Photo of Rebecca Napolitano

Rebecca Napolitano

Assistant Professor


  • Architectural Engineering

209 Engineering Unit A


Research Website

Research Areas:

Building Structural Systems




  • BA, Physics, Connecticut College, 2015
  • BA, Classical languages, Connecticut College, 2015
  • MS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, 2017
  • Ph D, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, 2020


Journal Articles

  • Mitchell Hallee, Rebecca Napolitano, Wesley and Branko Glisic, 2021, "Crack Detection in Images of Masonry Using CNNs", Sensors, 21, (14)
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Reinhart and Juan Pablo Gevaudan Burgos, 2021, "Smart cities built with smart materials", Science
  • Rohola Rahnavard, Helder Craveiro, Laim, Luis, Simoes, Rui A and Rebecca Napolitano, 2021, "Numerical investigation on the composite action of cold-formed steel built-up battened columns", Thin-Walled Structures, 162, pp. 107553
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Michael Hess and Branko Glisic, 2020, "Quantifying the differences in documentation and modeling levels for building pathology and diagnostics", Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering, 27, (4), pp. 1135--1152
  • Mohebollah Agah Nav, Rohola Rahnavard, A. Noorzad and Rebecca Napolitano, 2020, "Numerical evaluation of the behavior of ordinary and reinforced stone columns", Journal of Structures
  • Rohola Rahnavard, H. Craveiro and Rebecca Napolitano, 2020, "Static and dynamic stability analysis of a steel-rubber isolator with rubber cores", Journal of Structures
  • Rohola Rahnavard, Hesham Tuwair, Farhad Abbas Gandomkar and Rebecca Napolitano, 2020, "Investigating the effects of seismic isolators on steel asymmetric structures considering soil-structure interaction", Journal of Structures
  • Rohola Rahnavard, C. Rebelo, H. Craverio and Rebecca Napolitano, 2020, "Understanding the cyclic performance of composite steel-concrete connections on steel bridges"
  • Rohola Rahnavard, C Rebelo and Rebecca Napolitano, 2020, "Numerical investigation of the cyclic performance of reinforced concrete frames equipped with a combination of a rubber core and a U-shaped metallic damper", Engineering Structures
  • Rohola Rahnavard, C Rebelo, H Craverio and Rebecca Napolitano, 2020, "Numerical study on the cyclic performance of composite steel-concrete connection of the pipe pile to cap beam in steel bridges", Journal of Structures
  • Rebecca Napolitano and Branko Glisic, 2020, "Hybrid physics-based modeling and data-driven method for diagnostics of masonry structures", Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
  • Isabella Douglas, Rebecca Napolitano, Maria Garlock and Branko Glisic, 2020, "Cuba’s National School of Ballet: Redefining a structural icon", Engineering Structures
  • Rebecca Napolitano and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Understanding the function of bonding courses in masonry construction: An investigation with mixed numerical methods", Journal of Cultural Heritage, 39, pp. 120-129
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Zachary Liu, Carl Sun and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Combination of image-based documentation and augmented reality for structural health monitoring and building pathology", Frontiers in Built Environment, 5, pp. 50
  • Anna Blyth, Rebecca Napolitano and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Documentation, structural health monitoring and numerical modelling for damage assessment of the Morris Island Lighthouse", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 377, (2155), pp. 20190002
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Michael Hess and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Integrating non-destructive testing, laser scanning, and numerical modeling for damage assessment: the room of the elements", Heritage, 2, (1), pp. 151--168
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Michael Hess and Branko Glisic, 2019, "The foundation walls of the Baptistery di San Giovanni: a combination of laser scanning and finite-distinct element modeling to ascertain damage origins", International Journal of Architectural Heritage
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Catherine Jennings, Sophia Feist, Abigail Rettew, Grace Sommers, Hannah Smagh, Benjamin Hicks and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Tool development for digital reconstruction: A framework for a database of historic Roman construction materials", Journal of Cultural Heritage, 40, pp. 113--123
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Anna Blyth and Branko Glisic, 2018, "Virtual environments for visualizing structural health monitoring sensor networks, data, and metadata", Sensors (Switzerland), 18, (1)
  • Demi L Fang, Rebecca Napolitano, Tim L Michiels and Sigrid M Adriaenssens, 2018, "Assessing the stability of unreinforced masonry arches and vaults: a comparison of analytical and numerical strategies", International Journal of Architectural Heritage
  • Rebecca Napolitano and Michael Monce, 2018, "Failure at Fidenae: Understanding the site of the largest structural disaster of the Roman world", Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, 10, pp. e00077
  • Rebecca Napolitano and Branko Glisic, 2018, "Minimizing the adverse effects of bias and low repeatability precision in photogrammetry software through statistical analysis", Journal of Cultural Heritage, 31, pp. 46--52
  • Rebecca Napolitano, George Scherer and Branko Glisic, 2018, "Virtual tours and informational modeling for conservation of cultural heritage sites", Journal of Cultural Heritage, 29, pp. 123--129
  • Tim Michiels, Rebecca Napolitano, Sigrid Adriaenssens and Branko Glisic, 2017, "Comparison of thrust line analysis, limit state analysis and distinct element modeling to predict the collapse load and collapse mechanism of a rammed earth arch", Engineering Structures, 148, pp. 145--156
  • Corrie Kavanaugh, Isabel Mae Morris, Rebecca Napolitano and Juan Jose Jorquera-Lucerga, 2017, "Validating the use of graphical thrust line analysis for pier buttresses: The case study of amiens cathedral", International Journal of Architectural Heritage, 11, (6), pp. 859--870
  • Rohola Rahnavard, Javad Shaikhi, Mohtaba Fathi and Rebecca Napolitano, , "Numerical analysis of natural rubber bearing equipped with steel and shape memory alloys dampers", Thin Walled Structures

Conference Proceedings

  • Zahra Ghorbani, Rebecca Napolitano, Craig Dubler and John Messner, 2022, "Evaluating facility asset information needs in a common data environment to support maintenance workers", ASCE Constrtuc
  • Danielle Paulino, Rebecca Napolitano, Heather Ligler, Klaudia Bak, Sierra Hogan and JTC Moreno, 2021, "A GRAMMAR BASED METHODOLOGY TO SUPPORT THE ADAPTIVE REUSE OF HISTORIC BUILDINGS: THE CASE STUDY OF THE SOBRADO BUILDING TYPE.", ISPRS-International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 46, pp. 515--521
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Laura Lansing and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Understanding the Function of Roman Bonding Courses: A Numerical Approach", 18, pp. 1798-1806
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Zachary S. Liu, Anna C. Blyth, Ameen S. Moshirfar and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Virtual tours and augmented reality for direct data integration", pp. 2204-2213
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Michael Hess, Rachel Coe-Scharff and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Numerical modeling of crack propagation in masonry structures", Springer, pp. 826--834
  • Isabella Douglas, Rebecca Napolitano, Maria Garlock and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Reconsidering the vaulted forms of Cuba’s National School of Ballet", Structural analysis of historical constructions, Springer, pp. 2150--2158
  • A Blyth, Rebecca Napolitano and B Glisic, 2019, "Structural health monitoring in workflows of preservation engineering", pp. 639--645
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Wesley Reinhart, David W Sroczynski, Anna C Blyth and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Understanding cracks in historic structures: Quantitative assessment though numerical simulation and manifold learning", pp. 2486--2492
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Zachary Liu, Carl Sun and Branko Glisic, 2019, "Virtual tours, augmented reality, and informational modeling for visual inspection and structural health monitoring", 10970, pp. 1097006
  • S Shrestha, M Reina Ortiz, M Gutland, IM Morris, Rebecca Napolitano, M Santana Quintero, J Erochko and S Kawan, 2018, "Digital Recording and Non Destructive Investigation of Nyatapola Temple after Gorkha Earthquake 2015"
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Anna Blyth, George W Scherer and Branko G Glisic, 2018, "Spherical imaging and VR for conservation", Spherical imaging and VR for conservation
  • Rebecca Napolitano, A Blyth and Branko Glisic, 2017, "Spherical imaging and virtual environments for structural health monitoring", pp. 398--404
  • Rebecca Napolitano, Anna Blyth and Branko Glisic, 2017, "Virtual environments for structural health monitoring", pp. 1549--1555


  • Rebecca Napolitano, 2015, "Failure at Fidenae: Visualization and Analysis of the Largest Structural Disaster in the Roman World"

Research Projects

  • October 2021 - September 2024, "Collaborative Research: HDR DSC: Infusion of data science and computation into engineering curricula," (Sponsor: National Science Foundation).
  • October 2021 - September 2024, "Development of Novel Corrosion-Responsive Buffer Materials for Long-Term Immobilization of High-Level Nuclear Waste," (Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy).
  • October 2021 - September 2023, "EAGER: SAI: Collaborative Research: Bridging the Arctic: Community-Driven Innovation for Resilient Bridges in Rural Alaska Communities," (Sponsor: National Science Foundation).
  • June 2021 - May 2022, "Application of AI-enabled nondestructive evaluation for equitable access to safe infrastructure," (Sponsor: Oak Ridge Associated Universities).
  •  2021 -  2022, "Enabling Energy-Efficient Building Envelopes: Artificial Intelligence for Nondestructive Evaluation," (Sponsor: IndustryXchange).
  •   -  2021, "Combining Genetic algorithms (GA) and Shape Grammars (SG) with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)," (Sponsor: Stuckeman Center for Design Computing).

Honors and Awards

  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, 2021


Service to Penn State:

  • Participation in Recruitment and Retention Activities, Organizer, Undergraduate Scholarship in Research Coordinator (BE-SURE), 2021

Service to External Organizations:

  • Participation in or Service to Professional and Learned Societies, Co-Chairperson, CIPA HD Emerging Professionals, January 2018



Widely acknowledged as one of the top Architectural Engineering programs in the world, the Penn State AE Department is dedicated to providing outstanding academic excellence to all of our students. The AE program is focused on preparing students and conducting research in the design, engineering, and construction of building projects.

Department of Architectural Engineering

104 Engineering Unit A

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-6394