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Tim Michiels

Tim Michiels, PE, PhD, is a structural engineer and preservationist. Tim has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Historic Preservation Master’s Program at Columbia GSAPP since 2018, teaching traditional building technology courses, historic preservation studios, and supervising Masters thesis research and student design competition work. He is an Associate at Old Structures Engineering in New York. His research and practice focus on building technology, analysis and retrofitting of historic buildings, and on reducing embodied carbon emissions in the built environment.

Tim received his PhD in Structural Engineering from Princeton University (NJ, USA), where he worked on the structural analysis of historic buildings and on developing design methods for vaulted structures in seismic areas. He also holds a Master’s in Conservation of Monuments and Sites from the Raymond Lemaire International Center for Conservation (Belgium) and a Master’s in Civil Engineering from K.U. Leuven (Belgium).

Tim is licensed as a Professional Engineer (PE) in New York. As an Associate at Old Structures Engineering he is responsible for analyzing and designing repairs, upgrades, and additions to a wide range of existing structures such as residential buildings, bridges, lighthouses, monuments, and churches across the wider New York area and beyond. Tim also has extensive experience working on international projects. He has served as an engineering consultant for the Getty Conservation Institute on their Earthen Architecture Initiative, developing and implementing seismic retrofitting techniques for historic adobe monuments in Peru and authoring publications on the material testing and seismic strengthening of earthen buildings. Additionally, he has worked on preservation, construction, and design campaigns in Belgium, Ecuador, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Colombia, and the USA, and has been a visiting researcher at the University of RomaTre (Italy) and the University of Cambridge (UK).

Tim is the treasurer on the board of the International Scientific Committee on the Analysis and Restoration of Structures (ISCARSAH), and an associate member of the International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage (ISCEAH), both technical committees of ICOMOS. He also actively participates in the Preservation Engineering Technical Committee of the Association of Preservation Technology (APT) and has guided the Columbia University student team to several victories in APT’s international student design competition.

Tim’s research is regularly published in industry and academic journals. His papers, covering a range of topics such as structural analysis of historic buildings, form-finding of structures, life-cycle analysis of structural timber flooring and sustainable construction have won multiple awards. Most recently his work on the life cycle analysis of structural floor alterations was awarded the Association of Preservation Technology’s 2022 Oliver Torrey Fuller Award for best paper in the APT Bulletin. He also received the 2017 Hangai Prize from the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) and the Thornton Tomasetti Student Innovation Award (2016). Tim has also been named a Princeton Energy and Climate Scholar (2016-2018), and he was awarded fellowships from the Belgian American Educational Foundation (2014) and The J. Paul Getty Foundation (2012-2013).


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A6934‑1 Fall 2024
Traditional Building Technology
Tim Michiels
Preservation Technology Lab
TH 9:00 - 11:30 AM
3 Points
A6750‑1 Spring 2024
HP Studio II
Erica Avrami, Tim Michiels
TU + TH 2 PM - 6 PM
6 Points
A6934‑1 Fall 2023
Traditional Building Technology
Tim Michiels
Preservation Technology Lab
TH 9 - 11:30 AM
3 Points