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In Memoriam: Dr. Paul Zung-Teh Zia

Dr. Paul Zung-Teh Zia, of Raleigh, 97, passed away on August 16, 2023, surrounded by his family. Born in Changzhou, China outside of Shanghai, Dr. Zia emigrated to the United States in 1949 accompanied by Dora Yun-Qing Liu, whom he would marry on November 10, 1951. They became U.S. citizens in 1962.  Dr. Zia earned a Ph.D. in structural engineering from the University of Florida in 1960 and later became a professor at North Carolina State University’s Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, where he specialized in the study of concrete materials. A Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the time of his death, Dr. Zia’s research and teaching earned him numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career, including election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1983. He was a consulting engineer on the 1999 move of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, for which he received the National Park Service Citizen’s Award for Exceptional Service. Dr. Zia was an honorary member of the American Society of Civil Engineers as well as the American Concrete Institute and a Fellow of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. Dr. Zia was known among his family, friends, and colleagues as thoughtful, humble, keenly intelligent, and occasionally totally goofy.  He is survived by his wife, Dora; his children, May and Lee; and his grandchildren, Tessa, Matthew, Sara, and Carlin. The family is deeply grateful to the Cypress of Raleigh Rosewood Health Center nursing staff, as well as the nurses, specialists, and physicians of Duke Raleigh Hospital for their dedication and care during his last illness. A public Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, September 23, 2023, 2-4 p.m., at The Cypress of Raleigh, 8801 Cypress Lakes Dr., Raleigh, N.C. 27615.  Valet parking will be available.  

Memorial contributions may be made in Dr. Zia’s honor to the Constructed Facilities Lab Endowment at Gifts will be directed to support the Constructed Facilities Lab’s activities in developing sustainable infrastructure, according to Dr. Zia’s vision.  Gifts via check can be mailed to NC State Engineering Foundation, Attn. Michael Auchter, NC State University Campus Box 7901, Raleigh, NC 27695. Please write “CFL Endowment” in the memo line.  For gifts via check or questions, please contact Michael Auchter at

For more information about Dr. Zia’s life and career, please see: