Structural & Earthquake Engineering

Photo Credit: C. Bazett

Structural engineering is the science and art of designing, analysing and constructing structures. Traditional civil engineering structures include buildings, bridges, towers, and dams designed to resist seismic, wind, and gravity forces. The analytical tools developed by structural engineers, e.g., numerical analysis methods, non-linear material models, reliability theory, can be applied to a much wider range of “structure” types.

Structural Engineering Research Activities

Current structural research at UBC includes analytical and experimental work in seismic engineering; mechanical properties and reliability of concrete, timber, and fiber-reinforced concrete structures; laboratory investigations of structural steel and structural concrete behaviour; numerical analysis of continua, expert systems and computer graphics.

Graduate courses are available in static and dynamic analysis, structural design, and reliability theory. The former include matrix structural analysis, advanced topics in nonlinear finite element methods, mechanics of continua, dynamics of structures, plates and shells. The latter include applications to prestressed and reinforced concretes, steel, timber, seismic design, and composite structures.

For more information on Structural Engineering studies, please contact Dr. Sigfried Stiemer.

Earthquake Engineering Research Activities

The following list of current and recently completed research projects gives an indication of the types of research being done:

  • shake table studies of building models and components;
  • field vibration measurements of existing bridges and buildings;
  • seismic control by passive and semi-active dampers, and base isolation of structures;
  • pseudo-dynamic testing of large-scale concrete bridge bents;
  • retrofit of concrete beam-column joints;
  • seismic response of structures with steel plate or timber shear walls and timber frames;
  • decision analysis for seismic retrofit strategies;
  • regional damage estimation due to earthquakes;
  • development of software for seismic risk, structural stability, and non-linear seismic response;
  • reliability of structures with non-rigid connections;
  • soil-pile and soil-structure interaction under seismic loading;
  • seismic soil amplification and liquefaction effects;
  • seismic analysis and retrofit of water and mine waste dams;
  • seismic response analysis of soil structures, and characterization of ground improvements; and,
  • site characterization for liquefaction and residual strength.

For more information on Earthquake Engineering studies, please contact Dr. Perry Adebar, Dr. Carlos Ventura or Dr. Ken Elwood.