Faculty Profile

Franklin T. Lombardo

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Franklin T. Lombardo
Franklin T. Lombardo
Assistant Professor
3110 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg
205 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 265-7556

Primary Research Area

  • Structural Engineering


  • Ph.D., Wind Science and Engineering, Texas Tech University, 2009
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Tri-State University (now Trine), 2002


Dr. Frank Lombardo currently specializes in wind engineering, infrastructure resilience and engineering for multi-hazards. Prior to joining Illinois, Lombardo was a Research Assistant Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y. At RPI, Lombardo was involved in multiple research topics. These topics included improving probabilistic and physical characterization of extreme wind events such as tornadoes and thunderstorms, estimating loading conditions in these events and utilizing this information to better understand performance of different infrastructure types to windstorms. Lombardo also took part in research aimed at the characterization of multiple, natural hazards and how possible modifications in these hazards due to climate change could affect the vulnerability of the built environment. Prior to RPI, he was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). While at NIST, Lombardo was the lead researcher in developing an extreme wind speed climatology for design of structures in the United States. Lombardo was an integral member of a team that investigated the environmental conditions, structural damage and human response in the Joplin, Mo., tornado. The work on the Joplin tornado resulted in Dr. Lombardo and the entire NIST team receiving the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2014.

Dr. Lombardo received his Ph.D. in Wind Science and Engineering from Texas Tech University in 2009 and his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tri-State (now Trine) University in 2002. The Ph.D. program was a National Science Foundation funded multidisciplinary Ph.D. program that included detailed study of wind engineering, atmospheric science and probability/statistics. While at Texas Tech, he studied thunderstorm wind characteristics and their subsequent loading and load effects on a full-scale, low-rise building.

Dr. Lombardo has numerous conference and journal publications pertaining to wind and wind-related hazards. He has also developed a course, Engineering for Natural Hazards that covers the treatment of multiple natural hazards, vulnerability and risk analyses and case studies of natural disasters.

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Aug. 2015 - Present
  • Research Assistant Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Jan. 2013 - Jul. 2015
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Aug. 2010-Jan. 2013

Research Statement

Dr. Lombardo￿s goal is to reduce windstorm losses through understanding windstorms and their impacts by bridging the gap between the physical sciences and engineering practice. To this aim, Lombardo￿s primary research will be focused on understanding non-synoptic wind events (e.g., tornadoes and thunderstorms) and their impacts to the built environment through hazard, load and vulnerability characterization.

Research Interests

  • Wind Engineering
  • Extreme Wind Characterization
  • Resilience
  • Bluff Body Aerodynamics
  • Climate and Weather Extremes
  • Structural Damage
  • Structural Reliability
  • Natural and Multi-Hazard Analysis
  • Wind Energy

Chapters in Books

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Lombardo, F.T., Main, J.A. and Simiu E. (2009). ￿Automated extraction and classification of thunderstorm and non-thunderstorm wind data for extreme-value analysis￿, J. Wind. Eng. Ind. Aero., 97, 3-4, 120-131
  • Lombardo, F.T. (2012). ￿Improved extreme wind speed estimation for wind engineering applications￿, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 104-106, 278-284
  • Lombardo, F.T., Simiu, E., Pintar, A., Possolo, A., Yeo, D. (2013). ￿Meteorological extremes￿, Environmetrics
  • Lombardo, F.T. (2014). ￿Extreme wind speeds from multiple hazards excluding tropical cyclones￿, Wind and Structures, 19, 5, 467-480
  • Lombardo, F.T., Smith, D.A., Schroeder, J.L. and Mehta, K.C. (2014). ￿Thunderstorm characteristics of importance to wind engineering￿, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 125, 121-132
  • Lombardo, F.T., Roueche, D. and Prevatt, D.O. (2015). ￿Comparisons of two methods of near-surface wind speed estimation 22 May 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado￿, J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn., 138, 87-97
  • Sinh, H.N., Lombardo, F.T., Letchford, C.W and Rosowsky, D.V. (2016). ￿Joint characterization of the wind and ice hazard in the Midwestern United States, Nat. Haz. Review 04016004-1 (available online)
  • Mudd, L., Rosowsky, D.V., Letchford, C.W. and Lombardo, F.T. (2016). ￿A Probabilistic Hurricane Rainfall Model and Possible Climate Change Implications￿, J. Struct. Eng. (available online)
  • Lombardo, F.T. and Ayyub, B. (accepted), ￿An Approach for Near Surface Wind Speed Estimation with Climate Change Considerations￿, submitted J. Risk Unc. Eng.
  • Lombardo, F.T., Krupar III, R.J. (accepted). ￿A Comparison of Aerodynamic Roughness Length Estimation Methods for Use in Characterizing Surface Terrain Conditions￿, submitted to J. Struct. Eng.
  • Roueche, D.R., Lombardo, F.T., Prevatt, D.O. (in review). ￿Development of empirical fragility curves for residential construction from the May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado￿, submitted to J. Struct. Eng.

Invited Lectures

  • EF-Scale Forum
  • The Joplin Tornado: Lessons Learned from the NIST Investigation
  • Challenges in Adaptation to a Changing Climate: Case Study for Washington, DC Area Extreme Wind and Heat Events
  • Directions in Wind Hazard Modeling
  • Thunderstorm Characteristics of Importance in Wind Engineering

Magazine Articles

  • Wright, D.W., Ayyub, B. and Lombardo, F.T. (2013). ￿Bridging the Gap Between Climate Change Science and Structural Engineering Practice￿. Structure Magazine, September 2013

Journal Editorships

  • Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure
  • Frontiers in the Built Environment ￿ Wind Engineering and Science

Professional Societies

  • Chair, ASCE Subcommittee on In-Situ Measurements in Windstorms
  • Member, ASCE Risk and Resilience Measurements Committee
  • Member, ASCE Committee of Estimating Wind Speeds in Tornadoes and Other Windstorms
  • Member, American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Adaptation to Climate Change

Teaching Honors

  • ASCE Outstanding Instructor Award (2017)

Research Honors

  • Department of Commerce Gold Medal (2014)