Faculty Profile for Dr. Stacey Elizabeth Kulesza

profile photo for Dr. Stacey Elizabeth Kulesza
Dr. Stacey Elizabeth Kulesza
Associate Professor — Ingram School of Engineering
RFM 5200
phone: (512) 245-1826

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Stacey Kulesza is an associate professor at Texas State University in the geotechnical area within civil engineering. After she received her Ph.D. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 2013, she was an assistant/associate professor at Kansas State University from 2013-2021. Dr. Kulesza's research focuses on in situ and laboratory characterization of geo-materials with applied geophysics, identifying anthropogenic impacts on soil properties, and monitoring deteriorating infrastructure. She also studies asset-based frameworks that support diverse pathways towards creating authentic engineering identities. Her research sponsors include the US Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, National Science Foundation, Kansas Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She is the director of the CREATE University Transportation Center, sponsored by the US DOT and led by Texas State with four partner universities (https://create.engineering.txst.edu/). The mission of CREATE is to enhance coastal transportation infrastructure durability to ensure lasting impacts on society and the environment. She is also a member of the NSF Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) team and participated in the GEER evaluation of the city of Houston impacts from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. She is a registered professional engineer in the state of Kansas.

Teaching Interests

Kulesza's teaching philosophy is to create a framework for life-long learning by fostering skills in communication, critical thinking, and team work. She aims to do this by creating an inclusive environment inside and outside of the classroom. Her research and current courses are focused on geotechnical engineering. She has primarily taught courses related to geotechnical design, advanced soil testing, and soil mechanics and enjoys teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses. Her primary undergraduate course is soil mechanics. She has developed six in-class demonstrations, approximately one demonstration per major topic, to supplement in-class lectures. She has also developed online homework problems and two-minute review videos to supplement these problems. She has developed four graduate level geotechnical courses.

Research Interests

Kulesza's research focuses on identifying anthropogenic impacts on soil properties, applied geophysics and soil erosion potential, and characterizing infrastructure deterioration. Her research group seeks to understand the in situ integrity of natural materials and aging infrastructure to support the global initiative of sustainability and resiliency. She also studies asset-based frameworks that support diverse pathways towards creating authentic engineering identities. Her research sponsors include the National Science Foundation, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Kansas Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Kansas Water Research Institute.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Anderson, S., Akhoodan, M., Burns, S., Castenada-Lopez, H., Fishman, K., Frankel, G., … Rutherford, L. (2023). Corrosion of Buried Steel at New and In-Service Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26686
  • Evans, R., Liang, J., Asadollahpajouh, M., & Kulesza, S. (2021). Nevertheless, she persisted:” Women thrive when they experience the joy of doing engineering. In Research in Engineering Education Symposium.
  • Wooten, R. L., Kulesza, S., El Mohtar, C., Diaz, B., Ilupeju, O., Rasulo, M., … Nelsen, C. (2020). Geotechnical Effects of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston, Beaumont, and Port Arthur Areas. International Journal of Geoengineering Case Histories, 5(4), 77–105.
  • Koehn, W., Kulesza, S., & Steward, D. R. (2019). Conceptualizing groundwater surface-water interactions within the Ogallala Aquifer with electrical resistivity. Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics, 24(2), 85–99. https://doi.org/10.2113/JEEG24.2.185
  • Tucker-Kulesza, S., Rutherford, C., & Bernhardt-Barry, M. (2019). Electrical resistivity to detect internal erosion in levees. International Journal of Geoengineering Case Histories, 5(2), 55–69. https://doi.org/10.4417/IJGCH-05-02-01

Selected Grants

  • Kulesza, Stacey Elizabeth (Principal), Wang, Feng (Co-Principal), Shi, Xijun (Co-Principal). University Transportation Center: Coastal Research and Education Actions for Transportation Equity, US Department of Transportation, Federal, $10000000. (Submitted: August 2022, Funded: June 2023 - June 2028). Grant.
  • Hwang, Sangchul Scott (Principal), Yeon, Jung (Co-Principal), Shi, Xijun (Co-Principal), Ozbakkaloglu, Togay (Co-Principal), Kulesza, Stacey (Co-Principal), Carvallo, Andres (Co-Principal). Professional Services and Studies on Green and Technology-Enhanced Infrastructure Management and Firefighter's Health, Hays County, State, $167454. (Funded: January 2023 - December 2024). Grant.
  • Muci-Kuchler, Karim Heinz (Principal), Valles, Damian (Co-Principal), Londa, Michelle (Co-Principal), Collins, Kristina Henry (Co-Principal), Tate, Jitendra (Co-Principal), Kulesza, Stacey Elizabeth (Supporting), Talley, Kimberly Grau (Supporting). S-STEM: Scholars of Excellence in Engineering Design (SEED), National Science Foundation (NSF), Federal, $2499310. (Submitted: March 2, 2023, Funded: January 1, 2024 - December 31, 2029). Grant.
  • Kulesza, Stacey Elizabeth (Principal). Enhancing Railroad Workforce Training through Equitable Smart Infrastructure Experiences, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal, $156432. (Submitted: December 23, 2021, Funded: October 2022 - May 2025). Grant.
  • Kulesza, Stacey Elizabeth (Principal). A mechanistic phenomenological investigation of fouled ballast to support in situ identification of fouling, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal, $140024. (Submitted: October 30, 2021, Funded: October 2022 - May 2024). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

ASCE GI Outreach and Engagement Committee
March 2020-Present
National Academies Corrosion of Buried Steel at New and In-Service Infrastructure
August 2020-October 2022
Run 2 R1 Commission
August 2023-Present
ISOE Research Committee
January 2023-Present
PC Committee