Amy Rechenmacher

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Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Practice


  • Doctoral Degree, Civil Engineering, Northwestern University
  • Master's Degree, Civil Engineering, Cornell University
  • Bachelor's Degree, Civil Engineering, Iowa State University


After receiving her MS degree in Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering from Cornell University, Dr. Rechenmacher spent 3 years working in geotechnical engineering practice, first for Nicholson Construction Company (Bridgeville, PA), and then for Woodward-Clyde Consultants (Santa Ana, CA). After obtaining her PhD degree in Geotechnical Engineering in 2000, Dr. Rechenmacher spent a little over 4 years as an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University before moving to USC in 2005. Her research interests centered around experimental study of micromechanical processes governing of strain localization in sands, earthquake faulting, soil liquefaction, and granular material failure and flow.

In 2013, Dr. Rechenmacher transitioned to full-time teaching. Her current interests are centered around researching and implementing Active Learning and Engaged Learning Techniques in Engineering Education.

Dr. Rechenmacher is a licensed Professional Engineering (PE) in the State of California, and she is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).


  • 2008 National Science Foundation NSF CAREER Grant Award
  • 1999 ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation Scholar
  • 1999 Northwestern University GE Faculty of the Future Internship
  • 1998 ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation Scholar
  • 1996 Northwestern University Walter P. Murphy Fellowship
  • 1990 Northwestern University NSF Undergraduate Research Fellow
  • Dir-Acad Prog, Director of Undergraduate Programs
  • Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • KAP 268B
  • Kaprielian Hall
  • 3620 South Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 2531

Contact Information
  • (213) 740-3615


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