James W Giancaspro

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-1006
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Position and Research Expertise

James Giancaspro is an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering (CAE) at the University of Miami’s College of Engineering.  His expertise is in the areas of civil engineering materials and mechanics, while his research aims to improve STEM education by developing novel instructional technology.

Teaching and Mentoring

Giancaspro teaches courses on both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Among the current courses taught include solid mechanics (statics and mechanics of materials) and advanced design of concrete structures.  Additional teaching experience includes: behavior of structural systems, advanced structural analysis, and advanced structural mechanics.  He advises and mentors students of all levels as well as junior faculty on tenure-track.


2004Ph.D. Civil and Structural Engineering, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
2002M.S. Civil and Structural Engineering, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
2000B.S. Civil Engineering, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Career Summary

Giancaspro earned all of his degrees at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  His Ph.D. study was sponsored by a fellowship from the Federal Aviation Administration.  He began his professional career in the aerospace industry at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.  There, he performed damage assessment of composite materials for use on the 787 Dreamliner.  He was also a course instructor to new Boeing engineers and is an inventor credited with two patents related to algorithms related to testing composite structures.  He has been a faculty member at the University of Miami for 14 years.  As a researcher, he has been a principal investigator on several NSF grants and has published over 50 scientific products related to structural engineering materials and mechanics.

Honors & Acknowledgements

Giancaspro's passion for STEM education was recognized nationally with the James M. Robbins Excellence in Teaching Award for the Southern district of the United States, bestowed by Chi Epsilon (National Civil Engineering Honor Society) in 2013.  He was selected as a Fellow of the University of Miami Faculty Learning Community in 2018.  He is currently the Graduate Program Director for the Ph.D. and three M.S programs in civil, architectural, and environmental engineering.

Scientific Research

Giancaspro is currently developing and investigating the use of augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) in undergraduate mechanics courses (statics and mechanics of materials).  The goal of this research is to build a knowledgebase of how mechanics courses can be enhanced to improve students' content-specific knowledge and retention, enhance student motivation, decrease cognitive burden, and improve the overall passing rate.   The pedagogical methods can then be generalized for incorporation into other STEM courses.