Susan Reynolds

Teaching Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Reynolds-Susan-headshot2019-low-res-small-e1611276750794-300x300 Susan ReynoldsMy research interests include structural analysis and design, historic preservation technology, and sustainable / integrated design approaches for buildings. The public relies on structural engineers to determine whether or not existing buildings remain safe for use over time. In addition to learning about today’s most advanced structural materials, engineering students should be well-versed in archaic building materials and methods to enable sensitive stewardship of our shared cultural heritage. Preservation is an inherently sustainable design approach to building, as it increases the structure’s life cycle and minimizes depletion of natural resources that comprise building materials.

Traditional engineering education is generally comprised of derivations of governing principles, computational examples, homework problems modeled on the in-class example, and written exams based closely on lecture material and homework assignments. My teaching philosophy combines traditional engineering course delivery with open-ended and design-based problems that are common in architectural pedagogy. I present abstract engineering concepts graphically during lecture, and draw heavily from my professional practice experience, linking the classroom content to real-world case studies. Most importantly, I try to create a classroom culture that is conducive to collaboration and peer-to-peer learning.

At Mines, I have taught the following courses: Structural Theory, Structural Preservation of Existing and Historic Buildings, Mechanics of Materials, Triumphs and Failures of the Brooklyn Bridge, Introduction to Construction Engineering, IDEAS I and II (Innovation and Discovery in Engineering, Arts, and Sciences), and Senior Design I and II. At John Cabot University, I have taught Statics. At Tuskegee University, I have taught Structures I, II, and III; Soils and Foundations; Construction Methods; Construction Safety; and Historic Preservation.


Coolbaugh Hall 318A

Personal Web Page


  • MS Civil Engineering (Structural), University of Illinois, 2004
  • B. Architecture, Auburn University, 2000
  • BA Spanish, Auburn University, 2004

Professional Memberships and Qualifications

  • Professional Engineer (State of Alabama, Commonwealth of Virginia)
  • Registered Architect (District of Columbia)

Selected Publications

  • Reynolds, S. M. (2021) Seeing Structures: Interactive CAD Models in Mechanics of Materials. Proceedings paper, 2021 ASEE Annual Conference (virtual).
  • Reynolds, S. M. (2017) Reversibility in Historic Preservation and its Application to Sustainable Design Practices in New Construction. Panel discussion, 2017 ASCE Structures Congress, Denver, Colorado.
  • Reynolds, S. M. (2016) Critical Thinking for Open-Ended Engineering Problems Through Written Reflection: A Case Study. Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Rocky Mountain Section Conference, Cedar City, Utah.
  • Reynolds, S. M. & Tackie, R. N. (2016) A Novel Approach to Skeleton-Note Instruction in Large Engineering Courses: Unified and Concise Handouts that are Fun and Colorful. Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Reynolds, S. M. (2016) A Pedagogical Approach for a Sophomore Mechanics of Materials Course. Extended abstract presented at 2016 MYEE Conference, College Station, Texas.
  • Turner, C. J. & Reynolds, S. M. (2014) Multidisciplinary Construction Engineering Design Projects. Paper presented at the 2014 ASEE Annual Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Selected Professional Projects

  • 2010 Second Avenue Subway, New York, NY (Task Leader, AECOM) 

  • 2008 The Pentagon, Arlington, VA (project strl. eng., AECOM) 

  • 2006 The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (project strl. eng., RSA)