Paul Zia

Distinguished Univ. Professor Emeritus

  • 919-787-6583
  • Constructed Facilities Lab 220

Dr. Paul Zia is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering and Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor Emeritus. For over 50 years he has been engaged in teaching, research and consulting in many areas of concrete materials, reinforced and prestressed concrete structures, and construction. He has advised more than 60 masters and doctoral students. He has conducted sponsored researches on many aspects of prestressed and reinforced concrete, including torsion and shear, bond and development length, loss of prestress, applications of high performance and high strength concrete, self-consolidating concrete, jointless bridge deck, and cracking in large prestressed concrete girders. His studies also included fatigue strength of cracked prestressed concrete girders, assessment of high performance concrete bridges, development of a non-destructive test method for measuring air permeability of concrete, the use of self-consolidating concrete in highway structures, and application of corrosion-resistant high-strength MMFX steel for concrete structures, and structural applications of new proprietary materials called Grancrete and Elimix Admixture.

Dr. Zia is a registered professional engineer in North Carolina and an honorary member of both American Concrete Institute (ACI) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and a Fellow of Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). He has served as chairman and member of many technical and administrative committees of these organizations, including a term as President of ACI in 1989-1990.

For his achievements in teaching, research, and professional activities, Dr. Zia has received numerous honors and awards including election to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering (1983); NCSU Alcoa Foundation Distinguished Engineering Research Award (1978-80); University of Florida Distinguished Alumnus Award (1983); ASEE Lamme Medal (1986); and NCSU Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal of Excellence (1993), the highest honor bestowed on a faculty member by the NCSU Board of Trustees. In 1999, the National Park Service presented him the Citizen’s Award for Exceptional Service in recognition of his role as an adviser and consultant for the relocation of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. In 2004, he was honored by PCI with the Distinguished Educator of the Year Award.


Ph.D. 1960

Structural Engineering

University of Florida

M.S. 1952

Structural Engineering

University of Washington

B.S. 1949

Civil Engineering

National Chiao Tung University

Research Description

Dr. Zia is interested in behavior and design of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures, high-performance concrete, high-strength steel, bridge engineering.

Honors and Awards

  • National Academy of Engineering, 1983
  • National Park Service Citizen's Award for Exceptional Service, 1999
  • NCSU Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal of Excellence, 1993
  • ASEE Lamme Medal, 1986
  • NCSU Alcoa Foundation Distinguished Engineering Research Award, 1980


Thermal cracking of mass concrete bridge footings in coastal environments
Bobko, C. P., Edwards, A. J., Seracino, R., & Zia, P. (2015), Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 29(6).
Effects of production practices on camber of prestressed concrete bridge girders
Storm, T. K., Rizkalla, S. H., & Zia, P. Z. (2013), PCI Journal, 96–111.
Development of a rational design methodology for precast concrete slender spandrel beams
Klein, G., Rizkalla, S., Zia, P., & Lucier, G. (2012), PCI Journal, 182–186.
Development of a rational design methodology for precast concrete slender spandrel beams: Part 2, analysis and design guidelines
Lucier, G., Walter, C., Rizkalla, S., Zia, P., & Klein, G. (2011), PCI Journal, 106–133.
Behavior of instrumented prestressed high performance concrete bridge girders
Dwairi, H. M., Wagner, M. C., Kowalsky, M. J., & Zia, P. (2010), Construction & Building Materials, 24(11), 2294–2311.
behavior of concrete beams reinforced with ASTM A1035 grade 100 stirrups under shear
Munikrishna, A., Hosny, A., Rizkalla, S., & Zia, P. (2010), ACI Structural Journal, 108(1), 34–41.
Behavior of high-performance steel as shear reinforcement for concrete beams
Sumpter, M. S., Rizkalla, S. H., & Zia, P. (2009), ACI Structural Journal, 106(2), 171–177.
Bond characteristics of ASTM A1035 steel reinforcing bars
Seliem, H. M., Hosny, A., Rizkalla, S., Zia, P., Briggs, M., Miller, S., … Jirsa, J. O. (2009), ACI Structural Journal, 106(4), 530–539.
Proposal for concrete compressive strength up to 18 ksi (124 Mpa) for bridge design
Rizkalla, S., Zia, P., Mirmiran, A., Russell, H. G., & Mast, R. (2009), Transportation Research Record, (2131), 59–67.
Short-term mechanical properties of high-strength concrete
Logan, A., Choi, W., Mirmiran, A., Rizkalla, S., & Zia, P. (2009), ACI Materials Journal, 106(5), 413–418.

View all publications via NC State Libraries


Predicting Camber, Deflection & Prestess Losses of Prestressed Concrete Members
NC Department of Transportation(8/16/09 - 3/31/11)
Application of the LRFD Bridge Design Specifications to High-Strength Structural Concrete: Flexure and Compression Provisions
National Academy of Sciences(8/15/03 - 5/28/07)