To Prospective Students

A short talk by Shideh Dashti at the graduate visit day on January 21, 2022:

Note from Shideh Dashti:

I started teaching at CU Boulder in January of 2011 and have built a research team focusing on different aspects of Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering.

My research encompasses three themes: (1) performance-based evaluation and mitigation of liquefaction hazard; (2) seismic performance of shallow underground structures; and (3) response and interdependencies among infrastructure systems during disasters. Each theme requires the development of state-of-the-art experimental and simulation models and probabilistic assessment techniques to quantify the risk of damage and propose reliable remediation strategies. My team distinguishes itself by its emphasis on fundamental research that has important practical implications for practicing engineers globally.

If you feel your work fits closely with my research and you would like to learn about applying in the following years, please feel free to contact me via email with your research interests and CV attached, specifically stating why you would like to work with me.

For more information on degree requirements in our program, please visit:, on graduate studies at CU Boulder, visit:, and on courses offered each semester, visit:

I know that selecting an adviser to work with on a doctoral or MS dissertation is a difficult decision. This is a relationship that will last beyond your graduate studies and can strongly influence your future career path. Therefore, please do not take this decision lightly and spend time on making sure that you communicate your expectations and goals early on. Below, I have included more details about my expectations that may help you in your decision:

What I Expect from my Graduate Students:

1. Ethics and accountability

2. Quality work

3. Work well in groups, respect for team members, and sense of responsibility

4. Clear communication of goals early on and regularly

5. Respect for colleagues

6. Prepared for weekly meetings and professional weekly progress reports (slides) to provide update on progress

7. Good time management skills

8. Patience with experimental failures or numerical obstacles and positive attitude toward challenges and difficulties in research in general

9. I typically expect three papers submitted to a peer review journal before you finish your doctoral dissertation. These are typically chapters from your dissertation and they will be an important part of your learning experience.

What You Can Expect from Me:

1. I will mentor you closely on your research topic, goals, and timeline of various activities. But I leave room for you to develop research skills independently and find solutions on your own. I will provide regular support and will make sure that you are on the right path.

2. I will provide feedback on the courses that I think you should take at the beginning and end of each semester.

3. In preparing your publications and dissertation, I will provide detailed feedback regularly and early on, but I expect you to put significant effort into the preparation of these papers that are mostly the results of your work. If English is not your first language and if needed, I may ask you to take a course or two on writing, which will be beneficial to you in the long run, and also make use of the services provided by the writing center.

4. I will provide mentorship and feedback on your job search and preparation for interviews (academic, industry, or policy related, etc.). In order to help me prepare you better for your desired job, it’s important that you communicate your goals with me early on and notify me of changes in your plans regularly.

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