Trish Gallagher


Throughout her career, Professor Gallagher has applied her disciplinary specialty of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering to complex and difficult problems facing society, particularly in urban areas. Professor Gallagher’s research interests span four broad areas: (1) advancing the field of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, (2) advancing sustainability and resilience of the built environment, (3) advancing women and underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines, and (4) advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning. As an assistant professor, Professor Gallagher focused on developing a new technique for improving the resilience of structures susceptible to liquefaction during earthquakes. As an associate professor, she broadened her view to consider the environmental impact of various infrastructure, from geotechnical engineering works to the built environment in general. Currently, Professor Gallagher is exploring the linkage between sustainability and resilience and developing methods to consider both in decisions related to infrastructure. Professor Gallagher’s research activities towards advancing geotechnical engineering and sustainability and resilience of the built environment are synergistic with her service activities to create a more inclusive and diverse engineering community and have led to research funding to advance women and underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines.


Throughout her career, Professor Gallagher has continually expanded her teaching skills to improve student learning. She has implemented teaching innovations in many of her courses, including inverting the classroom in two courses and developing a field trip for "Geologic Principles for Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering." Professor Gallagher has won several teaching awards for her efforts. She also developed an intensive course abroad in Israel titled "Ecological Design and Sustainable Building." 

Degrees / Education

  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, 2000
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, The Ohio State University, 1996
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Rutgers University, 1988
  • B.A., Geological Sciences, Rutgers University, 1988


Research Areas

Research Interests

Colloidal Silica Stabilization for Mitigation of Liquefaction Risk; Life Cycle Approaches for Analyzing the Environmental Impact of the Built Environment; Evaluating the Effectiveness of Undergraduate Teaching; Connecting Women Faculty in Geotechnical Engineering

Areas of Study

Academic Distinctions

  • Evidence-Based Teaching Award in STEM, Drexel University, 2019
  • Louis and Bessie Stein Family Fellowship, Drexel University, 2018-2019
  • National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2012-2018
  • HHMI STEM Education Travel Award, Drexel University, 2016
  • College of Engineering Outstanding Service Award, Drexel University, 2012
  • Provost’s Fellow in Sustainability Drexel University, 2009-2012
  • Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Fellow, Drexel University, 2009-2010
  • Allen Rothwarf Award for Teaching Excellence, Drexel University, 2004
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Short-Term Invitation Fellowship, 2004
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award National Science Foundation, 2003


Select Publications

  • Bhatia, S.K., Cumberland, C.R., Gallagher, P.M., Athanasopoulos-Zekkos, A., and Soundarajan, S. (2021). "Seed Grants of Change: Building Thriving Networks Among Women Geotechnical Faculty Members: A Case Study." Journal of Civil Engineering Education, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)EI.2643-9115.0000039
  • Zamora, K.A., Gallagher, P.M., and Spatari, S. (2020). “Can public construction and demolition data describe trends in building material recycling? Observations from Philadelphia.” Frontiers in Built Environment, doi: 10.3389/fbuil.2020.00131.
  • Weggel, J.R., Gallagher, P.M., and Lin, Y.  (2019). “Closure to ‘Analytical model for transport of dilute colloidal silica dispersions in porous media.’” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 144(9).
  • Weggel, J.R., Gallagher, P.M., and Lin, Y.  (2018). “Analytical model for transport of dilute colloidal silica dispersions in porous media.” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 144(11).
  • Barr, C.M., Gallagher, P.M., Wadzuk, B.M., and Welker, A.M. (2017). Water quality impacts of green roofs compared with other vegetated sites. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment, 3(3).
  • Marcellus-Zamora, K.A., Gallagher, P.M., Spatari, S., and Tanikawa, H. (2015). “Estimating materials stocked by land use type in historic urban buildings using spatio-temporal analytical tools.” Journal of Industrial Ecology, 20, 1025-1037. doi:10.1111/jiec.12327
  • Hamderi, M. and Gallagher, P.M. (2015). “Pilot-scale modeling of colloidal silica delivery to liquefiable sands.” Soils and Foundations, 55(1), 143-153. doi:10.1016/j.sandf.2014.12.011
  • Hamderi, M., Gallagher, P.M., and Lin, Y. (2014). “Numerical model for colloidal silica injected column tests.” Vadose Zone Journal, 13(2). doi:10.2136/vzj2013.07.0138
  • Hamderi, M. and Gallagher, P.M. (2013). “An optimization study on the delivery distance of colloidal silica.” Scientific Research and Essays, 8(27), 314-1323.
  • Gallagher, P.M., Spatari, S., and Cucura, J., (2013). “Hybrid life cycle assessment comparison of grouted soil barrier remediation technologies." Journal of Hazardous Materials, 250-251, 421-430.
  • Conlee, C.T., Gallagher, P.M., Boulanger, R. W., and Kamai, R. (2012). “Centrifuge modeling for liquefaction mitigation using colloidal silica stabilizer.” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 138(11),1334-1345.
  • Boyle, C., Mudd, G., Mihelcic, J., Anastas, P., Collins, T., Culligan, P., Edwards, M., Gabe, J., Gallagher, P.M., Handy, S., Kao, J-J., Krumdieck, S., Lyles, L.D., Mason, I., Mcdowall, R., Pearce, A., Riedy, C., Russell, J., Schnoor, J.L., Trotz, M., Venables, R., Zimmerman, J.B., Fuchs, V., Miller, S., Page, S., and Reeder-Emery, K. (2010). “Delivering sustainable infrastructure that supports the urban built environment.” Environmental Science & Technology, 44(13), 4836-4840.