Christian Meyer

Courses Taught


My interests and research areas have shifted over the years. Whereas during the first 15 years I dealt much with the seismic analysis and design of structures (primarily concrete buildings) and the nonlinear analysis of structures, including advanced nonlinear finite element methods, I have focussed more recently on theoretical and experimental studies of structural materials. One reason was simply money. With the Dean's Office exerting increasing pressure on faculty to raise research money, and such funds being almost impossible to get for research in traditional areas of structural engineering, such as structural mechanics or earthquake analysis of structures, I looked into a new area, and I happened to like them. I am now searching for ways of using recycled materials in construction. We started with using waste glass as an aggregate for concrete, and have been successful beyond our wildest dreams. Since, we have expanded our attention to using fly ash from coal burning power plants, recycled carpets (for their useful nylon fibers), ash from solid waste incinerators, and dredge material from New York Harbor. In all of these projects I can use all the help I can get: Post-Docs and visiting scholars, Ph.D. students, other graduate students, undergraduate students, and high school students, dozens of whom I advised on their Westinghouse projects. The main appeal of these projects is the fact that everybody senses they are doing something useful about the environment, advancing the state of the art in structural materials, and I see to it that everything is based on a solid foundation of engineering mechanics. Concluding, let me tell you that there must be very serious reasons before I turn away someone from my lab and my projects. I have shown our work to hundreds of people, including a CNN crew, which broadcast a 15-minute story about our "glascrete" work.


"I have been with Columbia since 1978." and was on sabbatical in 1998. Christian Meyer spent his early years as an engineer with A.C. Martin and Associates in Los Angeles, and Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation in Boston. He specializes in structural analysis and design with primary interests in concrete structures and earthquake engineering. "I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley at a time when it was consistently rated (for 20 consecutive years or more) the best school in civil engineering. After graduation I worked for 8 years in industry, 3 years in a design office in Los Angeles, worrying about seismic safety of tall buildings, and then 5 years with Stone and Webster in Boston, worrying (among others) about the seismic safety of nuclear power plant structures.


Vordiplom, Technical University of Berlin, 1965; M.S., California (Berkeley), 1966; Ph.D., 1970

Contact Information

CUNIX ID: cm25