Professor Lepech's research focuses on the integration of sustainability indicators into engineering design, ranging from materials design, structural design, system design, to operations management. Such sustainability indicators include a comprehensive set of environmental, economic, and social costs. Recently his research has focused on the design of sustainable high performance fiber-reinforced cementitious composites (HPFRCCs) and fiber-reinforced polymers (FRPs), the impacts of sustainable materials on building and infrastructure design and operation, and the development of new life cycle assessment (LCA) applications for building systems, transportation systems, water systems, consumer products. Along with this he is studying the effects that slowly diffusing sustainable civil engineering innovations, and the social networks they diffuse through, can have on achieving long term sustainability goals.
Michael joined the Stanford University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty from the University of Michigan's Center for Sustainable Systems where he was a research fellow at the School of Natural Resources and Environment. He received his PhD in Materials Engineering from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He also received his MSE in Structural Engineering from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his MBA in Strategy from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His industry experience lies in the design and construction of interstate highways and bridges, along with the design and construction of residential high rises in seismic zones.