• Ph.D., Columbia University, 1987
  • M.S., Polytechnic Institute of New York, 1981
  • B.S., Lafayette College, 1979

Research Areas and Descriptors


Dr. Jacobs began at Tech in 1988 as an Assistant Professor. Prior, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, Pennsylvania.


Dr. Jacobs' research focuses on the development of quantitative methodologies for the nondestructive evaluation of structural materials. This multidisciplinary work advances the efficacy of wave-based techniques by integrating elastodynamics, mechanics of materials, optics, instrumentation, sensors and digital signal processing methods. His research interests include quantitative nondestructive evaluation of civil engineering materials; wave propagation in solids, emphasizing guided waves, nonlinear methods and heterogeneous materials; optical techniques for the generation and detection of ultrasonic waves; signal processing techniques applied to nondestructive evaluation; development of acoustic sensors for condition monitoring of structural components; and structural mechanics including mechanics of composite materials.

Dr. Jacobs' plans are to continue his multidisciplinary work with an emphasis on sensors and instrumentation, diagnostic techniques for condition assessment, structural health monitoring and smart materials. His current research collaborations are with colleagues in mechanical, electrical and materials engineering (as well as civil/structural engineering) and he anticipates more interdisciplinary partnerships in the future.

Dr. Jacobs helped establish an ongoing visiting graduate student program with the University of Stuttgart (funded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, DAAD).


  • Sigma Xi (Georgia Tech Chapter) Best Paper Award (with Jianmin Qu), 2007
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
    • ANAK Award, 1998
    • Class of 1940 W. Roane Beard Outstanding Teacher Award, 1993
    • Outstanding Teacher Award, 1991
    • Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning/Amoco Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, 1991
  • Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation International Advisory Board, 2001-present
  • American Society of Civil Engineers Journal of Engineering Mechanics Associate Editor, 2000-2002
  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers (UK) Water Arbitration Prize (for paper authored with Y. Berthelot and J. Qu), 2000
  • Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellowship, 1990

Representative Publications

  • Liu, Yu,Kim, Jin-Yeon, Jacobs, L.J, Qu, Jianmin and Li, Zheng, “Experimental investigation of symmetry properties of second harmonic Lamb waves,” Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 111, 053511, 2012.

  • Matlack, K.H., Wall, J., Kim, Jin-Yeon, Qu, Jianmin, Jacobs, L.J. and Viehrig, H.-W., “Evaluation of radiation damage using nonlinear ultrasound,” Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 111, 054911, 2012.

  • Tang, Guangxin, Qu, Jianmin, and Jacobs, L.J. “Scattering of time-harmonic elastic waves by an inclusion with quadratic nonlinearity,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 131 (4), pp. 2570-2578, 2012.

  • Walker, S.V., Kim, Jin-Yeon, Qu, Jianmin and Jacobs, L.J., “Fatigue damage evaluation in A36 steel using nonlinear Rayleigh waves,” NDT&E International, Vol. 48, pp. 10-15, 2012.

  • Schurr, D.P., Kim, J.-Y., Sabra, K.G., and Jacobs, L.J., “Damage detection in concrete using coda interferometry,” NDT&E International, Vol. 44, pp. 728-735, 2011.

  • Liu, Minghe, Kim, Jin-Yeon, Jacobs, L.J., and Qu, Jianmin “Experimental study of nonlinear Rayleigh wave propagation in shot-peened aluminum plates – feasibility of measuring residual stress,” NDT&E International, Vol. 44, pp. 67-74, 2011.

  • Chen, J., Kim, Jin-Yeon, Kurtis, K.E., and Jacobs, L.J., “Theoretical and experimental study of nonlinear resonance vibration of cementious materials with an application to damage characterization,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 130 (5), pp. 1728-2737, 2011.

  • Leśnicki, K.J., Kim, J.-Y., Kurtis, K. E., and Jacobs, L.J., “Characterization of ASR damage in concrete using nonlinear impact resonance acoustic spectroscopy,” NDT&E International, Vol. 44, pp. 721-727, 2011.

  • Deroo, F., Kim, Jin-Yeon, Qu, Jianmin, Sabra, K.P. and Jacobs, L.J., “Detection of damage in concrete using diffuse ultrasound,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 127 (6), pp. 3315-3318, 2010.

  • Mueller, M.F., Kim, Jin-Yeon, Qu, Jianmin, and Jacobs, L.J., “Characteristics of second harmonic generation of Lamb waves in nonlinear elastic plates,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 127 (4), pp. 2141-2152, 2010.

  • J. Chen, et al. 2009. Nonlinear  Wave Modulation Spectroscopy Method for Ultra-Accelerated Assessment of Alkali-Silica Reaction in Portland Cement Mortar. Journal of. ACI Materials. 106, 340-348.
  • C. Pruell, Jin-Yeon Kim, Jianmin Qu, and L. J. Jacobs 2009. Evaluation of Fatigue Damage using Nonlinear Guided Waves.  Smart Materials and Structure 18, 035003 (7 pages).
  • S. Kuechler, T. Meurer, L. J.  Jacobs, and J. Qu.. 2009. Two-Dimensional Wave Propagation in an Elastic Half-Space with Quadratic Nonlinearity – A Numerical Study. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 125(3), 1293-1301.
  • W. Punurai, et al. 2007. Characterization of Multi-Scale Porosity in Cement Paste by Advanced Ultrasonic Techniques. Cement and Concrete Research 37, 38-46.
  • W. Punurai, et al. 2007. Characterization of Multi-Scale Porosity in Cement Paste by Advanced Ultrasonic Techniques. Cement and Concrete Research 37, 38-46. .
  • J. Koreck, C. Valle, J. Qu, and L. J. Jacobs. 2007. Computational Characterization of Adhesive Layer Properties Using Guided Waves in Bonded Plates. Journal of NDE 26 (2-4), 97-105.
  • C. Pruell, J. Y. Kim, J. Qu, and L. J. Jacobs. 2007. Evaluation of Plasticity Driven Material Damage Using Lamb Waves. Applied Physics Letters 91, 231911.
  • H, Kuttig, M. Niethammer, S. Hurlebaus, and L. J. Jacobs. 2006. Model-Based Analysis of Dispersion Curves. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 119 (7), 2122-2130.
  • J. Herrmann, et al. 2006. Assessment of Material Damage in a Nickel-Base Superalloy Using Nonlinear Rayleigh Surface Waves. Journal of Applied Physics 99 (12), 124913.
  • C. Valle, M. Niethammer, J. Qu,. and L. J. Jacobs. 2001. Crack Characterization using Guided Circumferential Waves. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 110(3), 1282-1290.