Theresa M. Ahlborn
Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Director, Center for Structural Durability
Michigan Technological University



Research Interests


Teaching Interests


Professional Activities

University Affiliations & Service



University of Minnesota,  Doctorate of Philosophy in Civil Engineering, September 1998.
 Ph.D. Dissertation Title: High Strength  Concrete Prestressed Bridge Girders
Michigan  Technological University, Master of Science in Civil Engineering, November  1987.
Michigan  Technological University, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, May 1986.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Concrete Institute
  • Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
  • ASTM International
  • Transportation Research Board
  • American Society for Nondestructive Testing
  • fib, the International Federation of Structural Concrete
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Structural Engineering Institute
  • Chi Epsilon National Civil Engineering Honor Society


Dr. Ahlborn is a Professor of structural engineering in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Michigan Technological University. As Director of the Center for Structural Durability with the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, she has worked extensively with the Michigan Department of Transportation and the USDOT to seek solutions to improve the resiliency of our nation’s transportation infrastructure. She is an expert in remote sensing applications for bridge condition assessment and structural concrete materials related to prestressed concrete bridges. She has contributed to enhancements for inspection and repair of prestressed concrete and steel bridge beam ends, structural issues related to overhead sign support structures, bond strength of stainless steel reinforcement in concrete for bridge decks, condition assessment of adjacent box-beam bridges, rapid repair solutions using prefabricated (decked) prestressed beams, and design, instrumentation, construction, and failure testing of full size HPC bridge girders.

Dr. Ahlborn is a respected scholar with over 100 publications, and has been PI or co-PI on $10M in research. She is internationally recognized for her work with ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) for bridge engineering solutions.  In 2013, she was named WTS Woman of the Year in Michigan honoring her dedication to the professional advancement of women in transportation, and demonstrated leadership and outstanding contributions in the transportation field. Dr. Ahlborn has also been a leader in the university community, serving as the co-chair of the Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative in Transportation to hire several faculty in the many multidisciplinary areas of transportation.

Dr. Ahlborn’s teaching interest is in the area of structural concrete design for buildings and bridges.  She encourages critical thinking, and incorporates teamwork and active learning by engaging students; broadening the classroom experience with current event discussions and real-world example problems such as the design of reinforced concrete buildings and prestressed concrete bridges.  In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious PCI Distinguished Educator Award, recognizing educators who have made significant contributions to the precast/prestressed concrete industry and in 2014, she was honored with the Michigan Tech Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award recognizing excellence and passion for teaching.

Dr. Ahlborn is a licensed professional engineer with industrial experience in the design of bridges, dams and hydropower support structures. In addition, she is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute, a Fellow of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) and an active member (chair, co-chair, voting member) in several professional organizations including the PCI, the American Concrete Institute (ACI, chair ACI 239, 318-B), ASTM International, the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, the Transportation Research Board (TRB), fib, the International Federation of Structural Concrete, and the North American UHPC Working Group.