural Forum article, Structure magazine, NCSEA, Sept, pp. 50-52.

Successful designs stem from understanding how they may fail.

BS Bldg Sci and BArch, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
MASc in Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada.
SMCE with focus on Structural Reliability, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
PhD in Structural Engineering, Cornell University.