Director 

Professor  Bassem Andrawes has been named Director of the Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory (NSEL). Completed in 1967 and extended in 1971, NSEL has been home to large-scale experimental structural research for more than 50 years. The laboratory features a central, three-story crane bay with a strong floor and a 28-foot, L-shaped reaction wall. The structural testing area is used to carry out a range of tests of building materials, components, structural assemblies and models.

“I feel honored and excited to be able to serve the CEE department through this new position,” Andrawes said. “As Director of NSEL, I hope to work with my colleagues to create a vision for the future of this lab that would maintain the legacy of our department.”

In announcing the appointment, Department Head  Benito Mariñas noted that NSEL has played an iconic role in advancing knowledge and graduating leaders in the structural engineering and civil infrastructure sustainability profession and expressed confidence in Andrawes’s vision for modernizing the lab.

 “Under Professor Andrawes’s leadership NSEL will evolve into a hub for innovation and creativity within the structural engineering discipline and along its interfaces with other areas of CEE as well as across The Grainger College of Engineering and campus,” Mariñas wrote.


Research Engineer

Dr. Alex Weber-Kamin came to UIUC in 2021 as a Research Engineer, overseeing experimental work in the Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory. They will be responsible for scheduling the testing programs in NSEL, maintaining and troubleshooting testing equipment, and assisting with future lab initiatives. Dr. Weber-Kamin graduated from the University of Kansas with a PhD in Structural Engineering in 2020 and from the University of Oklahoma with a BS in Civil Engineering in 2013. They have been active in many structural engineering projects, with a focus on reinforced and prestressed concrete and advancing the science of high-strength steel reinforcement and concrete.

“I am excited to assist my colleagues in both the UIUC Civil Engineering Department and other interdisciplinary efforts with their research at NSEL,” said Alex. “I appreciate the combination of practical research and forward-thinking projects that will push the boundaries of science and the state of the art. I look forward to many years of fruitful collaboration and continuing the tradition of research excellence at the University of Illinois.”

Operations Director 

1141 Newmark Building | 217 649 0915 | gbanas@illinois.edu

Dr. Banas came to UIUC in 1986 and he joined Department of Civil Engineering, initially, as a Visiting Scholar and later on as a Research Engineer. He was very active in experimental work associated with materials testing in Materials Testing Laboratory (College of Engineering) and Structural Engineering Research Laboratory (Department of Civil Engineering) at the University of Illinois.

Since 1994 he has been responsible for research and commercial testing activity in the Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory (NSEL). He retired from CEE in 2010. He came back to work as NSEL Director of Operations in December 2019.

Dr. Banas is currently responsible for scheduling the testing programs in NSEL. Also, he helps graduate and undergraduate students with their projects in the lab.


Website Administrator

3129 Newmark Building | marissam@illinois.edu

Marissa Miller is the Office Support Specialist for the Structures group in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has been with the Structures group since joining the university in February 2018.

As the lead administrator of the NSEL webpage, please do not hesitate to reach out to Marissa with any questions/comments.