B.S. ​Lafayette College, 2000M.S. ​University of Washington, 2005Ph.D. Penn State, 2008

Leidy's scholarship merging engineering and social science for a more sustainable and resilient built environment has been consistently funded, including through an NSF CAREER award and through one of the first awards through NSF’s interdisciplinary INSPIRE program. He also played a lead role in programs, funded by grants from NSF and the Department of Education, which support cohorts of graduate students on interdisciplinary research in a more resilient and sustainable built environment. Since 2012, he has advised 11 Ph.D. graduates (ten from groups underrepresented in engineering) and eight graduates of his research team have secured faculty positions.

Leidy has twice been selected by students as top teacher in his department and twice recognized for individual mentoring of top undergraduates.

Before becoming an academic, Leidy worked managing the design and construction of building projects in New Jersey and before that he played professional soccer for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. 

Leidy is always looking for excellent students from all backgrounds who want to do Ph.D. research merging engineering and social science.


  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation 2011
  • 40 under 40: Professors Who Inspire, Nerdscholar 2014

Research Interests

  • Sustainable Infrastructure Systems
  • Applied Social Science
  • Smart Buildings/Cities
  • Applied Psychology
  • Risk and Decision Analysis
  • Bio-inspired systems

In the News

Selected Publications

  • “Beyond rationality in engineering design for sustainability.” Nature Sustainability. 1: 225-233. ABS Klotz, L., Weber, E., Johnson, E., Shealy, E., Hernandez, M., Gordon, B. (2018)
  • “Framing effects to inform more sustainable infrastructure design decisions.” ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management (04016037). Shealy, E., Klotz, L., Weber, E., Johnson, E., Greenspan Bell, R., (2016).
  • “Sustainability as a route to broaden participation in engineering.” Journal of Engineering Education, 103(1): 137-153. Klotz, L., Potvin, G., Cribbs, J., Godwin, A, Hazari, Z., and Barclay, N. (2014).
  • “Social sustainability considerations during planning and design: A framework of processes for construction projects.” American Society of Civil Engineers Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. 139(1): 80–89. Valdes, R. and Klotz, L. (2013).
  • “A framework for sustainable whole systems design.” Design Studies. 33(5) 456-479. Blizzard, J. and Klotz, L. (2012).
  • "Interest in STEM is contagious for students in biology, chemistry, and physics classes." Science Advances. 3(8). ABS Hazari, Z., Potvin, G., Godwin, A., Cribbs, J., Klotz, L., and Scott, T. (2017)
  • “Unintended Anchors: Building Rating Systems and Energy Performance Goals for U.S. Buildings.” Energy Policy. 38 (7): 3557-3566. Klotz, L., Mack, D., Klapthor, B., Tunstall, C. and Harrison, J. (2010).

Courses Taught

  • Systems and Sustainability in the Built Environment, CEE/Arch/GSVS course open to all students Spring
  • Behavioral Design in the Built Environment, CEE/Arch course open to all students Fall
  • Climate Mitigation through Connected Design Thinking, STS/GSVS course open to all students Summer Institute course at UVA Morven Farm

Featured Grants & Projects