Brent Phares


Bridge Research Engineer, BEC





Research Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering


InTrans, BEC

About Brent

Dr. Brent Phares has over 18 years of experience in the field of civil and structural engineering. After his graduation from Iowa State University, he worked as a consultant for the Federal Highway Administration with an assignment at the Turner-Fairbanks Highway Research Center. Two of the many products of his work include (1) an evaluation of NBIS-style bridge inspections and (2) a guideline/specification manual for the ultrasonic inspection of bridge pins. These publications have had a lasting impact on bridge evaluation.

Dr. Phares returned to Iowa State in 2001 as a research engineer and has served in many leadership positions since that time, currently as a bridge research engineer and research associate professor, where he oversees multiple researchers and more than 20 graduate students. Additionally, he collaborates with faculty from across Iowa State University, the United States, and beyond. Dr. Phares is known as an international expert in the use of quantitative data in bridge evaluation. He has also become a national player in the field of accelerated bridge construction through his work with the Iowa Department of Transportation, where he serves as an on-demand consultant. He is known for his ability to integrate outreach into research to meet the needs of the academic community as well as the needs of transportation practitioners and other stakeholders.


  • PhD, Structural Engineering, Iowa State University, 1998
  • MS, Structural Engineering, Iowa State University, 1996
  • BS, Civil Engineering, Iowa State University, 1994

Professional Experience

  • Research Associate Professor, Iowa State University, 2014–present
  • Director, Bridge Engineering Center, Iowa State University, 2011–2018
  • Co-Director, National Center for Wood Transportation Structures, Iowa State University, 2009–2018

Selected Publications

  • Jayathilaka, S. T., B. M. Phares, and Liu. 2022. Implementation of a Mathematical Model for the Prediction of the Future Condition Rating for Bridge Components. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2677, No. 3.
  • Liu, Z., M. Phares, Z. Dietrich, and B. Shafei. 2022. Structural behavior of large anchor bolts used for sign-support structures. Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Vol. 190,
  • Sanderson, T. B., K. S. Freeseman, and Z. Liu. 2022. Concrete bridge deck overlay assessment using ultrasonic tomography. Case Studies in Construction Materials, Vol. 16.
  • Liu,, A. Semendary, and and B. M. Phares. 2022. Numerical Investigation on Early Age Performance of UHPC Shear Keys between Adjacent Prestressed Concrete Box Beams. Advances in Structural Engineering.
  • Shurbert-Hetzel, C., Shafei, and B. Phares. 2021. Performance of steel dynamic message sign-support structures in extreme wind events. Journal of Engineering Structures, Vol. 237, pp. 1–15.

Professional Affiliations, Honors, and Service

  • Member, Steering Committee of the TRB Bridge Data Analysis Working Group
  • Voting member, AREMA Committee on Timber – Committee 7, 2005–present
  • Secretary, Transportation Research Board Committee A2C05(1) – Subcommittee on Nondestructive Evaluation of Structures, 1998–present
  • Team coordinator, Performance Definitions and Measurement, FHWA Virtual Team on Structural Health Monitoring, 2004–present
  • Voting member, Transportation Research Board Committee A2C05 – Committee on Dynamics and Field Testing of Bridges, 1999–2003; Friend of Committee, 1997–1998, 2003–present
  • Voting member, ACI Committee 342, Evaluation of Concrete Bridges and Bridge Elements, 1997–present
  • Secretary, Transportation Research Board Committee A2C01 – Committee on General Structures, 2004–present
  • Voting member, Transportation Research Board Committee A2C01 – Committee on General Structures, 1998–present
  • Associate member, ACI Committee 228, Nondestructive Testing of Concrete, 1998–present
  • Member, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1990–present
  • Friend, Transportation Research Board Committee A2C03 – Committee on Concrete Bridges, 1997–present

Completed Research

In-Progress Research