Advanced Earthquake Engineering

Doctoral School

Semester: Autumn 2016

Course language: English

Course time: September 20 to December 20, 2016, Tuesdays 8 am to 10 pm (see the timetable bellow)
Course place: IMAC semiar room (GC G1 515)
Instructors: Dr. P. Lestuzzi and PhD Lorenzo Diana
Office location: Applied Computing and Mechanics Laboratory (IMAC)

Course description:

This two-credit course is designed for PhD students in Civil Engineering who wish to obtain advanced knowledge on the complex problem of seismic vulnerability evaluation and retrofitting of existing buildings. In-class lectures, assignments, and a term project will be used to introduce students to a wide range of topics from rapid evaluation methods to detailed analysis procedures to assess the seismic vulnerability, and also different retrofitting methodologies. Background knowledge of basic Earthquake Engineering, Structural Dynamics, and Structural Analysis is strongly recommended for this course.

Course learning outcomes:

By the end of the course, students should be able to

  1. Distinguish between the application of different evaluation and retrofitting methodologies, from both technical and design aspects
  2. Select the appropriate assessment tool in different situations based on the case study precision requirements
  3. Use a pertinent assessment method (from those seen in class) to evaluate the seismic vulnerability in a real case study.

Recommended references (further reading)

  • Coburn, A. and Spence, R., 2002, Earthquake Protection, 2nd Edition, John Wiley and Sons
  • CETE Méditerranée, 2008, Comparaison de méthodes qualitatives d’évaluation de la vulnérabilité des constructions aux séismes, Centre d’Etude Technique de l’Equipement Méditerranée, France, 164p. (
  • Haldar, A. and Mahadevan, S., 2000, Probability, Reliability and Statistical Methods in Engineering Design, John Wiley and Sons, 320 p.
  • Katsanos, E.I., Sextos, A.G., and Manolis, G.D., 2010, “Selection of earthquake ground motion records: A state-of-the-art review from a structural engineering perspective,” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, vol. 30, no 4, pp. 157-169
  • Priestley, M.J.N., Calvi, G.M., Kowalsky, M.J., 2007, Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Structures, IUSS Press
  • Spence, R. J. S., So, E., & Scawthorn, C. (2011). Human casualties in earthquakes: Progress in modelling and mitigation
  • Vamvatsikos, D. and Cornell, C. A., 2002, “Incremental dynamic analysis,” Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, vol. 31, no 3, p. 491-514.

Course Schedule
Date Topic Slides Documents Exercise
1 September 20, 2016 Introduction Slide 1a Slide 1b
2 September 27, 2016 Simple/Rapid seismic evaluation methods Slide 2a
3 October 04, 2016 Simple/Rapid seismic evaluation methods (suite) 

Slide 3

4 October 11, 2016 Static nonlinear analysis Slide 4
5 October 18, 2016 Static nonlinear analysis (suite) Slide 5
6 October 25, 2016 Ambient vibration measurments Slide 6 EX.
7 November 01, 2016 Dynamic nonlinear methods/Hysteretic models Slide 7 Comp A

Comp B



8 November 08, 2016 Selection of Earthquakes/Synthetic earthquakes Slide 8 Comp A

Comp B 

9 November 15, 2016 Displacement-based methods Slide 9 Comp A
10 November 22, 2016 N2 method and Rocking behaviour

NL Time History Analysis check

Slide 10 Comp A

Comp B

11 November 29, 2016 Masonry out-of-plane analysis/NTC Slide 11 Comp A

Comp B

12 December 06, 2016 Seismic Risk Slide 12 Comp A

Comp B

13 December 13, 2016 Risk-based evaluation methods in SIA 2018 Slide 13
14 December 20, 2016 Retrofitting methods