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Dr./Prof. Mohamad Zineddin

Distinguished R&D Staff, Nuclear and Radiological Risk Management Sciences

Dr./Prof. Mohamad Zineddin is a distinguished figure in the field of nuclear security and structural engineering, renowned for his expertise in designing, implementing, and managing comprehensive security programs. With a career spanning over three decades, Dr. Zineddin has made significant contributions to both academia and industry, shaping the landscape of nuclear security and critical infrastructure protection.

In August 2023, Dr. Zineddin joined the Nuclear Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) as a Distinguished R&D Staff member, bringing with him a wealth of experience garnered over 15 years at the forefront of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. During his tenure at the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), Dr. Zineddin played a pivotal role in various capacities, including as the founding manager of the Nuclear Security Education and Training, and the Physical Protection Security departments at ENEC/Nawah.

At the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Dr. Zineddin spearheaded the establishment and supervision of numerous critical training programs, covering areas such as Physical Security, Personnel Security, Security Operations, Cyber Security, Information Security, and Emergency Preparedness. His dedication to fostering a culture of nuclear security excellence earned him the prestigious Barakah Nuclear Power Plant Excellence Award in 2019, recognizing his outstanding contributions in the Managerial Category.

Prior to his esteemed role at ENEC, Dr. Zineddin served as the Director of joint programs and a professor in practice at Khalifa University, UAE. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Institute for International and Civil Security and the department of Civil Infrastructures and Environmental Engineering, where he contributed to the development of pioneering educational programs in nuclear security and civil infrastructure engineering.

Dr. Zineddin's academic journey began at the renowned Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), where he earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Civil/Structural Engineering. His academic pursuits were complemented by extensive R&D endeavors, including his tenure as a research associate professor at the Protective Technology Center, Penn State University, sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers-Engineering Research and Development Center (USACE-ERDC).

Before his relocation to the UAE, Dr. Zineddin held esteemed positions at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), where he served as a professor of structural engineering and director of R&D. His expertise in safety and security engineering, protective structures, and antiterrorism design made him a sought-after advisor for the Abu Dhabi government, where he played a pivotal role in enhancing security measures across various critical infrastructure projects.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Zineddin has been a driving force in advancing the fields of nuclear security and structural engineering, embodying a commitment to excellence, innovation, and the safeguarding of personnel and facilities against emerging threats.

With over 35 years of diverse experience in physical protection research and design, physical security of critical infrastructures and nuclear security programs development, higher education, professional development and manpower training, Dr. Zineddin is highly accomplished in building and nurturing relationships, leading projects from start to finish, implementing effective program strategies, and guiding individuals towards success. His exceptional communication skills allow him to form cross-functional teams and make critical decisions even under pressure. As a versatile and transformative leader, he thrives in independently creating opportunities that align with organizational goals. In addition, his impressive administration abilities are matched by his intellectual prowess in project management, teaching, research, and program development at various levels within an institution.

His core strengths include developing and implementing nuclear newcomer strategies, developing R&D programs, managing projects, recruiting, coaching and staff development, developing contracts and proposals, managing nuclear security, developing and implementing regulations and procedures, facilitating group sessions, including professional consultations and industrial experience in:

  • National and international standards and best practices in nuclear security and culture
  • Excellence and continued improvement in organizational and individual performance
  • Nuclear security physical protection systems’ design specifications, construction, implementation, commissioning, and evaluation
  • Nuclear security training and education programs development and implementation
  • Nuclear security culture program development, implementation, and evaluation
  • Development and implementation of nuclear security policies, strategies, procedures, manuals, and process description in accordance with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), WANO, INPO, and UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR)
  • Threat, vulnerability, risk, and security assessments of critical infrastructures
  • Leadership development and performance management
  • Physical security, blast, shock, and impact mitigation
  • Anti-terrorist assessment, analysis, and design
  • Analysis, design, testing and evaluation of various structural elements
  • Analysis and design of blast resistant, ballistic and fragment systems
  • Maritime protection and physical security barriers
  • Explosive safety for industrial, chemical, and petrochemical facilities
  • Computer modeling and simulation
  • Structural behavior under severe short duration dynamic and seismic loads
  • Nonlinear behavior of structures under impulsive loads
  • Modern protective structures analysis, design, and evaluation
  • Development of precision impact testing techniques for structural assessment
  • Computer codes validation and verification
  • Development of design recommendations for enhancing structural performance, physical security and safety of buildings, facilities, and systems
  • Analysis, design and testing of physical security systems
  • Numerical simulation of concrete and steel structural responses, and experimental studies of structural behavior
  • Analysis and design of concrete and steel structural systems
  • Development of safety and security technical manuals, and standard for blast protection of buildings
  • Barakah Nuclear Power Plant Excellence Award, CEO Managerial Medal, 2019.
  • Nominated for the faculty award for excellence service to Khalifa University, 2013.
  • Nominated for the faculty award for excellence in teaching, Khalifa University, 2012.
  • Top 20 finalists for the Air Force Academy Heiser Senior Professor Award, 2009.
  • Selected to attend Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) teaching workshop, University of Arkansas, July 13 – 18, 2008, Sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and West Point Academy.
  • Instructor of the quarter award– USAFA, Fall 2007
  • Instructor of the quarter award– USAFA, Spring 2007.
  • Outstanding first year instructor, USAFA, 2006 - 2007.
  • Nominated by the civil engineering department for the outstanding academy educator award, USAFA,2009.
  • Endorsement from the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council to USAFA for conducting and leading Daily/Weekly worship services at USAFA, 2007.
  • Faculty excellence in teaching award, AUD, 2005.
  • Faculty excellence in research award, AUD, 2006.
  • Awarded first place in model bridge design and construction, Penn State 1992.

Ph.D., 2002, Civil Engineering (Blast and Impact Engineering), The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), University Park, Pennsylvania. GPA (3.9/4.0), Dissertation Title: "Behavior of Structural Concrete Slabs Under Localized Impact". Dissertation Advisor: Professor Theodor Krauthammer

Master of Science, 1996, Civil Engineering (Structural Dynamics/Materials), The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), University Park, Pennsylvania. GPA (3.9/4.0), Thesis Title: "Numerical Simulations of Reinforced Concrete Slabs Subjected to Impact Loading". Thesis Advisor: Professor Theodor Krauthammer

Bachelor of Science, 1994, Civil Engineering (Structural/Materials), The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), University Park, Pennsylvania. Undergraduate Research Advisor: Professor Theodor Krauthammer

  1. Distinguished R&D Staff, Nuclear and Radiological Risk Management Sciences, Nuclear Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN (Aug ’23 – Present)
  2. Founding Manager, Security Education and Training Department, Security and Safeguards Directorate (SNS), ENEC, Abu Dhabi, UAE, (Jan ’14 – June ’23)
  3. Founding Manager, Physical Security Systems Development and Engineering, Security and Safeguards Directorate (SNS), ENEC, Abu Dhabi, UAE, (Nov ’18 – March ’20)
  4. Founding Chair, Department of Civil Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi Campus, UAE (’11 – ’14):
  5. Co-Founder, Institute for International and Civil Security, Director of Joint Programs and Associate/Full Professor in Practice, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi Campus (’11 – ’14)
  6. Lead Subject Matter Expert (SME) on Blast Effects and Mitigation/Senior Principal, Good Harbor Consulting, LLC. Abu Dhabi, UAE (’09 – ’10):
  7. Associate Professor and Director of Research, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, USAFA (’06 - ’09):
  8. Acting Dean and Co-founder of the School of Engineering, American University in Dubai (AUD), Dubai, UAE (’04 - ’06):
  9. Founding Chair and Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, American University in Dubai (AUD), UAE, (’03 - ’06):
  10. Co-Founder and Research Assistant/Associate Professor, Protective Technology Center (PTC), Penn State University, University Park, PA (’00 - ’03):
  11. Research & Development Specialist / Design Engineer, Overly Door Company, Greensburg, PA (’96 – ’00):
  12. Research Assistant, Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), Penn State University, University Park, PA (’93 – ’96):
  13. Research Assistant, Materials Research Laboratory (MRL), Penn State University, University Park, PA (’90 – ’93):
  • Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), Member.
  • World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), Member.
  • American Society of Military Engineers, Member.
  • American Engineering Honor Society (Tau Beta Pi), Lifetime Member.
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, National Member.
  • American Concrete Institute, Member.
  • American Standard of Testing Materials, ASTM, Member.
  • National Committee on Concrete Performance and Durability, UAE, Founding Member.

Nuclear Security for Scientists, Technicians and EngineersNuclear Security Management Certification Program, Edition 3.0, World Institute for Nuclear Security, Vienna, Austria, 2021. ISBN 978-3-903191-98-3

Comparative Analysis of Technological and Intelligent Terrorism Impacts on Complex Technical Systems, NATO science for Peace and Security series, Edited by Nikolay A. Makhutov and Gregory B. Baecher. 2012, IOS Press. ISBN 978-1-61499-130-4.

ASCE/SEI (59-11), Blast Protection of Buildings Standards, Sept. 15, 2011.

Critical Infrastructures Security Manual (CISM), Higher Committee for Critical Infrastructures Protection Committee, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, January 2014.

Counter Terrorism and Crisis Management Strategies (CTCMS), Higher Committee for Counter Terrorism and Management, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 2013.

The National Response Plan (NRP), National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority, NCEMA, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, June 2012

Safety and Security Planning Manuals (SSMP), Urban Planning Council, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, October 2012.

Security Strategy Framework for Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority (ADAA) Headquarters, Technical Manual, ADAA, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, May 2012.

Structural Analysis and Design Guidelines for Outdoor Advertisement Signs, Technical Manual, Dubai Municipality, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 2005.