Office of the President


Professor Costas Synolakis ‘75
Athens College – Psychico College
“John M. Carras" Kindergarten


Academician Costas Emmanuel Synolakis graduated from Athens College in 1975. He went on to earn professional degrees from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech): a B.Sc. in Engineering and Applied Science in 1978, an M.Sc. in Civil Engineering in 1979, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 1986. In 2016 he was elected a regular member of the Academy of Athens and is currently Secretary of the Division of Natural Sciences.


In 1985 he was appointed Professor of Civil, Environmental and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southern California (U.S.C.) Viterbi School of Engineering where, in 1996, he founded the USC Tsunami Center.  Following his appointment as Professor of Natural Hazards and Environmental Hydraulics at the Technical University of Crete and election by the National Research and Technology Council, he served as President of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research. In 2019 he was selected Chairman of the newly established Special Scientific Committee on Climate Change in Greece, where he serves pro bono.


His broad research interests are reflected in the variety of topics on which he has written. He has authored a large number of publications, studies and articles in scientific journals and has conducted dozens of field missions around the world. Among the numerous academic accolades and other distinctions he has received both in Greece and abroad are the Presidential Young Investigator Award bestowed upon him in 1989 by U.S. President George Bush and the prestigious 2019 International Coastal Engineering Award bestowed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  He is an internationally renowned pioneer in the field of tsunami research and other natural hazards.