Summer Spotlight: Xinghua Gao, BC 2019

Xinghua Gao posing for camera in front of bookshelves.
Photo courtesy: Georgia Tech Center for Teaching and Learning


Xinghua Gao didn't lose sleep for anything. In his home country, China, Gao would rise at 5 a.m. to study English for three hours. After which, he would head to work and then return to continue his studies from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. He did this for a year and eventually made his way to Georgia Tech. Gao had a sole mission in mind; to advance, and to succeed. 

With a new Ph.D. in Building Construction under his belt, Gao will head to Blacksburg, Virginia, later this summer. He will prepare for his new role as a tenure-track assistant professor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. 

“I'm going to teach the course, Temporary Construction Structures, for the first one or two semesters,” Gao said. “The comprehensiveness of construction creates a huge challenge. It takes a lot of resources, intelligence, techniques, and many other things to construct a building. There are many improvements to be made.”

Along with earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Central South University in China, Gao holds a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.

He aspired to obtain his Ph.D. at the Georgia Tech School of Building Construction for several key reasons.

“First, Professor Pardis Pishdad-Bozorgi's research direction matched what I wanted to do perfectly. Second, Georgia Tech is a worldwide prestigious institute. Third, we have many prestigious professors I can work with, and I did.”

Not only is Gao prepping for a new career this summer, but he is also writing a book about technology applications in facility management, in addition to writing research papers, and working with Ph.D. peers on various research projects.