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Sherif Elfass

Research Associate Professor
Sherif Elfass

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., University of Nevada, Reno, 2001
  • M.S., University of Nevada, Reno, 1997
  • B.Sc., University of Alexandria, Egypt, 1991

Research interests

  • Experimental and analytical studies of seismic performance of bridge foundations, shallow and deep foundations, soil-structure-interaction, pile and pile group response under axial loading, use of grout techniques to improve load carrying capacity of drilled shafts, deep foundation instrumentation and testing
  • Theoretical and experimental aspects of earthquake engineering and soil dynamics, undrained soil behavior and soil liquefaction
  • Characterization and the application of geosynthetics to improve soil performance
  • Faculty participant in College of Engineering K-12 outreach programs
  • Application of Computational Science in engineering education

Relevant past experience:

  • Manager of Bridge Research and Information Center
  • Soil box and shake table experiments of scaled models of footings
  • Full-scale testing of eccentrically braced frames for Richmond San-Rafael bridge retrofit
  • Seismic performance of bridge restrainers and retaining structures
  • Editor of the "38th Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Symposium", 2003
  • Full-scale testing of post grouted drilled shafts
  • Large-scale lab testing on drilled shafts
  • Former member of the Liquefaction Subcommittee, Goescience Subcommittee, Nevada Earthquake Safety Council

Other Activities within Engineering and Teaching Professions

  • Member ASCE, CUREE, NEES
  • Designer of the UNR-laminar Soil Box (10'x10'x6') for assessing Soil-Foundation-Structure-Interaction (SFSI) under seismic conditions
  • Developer of AxiPile; a new model by which axial capacity of piles and drilled shafts can be assessed during loading-unloading-reloading phases
  • Chair of NEES Site Operations Manager forum (2009 - present)
  • Advisory board member for Project Management certificate Program, Extended Studies, University of Nevada, Reno (2007 - present)

Courses taught

  • CEE 101 Engineering Graphics
  • CEE 121 Elementary Surveying
  • CEE 140 Introduction to Civil Engineering
  • CEE 442/642 Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering
  • CEE 443/643 Geotechnical Engineering: Foundations
  • CEE 445/645 Geosynthetics
  • CEE 746 Advanced Foundation

Publications and presentations

  • Elfass, S., Yang, H., Siino, J., Norris, N., 2009, "Drained t-z Characterization for Piles/Shafts in Sand," International Foundation Congress & Equipment Expo 2009 - IFCEE '09, ASCE, March, Orlando, FL.
  • Elfass, S., Pooranampillai, J.D., Elsayed, A., Norris, N., 2009. "Undrained Point Load-Point Displacement Response of Piles/Drilled Shafts in Clay and Sand," International Foundation Congress & Equipment Expo 2009 - IFCEE '09, ASCE, IFCEE '09, ASCE, March, Orlando, FL.
  • Pooranampillai, J.D., Elfass, S., Vanderpool, W., Norris, N., 2009. "Large-Scale Laboratory Study on the Innovative Use of Low Mobility Compaction Grout for Drilled Shaft Tip Post Grouting," International Foundation Congress & Equipment Expo 2009 - IFCEE '09, ASCE, IFCEE '09, ASCE, March, Orlando, FL.
  • Pooranampillai, J.D., Elfass, S., Vanderpool, W., Norris, G., 2008, "Development and Assessment of Post Grouting Methods to Increase the Load Carrying Capacity of Deep Foundations," 41st Symposium on Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering, April 2008, p 77 - 92.
  • Vanderpool, W., Norris, G., Elfass, S., 2008, "Warning: Low Mobility Grout (LMG) May Not Equal compaction Grout (CG), (2008), Geotechnical News, March 2008, Volume 26, Number 1, p 44-50.
  • Elfass, S. and Norris, G., 2008, "Undrained Tip Response of Drilled Shaft in Cohesionless Soils," Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics (GEESD) IV, ASCE, Sacramento, CA.
  • Muhanna, M., Dascalu, S., Harris, F. C., Elfass, S., and Karam, M., "Specification and Design Aspects of the Academic Researcher's Assistant (ARA) Software for Mobile Devices," Proceedings of the 1st IEEE International Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interaction (ACHI'08), S.L. Martinique, France, IEEE Computer Society Press, pp. 95-100. February 2008.
  • Elfass, S. A., Norris, G. M., Vimalaraj, P., 2007, "A Simple Bearing Capacity Equation," GeoDenver 2007, ASCE, New Peaks in Geotechnics, Denver, CO.

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