Sheila Rimal Duwadi, PE

Senior Research Engineer, Federal Highway Administration (Retired)

Institute of Bridge Engineering External Advisory board Member Shelia R. Duwadi.

Sheila Rimal Duwadi, PE is a registered professional engineer in Virginia, and has decades of experience working for the federal government with expertise in bridges and structures.

She worked for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in various programs and projects representing the agency and the Department of Transportation (DOT) at national and international levels. Her 36 years with the FHWA provided her opportunities to create and lead major research programs.  She also served on committees of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the American Association of Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); and under a Detail, she worked for the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Through the R&D programs she managed, Duwadi has been successful in furthering the state of the knowledge and practice in the areas of horizontally curved steel bridges, timber bridges, preservation of historic covered bridge, and in addressing vulnerabilities of bridges against threats of terrorism. 

In later years, Duwadi was a team leader for FHWA’s Hazard Mitigation Team providing vision, strategic direction and oversight of the Hazard Mitigation R&D Program in the areas of wind, flooding and scour, earthquakes and terrorism. 

Her contributions have helped shape national plans including the Presidential Policy Directive 21, the National Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience R&D Plan, Transportation Systems Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources Sector-Specific Plan, and others such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, a global strategic framework for United Nation member countries.

Duwadi has further been active in ASCE throughout her career serving on bridge technical committees of the Structural Engineering Institute, as a member, then moving on to chair the Timber Bridge Committee, chair the Bridge Technical Activities Committee, and finally into the Technical Administrative Division Executive Committee.

Duwadi holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Washington State University, and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University.