Sissy Nikolaou
Dr. Sissy Nikolaou
Principal, Multi-Hazards & Geotechnical Engineering, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
New York, NY

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Biography

Sissy Nikolaou completed her Master’s and Doctoral degrees at SUNY-Buffalo and Diploma in NTUA, Greece. With over 20 years of experience, she is a Senior Associate with Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers (MRCE) where she established and leads MRCE's geoseismic services. An authority in seismic design particularly in Eastern US, Sissy’s technical capabilities include both structural and geotechnical engineering with emphasis on performance-based design and risk/resiliency assessment of critical facilities for multi hazards. Her global experience includes the retrofit of Queensboro and RFK bridges, foundation and geoseismic aspects of World Trade Center, CitiField Stadium, USTA facilities and new NY Bridge in NYC; high-rise buildings in Mexico; new waterfront of Beirut; security projects in Germany; and rebuild of Christchurch. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and as Advisory Board Member to the Dean of Engineering at SUNY-Buffalo. She participates in the technical committees of ASCE7-16 and NYC Building Code. She has led and been part of teams who responded to disasters and reconnaissance missions like Hurricane Sandy, 9-11, and several earthquakes. Sissy has numerous publications, including keynote addresses in ASCE Geo- and Structures Congresses. Her contributions were recognized with the Prakash Prize for Excellence in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering that she received as the youngest individual and first female winner. She was named Outstanding Woman in the Building Industry by the Women Builders Council, and acknowledged as one of the "40-under-40" AEC industry stars by the Building Design+Construction magazine. Sissy has developed K-12 Education Programs that focus on engaging girls in engineering (examples are Junior Engineers program for NYC Public schools, World Science Fair - “Battle Earthquakes wt Engineering,” 120,000+ visitors; Gateway - Engineering Resilient Cities through the vision of Children, exhibited in NYC Hall). She mentors younger female engineers and often gives lectures on the challenges and rewards of being a woman in the field of consulting engineering.

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Latest Questions
  • Lillia, Raytown, MO

    Added Friday, November 13, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    Hi my name is Lillia and I was just wondering what you do beyond your job. For instance, what do you do outside of work? What do you do to impact the community (outside of engineering) as an engineer and what do you do to impact the engineering community? Thank you :)
    Answers 1
    Sissy Nikolaou, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
    Answered Friday, November 13, 2015 at 11:57 AM
    Hi Lilia, my job does take a lot of my time which I try to balance with my family life. I have two children (12 and 9 years old) and I try to include them in my activities. We like to travel a lot and see the world, often combined with work or ...
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