John S Popovics

John S Popovics
John S Popovics
(217) 244-0843
1116 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg


  • Ph.D., Engineering Science & Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, 1994
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, Drexel University, 1990
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Drexel University, 1988


John S. Popovics holds B.S. and M.S. degrees (Drexel University 1988 and 1990, respectively) in civil engineering, and a Ph.D. (The Pennsylvania State University 1994) in engineering science and mechanics. He has been on the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois since January 2002, and he currently serves as the Associate Head of Undergraduate Studies. He has also held the positions of Research Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, Assistant Professor at Drexel University, Guest Scientist at the German Federal Materials Research Institute (BAM-Berlin), Visiting Professor at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain and Visiting Researcher, Laboratoire Centrale des Pont et Chaussées (LCPC) in France.

Dr. Popovics teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses on materials properties, construction material corrosion and durability, concrete technology, and non-destructive testing.

Dr. Popovics is a member of the Acoustical Society of America, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Academy of Mechanics, and he is a named Fellow of the American Concrete Institute and the American Society for Nondestructive Testing. He participates as a voting member in five technical committees and currently serves as chair in two committees in these societies. He serves as associate editor of the Journal of Nondestructive Testing. He is affiliated with the Center for Advanced Cement-Based Materials (ACBM).

Dr. Popovics was the recipient of the National Science Foundation's CAREER award (1999), the American Society of Nondestructive Testing Fellowship Award 2012 and several teaching and advising awards from the University of Illinois.

Academic Positions

  • Department Affiliate, Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, 2014-present
  • Associate Head and Director of Undergraduate Programs, 2020 - present
  • Professor of Civil Engineering, UIUC, 2015-present
  • Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, UIUC, 2007-2015
  • Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, UIUC, 2002-2007
  • Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, Drexel University, 1999-2001
  • Research Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, Northwestern University, 1995-1998

Major Consulting Activities

  • The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB), Washington DC. (2008-2015)
  • The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia PA, 2013

Professional Registrations

  • Registered Professional Engineer, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2001-present

Research Statement

Dr. Popovics has two primary research interests. The first is non-destructive evaluation, imaging and sensing, where he applies mechanical and magnetic field phenomena to assess the condition of infrastructure materials and structures. His second research interest is degradation processes of infrastructure materials, particularly corrosion. His research findings have been published in five chapters in books, 75 articles in refereed technical journals, and more than 80 conference proceedings.

Research Interests

  • wave propagation
  • vibration
  • ultrasonic testing
  • structural health monitoring
  • sensor technology
  • numerical simulation
  • non-linear material response
  • non-destructive evaluation
  • material characterization and measurements
  • match curing for concrete

Books Edited or Co-Edited (Original Editions)

  • Health Monitoring Systems and Sensors for Assessing Concrete, ACI SP-252, The American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI. 2008 (co-edited with M. Basheer)
  • Selected Landmark Papers in Concrete Materials Research, ACI SP-249, The American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI. 2008 (co-edited with R. Detwiler, K. Folliard, J,. Olek, L. Snell)

Chapters in Books

  • Eiras,J.N.,Kundu, T.,Popovics, J.S. and Payá, J. “Cement-based material characterization using nonlinear single impact resonant acoustic spectroscopy (NSIRAS),” in Nonlinear Ultrasonic and Vibro-Acoustic Techniques for Nondestructive Evaluation, T. Kundu ed., Springer, 2019. pp.487-508.
  • Popovics, J.S. and O. Abraham, “Surface wave techniques for the evaluation of concrete structures,” in Nondestructive Evaluation of reinforced concrete structures, C. Maierhofer ed, Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Cambridge, 2010. Chapter 20.
  • Abraham O and J.S. Popovics, “Impact echo for the evaluation of concrete structures,” in Nondestructive Evaluation of reinforced concrete structures, C. Maierhofer ed, Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Cambridge, 2010. Chapter 21.
  • Holt, A.E., and J.S. Popovics, “Infrastructure Applications of Ultrasonic Testing,” in Nondestructive Testing Handbook: Volume 7: Ultrasonic Testing, 3rd edition, P.O. Moore, D. Kishoni and G.L. Workman eds, American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Columbus OH, 2007. Chapter 13.
  • Naik, T.R., V.M. Malhotra and J.S. Popovics, “The ultrasonic pulse velocity method,” in CRC Handbook on Nondestructive Testing of Concrete, 2nd edition, V.M. Malhotra and N.J. Carino eds, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2004. Chapter 8.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Tarokh, A., Makhnenko, R.Y., Kim K., Zhu X., Popovics J.S., Segvic B., Sweet DE."Influence of CO2 injection on the poromechanical response of Berea sandstone," International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Volume 95, 2020.
  • Spalvier,A., Domenech, L.D., Cetrangolo, G. and Popovics, J.S. "Torsional vibration technique for the acoustoelastic characterization of concrete," Materials and Structures, Volume 53, Number 7, 2020.
  • Gallagher J., Turnipseed, N., Yoritomo, J., Elliott, C., Cooper, S.L., Popovics, J.S., Prior, P. and Zilles, J. "A Collaborative Longitudinal Design for Supporting Writing Pedagogies of STEM Faculty." Technical Communication Quarterly, Volume 29, Number 4, pp. 411-426 2020.
  • Song, H. and Popovics, J.S. "Extracting Non-propagating Oscillatory Fields in Concrete to Detect Distributed Cracking," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Volume 146, Number 4, pp. 2655-2670, 2019.
  • Ahn, E., Shin, M., Weaver, R., and Popovics, J.S. "Effectiveness of diffuse ultrasound for evaluation of micro-cracking in concrete," Cement and Concrete Research, Volume 124, 105862, 2019
  • Song, H. and Popovics, J.S. "Contactless ultrasonic wavefield imaging to visualize near-surface damage in concrete elements," Applied Sciences, Volume 9, Number 15, 3005, 2019.
  • Spalvier, A., Bittner, J.A., Hall, K.S. and Popovics, J.S. "Comparison of core and in-place compressive strengths for early-age concrete," ACI Materials Journal, Volume 116, Number 3, pp. 63-72, 2019.
  • Bittner, J.A. and Popovics, J.S. "Direct imaging of moisture effects during slow dynamic nonlinearity,"Applied Physics Letters, Volume 114, 021901 2018. (Named as Editor's Pick)
  • Ahn, E., Kim, H.; Sim, S-H, Ph.D.; Shin, S-W, Popovics, J.S., and Shin, M.,"Surface wave based model for estimation of discontinuity depth in concrete," Sensors, Volume 18, 2793, 2018. DOI:10.3390/s18092793
  • Bittner,J.A., Balfe, S., Pittendreigh,B.R. and Popovics, J.S. "Monitoring of the cowpea bruchid, Callosobruchus maculatus (F), feeding activity in cowpea seeds: Advances in sensing technologies reveals new insights," Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 111, Number 3, pp. 1469-1475, 2018
  • Choi, H., Palacios, G., Popovics, J.S. and Chao, S-H., "Internal damage monitoring of RC and UHP-FRC columns under earthquake loading using ultrasonic tomography,"ACI Structural Journal, Volume 155, Number 2, pp. 545-558. 2018
  • Spalvier, A., Hall K.S. and Popovics J.S. "Comparative Study of Rebound Hammer, Nitto Hammer, and Pullout Test to Estimate Concrete In-Place Strength Using Random Sampling Analysis," Transportation Research Record, No. 2629, pp. 104-111, 2017.
  • Chung, C-W, Suraneni, P., Popovics, J.S. and Struble L.J., "Using ultrasonic wave reflection to monitor false set of cement paste," Cement and Concrete Composites, Volume 84, pp. 10-18 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2017.08.010
  • Song, H. and Popovics, J.S., "Characterization of steel-concrete interface bonding conditions using attenuation characteristics of guided waves," Cement and Concrete Composites, Volume 83, pp. 111-124, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2017.07.001
  • Ham, S., Choi, H., Oelze, M. and Popovics, J.S. "A noncontact ultrasonic surface wave approach to characterize distributed cracking damage in concrete," Ultrasonics, Volume 75, pp. 46-57, 2017

Journal Editorships

  • Editor, Special Issue on Non-destructive Evaluation of Civil Engineering Materials, ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, Volume 15, Number 3, June, 2003
  • Editor, Special Issue on outstanding papers from 2003 NDT-CE Berlin Conference, RILEM Concrete Science and Engineering/Materials and Structures, Volume 38, Number 283, 2005.
  • Co-Editor, Special issue on Advanced Sensing Technologies for NDE and SHM of Civil Infrastructure, Smart Structures and Systems, to appear 2014.
  • Appointed to Editorial Board of the Korean Society of Nondestructive Testing, 2012
  • Appointed to the Scientific Advisory committee for the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation at Iowa State University, 2013
  • Associate Editor, ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering (American Society of Civil Engineers). January 2001 - January 2012.
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation. June 2011 - December 2021.

Professional Societies

  • Fellow and member, American Society for Non-Destructive Testing
  • Member, American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Fellow and member American Concrete Institute
  • Member, American Academy of Mechanics
  • Voting member, RILEM, Committee INR. 2001 - 2005
  • Voting member, RILEM, Committee ATC-185. 2001 - 2004
  • Voting member, American Concrete Institute, Committee on Structural Health Monitoring. 2006 – present. I serve on a sub-committee that is preparing a new state-of-the-art document on Structural Health Monitoring.
  • Voting member, American Concrete Institute, Publications Committee. 2004 – 2013
  • Voting member, American Concrete Institute, Committee on Research. 2000 – present
  • Voting member, American Concrete Institute, Committee on Nondestructive Testing of Concrete. 1995 - present.

Service on Department Committees

  • Co-director: Societal Risk Management curriculum program within the civil and environmental engineering department of Illinois, 2012 - 2018
  • Head: Materials area within department, 2009-2015, 2018-present
  • Member: CEE Undergraduate affairs and outcomes assessment committee, 2004-present
  • Member: External advisory committee for the Annual Structural Engineering Conference, 2004-present
  • Member: CEE faculty search committee (position in structures group), 2006
  • Member: CEE department advisory committee, 2005-2010, 2012-2019
  • Chair: CEE department advisory committee, 2009-2010, 2015-2016, 2018-2019
  • Member: CEE department graduate affairs committee, 2009-present
  • Member: CEE department curriculum committee, 2006-present
  • Member: CEE department ad-hoc promotion and tenure committee, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2018

Service on College Committees

  • Member: Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education, 2014-present
  • Member: Engineering IT Governance Committee, 2012-2013
  • Member: CEE department head search committee, 2014
  • Member: UIUC engineering – physics liaison committee, 2004-present
  • Member: UIUC Engineering Open House committee, 2004-present

Service on Campus Committees

  • Member: Senate committee on student discipline, 2012-2014
  • Member: Center for Writing Studies campus advisory committee, 2012-2014, 2016-2017, and 2020-2021.
  • Participant: GradMentoring@Illinois program, 2011, 2012
  • Participant: UIUC Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), 2003, 2006

Service to Federal and State Government

  • National Science Foundation, MRI Review Panel, 2000
  • Invited panelist for DOE workshop on high level waste tank inspection, 2002
  • Invited panelist for NSF International Workshop on Preservation of Historic Structures with FRP Composites, Lecce Italy, June 2004
  • Invited panelist for NSF US - Poland Workshop on Concrete Materials and Structures, Warsaw and Krakow Poland, May 2004
  • Invited workshop participant for NSF 2nd ANCRiSST Workshop, Geongju, Korea, August 2005
  • National Science Foundation, External Proposal Review, 2006 and 2010
  • Invited panelist for SHRPII Technical Review Session, August 2007 and January 2010
  • National Science Foundation, Unsolicited Proposal Review Panel, 2012, 2010, 2009 (twice), 2006 (twice), 2002
  • National Science Foundation, CAREER Proposal Review Panel, 2018, 2002
  • Invited panelist and presenter at Department of Energy Light Water Reactor Sustainability workshop, July 2012

Other Outside Service

  • Research award application reviewer for PSC-CUNY, 2002.
  • Research award application reviewer for UIUC Research Board, 2006.
  • Member of advisory panel for SPIE 2003 Smart NDE and Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological
  • Member of advisory panel for NDT-CE conference held in Berlin, September 2003
  • Member of advisory panel for NDT-CE conference held in France in July 2009
  • John Wiley & Sons Inc., technical manuscript on Structural Health Monitoring, 2003
  • Wave Motion: 1996 – present
  • Ultrasonics: 2004-present
  • The US Transportation Research Board 2005- present
  • Structural Health Monitoring – An International Journal: 2005- present

Teaching Honors

  • Recipient of Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising ( 2004 )
  • Recipient of ASCE Outstanding Instructor Award (2004)
  • Recipient of the Rose Award for Teaching ( 2006)
  • Recipient of ASCE Outstanding Instructor Award (2008)
  • Recipient of Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising (2013)
  • Recipient of ASCE Outstanding Instructor Award (2013)
  • Recipient of College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award (2014)
  • Included on list of teachers ranked as "excellent" (Fall 2022, Fall 2021, Spring 2020, Fall 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2011, Fall 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2009, Fall 2008, Spring 2008, Fall 2007; Spring 2007; Fall 2006; Fall 2005; Spring 2005; Fall 2004; Fall 2003; )

Research Honors

  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2001)
  • 2012 ASNT Research Fellowship Award ( May 2012)
  • Recipient of CEE Excellence Faculty Scholar title (2016)
  • Recipient of the Caterpillar Faculty Scholar title (2020)

Public Service Honors

  • Inducted as a Fellow to the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT) (April 2014)
  • Inducted as a Fellow to the American Concrete Institute (ACI) (2008)

Other Honors

  • 2014 ASNT Faculty Grant Award (April 17, 2014)

Recent Courses Taught

  • CEE 300 (TAM 324) - Behavior of Materials
  • CEE 401 - Concrete Materials
  • CEE 503 - Constr Matls Deterioration
  • CEE 504 - Infrastructure NDE Methods
  • CEE 595 MA - Materials Seminar

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