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Christopher J Earls

  • Christopher J Earls
  • Dept: Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Title: Professor
  • Address: Room 365 Hollister Hall
  • Phone: 607 255-1652
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Earls' research involves the development and application of new computational techniques for the study of important problems involving solids and structures, as well as other natural and engineered systems. Coupling the principled treatment of uncertainty with these computational approaches facilitates the solution of complex inverse problems. Such inverse problems arise naturally as part of Earls' research.

Earls is a member of the United States Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM), the International Association on Computational Mechanics (IACM), and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

Research Interests

Earls' Group is concerned with developing novel algorithmic and computational approaches that enable new understanding concerning the actual condition, and future behavior of complex natural and engineered systems. Practical challenges concerning the principled treatment of uncertainty, sparse sensing, and the complex multi-physics response modalities of the real-world are motivational in our work. The intellectual themes that underpin our research are: computational mechanics, high performance computing, and applied mathematics. Problems of interest to us occur in the domains of engineering and applied science.

Teaching Interests

Earls' teaching focus is on undergraduate design of metal structures and structural mechanics, as well as computational mechanics at the graduate level.

Service Interests

Earls is a member of the United States Association for Computational Mechanics, the International Association on Computational Mechanics, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.


Selected Publications

  • Earls, Christopher J., R. Sternfels. 2013. "Reduced order model tracking and interpolation to solve PDE-based inverse problems." Inverse Problems 29: 075014.
  • Earls, Christopher J. 2013. "Bayesian inference of hidden corrosion in steel bridge connections: non-contact and sparse contact approaches." Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 44 (1-2): 420-432.
  • Earls, Christopher J. 2012. "Stochastic inverse thermographic characterization of sub-pixel sized through cracks." Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing.
  • Aquino, Wilkins, J. C. Brigham, Christopher J. Earls, N. Sukumar. 2009. "Generalized finite element method using proper orthogonal decomposition." International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering 79 (7): 887-906.
  • Earls, Christopher J., V Fountoulakis. 2014. "Inverting for maritime environments using empirical eigenfunction bases from radar imagery." Paper presented at SIAM Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award (The Charles E. Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech) 2004
  • Outstanding Professor of the Year Award (American Society of Civil Engineers, Pittsburgh Section) 2001
  • James and Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award (Cornell University College of Engineering) 2011
  • Peter S. Michie Outstanding Teacher Award (West Point) 1998
  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (Oak Ridge Associated Universities) 2000


  • BS (Civil Engineering), Virginia Tech, 1990
  • MS (Civil Engineering), Virginia Tech, 1992
  • Ph D (Civil Engineering), University of Minnesota, 1995