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College of Engineering and Computing

Faculty and Staff

Fabio Matta

Title: Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering and Computing
Phone: 803-777-1917
Fax: 803-777-0670
Office: 300 Main Street, Room C210
Headshot of Fabio Matta


  • PhD, Civil Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, USA, 2007
  • Laurea (5-year program), Civil Engineering, University of Padova, Italy, 2003

Research Interests

Dr. Matta’s team of graduate and undergraduate assistants does experimental and theoretical research on construction materials and their structural performance, ranging from affordable and high-quality earth masonry to advanced cement- and polymer-matrix composites. Emphasis is placed on extreme stressors such as high wind pressures and flying debris impact (tornadoes, hurricanes), earthquakes, and radionuclide exposure. Areas of interest include: low-cost and hazard-resistant dwellings; civil infrastructure strengthening and repair; multi-scale and multi-functional reinforcement for cement composites; load testing, monitoring and assessment of constructed facilities; and corrosion in steel and concrete structures. Research sponsors include National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Federal Highway Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and industry.


  • Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (2016–present; Assistant Professor 2010–2015).
  • Graduate Director, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (2015–present).
  • Associate Director and Co-PI, National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for “Integration of Composites into Infrastructure,” University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL (2009–2010).
  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL (2007–2010).
  • Associate Director, National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for “Repair of Buildings and Bridges with Composites,” University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL (2007–2009).

Research Projects (selected)

  • “Field Trials for Cost-Effective Strengthening of SC Load Posted Bridges,” award SPR758, SC Department of Transportation/FHWA, 2021–2026.  Role: Co-PI (PI: P. Ziehl; Co-PIs: T. Cousins, B. Ross, Clemson University).
  • “Extremely Durable Graphene Oxide Nanoribbon Reinforced Concrete,” award G-SOW-A-00033, Savannah River National Laboratory, 2020.  Role: PI (UofSC Co-PI: M. Baalousha.  Lead institution: SRNL/DOE; PI: C. Langton; Co-PI: J. Gaillard).
  • “Collaborative Research: Engineered Earth Masonry for Affordable Seismic Resistant Low-Rise Buildings,” award 1537776, National Science Foundation, 2015–2019.  Role: PI, Lead Institution (with: M. Barbato, PI at University of California, Davis; UofSC Co-PIs: C. Pierce, M. Sutton).
  • “Radionuclide Waste Disposal: Development of Multi-scale Experimental and Modeling Capabilities,” subaward 1750-219-2020199 to DE-SC0012530, US Department of Energy/EPSCoR, 2014–2020.  Role: PI (UofSC Co-PIs: J. Flora, J. Caicedo, T. Knight, P. Ziehl; Project PI: B. Powell, Clemson University).
  • “Prevention, Assessment and Remediation of Corrosion in Corten Steel Transmission Line Structures,” award TLAM/TODEM 3260/33100, Centre for Energy Advancement through Technological Innovation (CEATI), 2014–2016.  Role: PI.
  • “EAGER/Collaborative Research: Overcoming Barriers to Adoption of Sustainable and Resilient Building Materials in Coastal Areas of Southern Mexico,” award 1321489, National Science Foundation, 2013–2017.  Role: PI (UofSC Co-PI: A. Johnson.  Lead institution: The City College of New York; PI: J. Biles; Co-PIs: L. Bank, E. Obonyo).
  • “NUE: Nanotechnology LINK: An Integrated Approach for Nanotechnology Education: End-of-life Management of Nanomaterial-Containing Wastes,” award 1343756, National Science Foundation, 2013–2016.  Role: Co-PI (PI: N. Berge; Co-PIs: J. Caicedo, C. Pierce, Y. Yoon). 
  • “Collaborative Research: Resilient and Sustainable Engineered Fiber-Reinforced Earthen Masonry for High Wind Regions,” award 1131161, National Science Foundation, 2011–2015.  Role: PI, Lead Institution (with: E. Erdogmus, PI at University of Nebraska-Lincoln; E. Obonyo, PI at University of Florida).

Professional Service

Awards and honors (selected)

  • 2018 Distinguished Research Service Award, University of South Carolina.
  • 2017 ASCE Associate Editor Award.
  • 2010 Outstanding Reviewer, ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering.
  • 2009 Best Technical Paper Award, track “Infrastructure and Construction,” Composites & Polycon, American Composites Manufacturers Association (co-recipient).
  • 2006 Construction Innovation Forum NOVA Award for Outstanding Innovation in Construction (finalist).
  • 2006 ASCE/CERF C.J. Pankow Award for Innovation (runner-up).
  • 2002-2003 University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) Scholarship, University of Padova and University of California, San Diego.

Presentations (selected)

  • “Practical amendment of cement composites with low concentrations of unzipped carbon nanotubes,” invited presentation, ACS Fall 2021 — I&EC Fellow Award Symposium in Honor of Dr. Steven Serkiz: “Advanced Materials,” August 22, 2021, Atlanta, GA.
  • “Engineered Earth Masonry for Sustainable Tornado-Resistant Dwellings,” invited seminar, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, August 10, 2019, Wuhan, China.
  • “Size-Dependent Shear-Compression Fracture and Aggregate Interlocking in Concrete Beams Reinforced with GFRP Bars: Computational Simulation and Experimental Verification,” keynote presentation, International Symposium for Emerging Researchers in Composites for Infrastructure (ISERCI 2018), Tsinghua University, July 12, 2018, Beijing, China.
  • “Engineering for the Other 90%: Earth Masonry for Sustainable Tornado-Resistant Dwellings in US,” invited seminar, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, March 9, 2016, New York, NY.
  • “Assessment of Early Corrosion in Prestressed Concrete Based on Open-Circuit Potential and Polarization Resistance,” invited presentation, Sustainable Performance of Concrete Bridges and Elements Subject to Aggressive Environments: Monitoring, Evaluation, and Rehabilitation (ACI Committee 345 and 201, Joint ACI-ASCE Committee 343), ACI Fall 2014 Convention, October 28, 2014, Washington, DC.
  • “Bio-Inspired Polymeric Binder for Sustainable and Resilient Cement Composites,” ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference (EMI 2013) — Symposium in honor of Prof. S.P. Shah: “Green Concrete: Materials Science for Improved Sustainability of Infrastructure Materials, August 5, 2013, Evanston, IL.
  • “Graphene Nanoplates and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for High-Performance Cement Composites,” invited presentation, 7th MIT Conference on Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics — Special Session: Multiscale Multiphysics Mechanics of Ultra-High Performance Cementitious Composites, June 14, 2013, Cambridge, MA.



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