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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

David B. Swanson
CEE 431
Seattle Campus

Seismology and Earthquake Engineering

Presents an overview of earthquake processes and details of the characteristics of destructive ground motion; illustrates the effects of such motion on engineering structures; reviews current practice in estimating earthquake hazards for important structures such as nuclear power plants. Prerequisite: either ESS 310, MATH 126, MATH 134, or both MATH 307 and MATH 308. Offered: jointly with ESS 465.

Class description

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of seismology and earthquake engineering for building and bridge structures. Seismology topics include an overview of plate tectonics, earthquake faults, seismic waves, intensity, magnitude, seismic hazard maps, soil effects, attenuation, response spectra, and liquefaction. Earthquake engineering topics include structural dynamics, behavior of linear and non-linear structural systems, earthquake performance of buildings and bridges, and design for earthquake forces for new structures accordance with the IBC (ASCE 7-05) and the seismic rehabilitation design for existing structures in accordance with the ASCE 41-06 Standard. Concepts of seismic design of buildings, seismic isolation and damping, retrofit, load paths, and proportioning and ductile detailing of members to achieve satisfactory seismic response will be introduced.

Student learning goals

Understand the basic seismology mechanisms for earthquakes.

Increased knowledge of historical earthquakes and their effects on buildings, bridges and infrastructure.

Conceptual understanding of structural dynamics of linear elastic and non-linear elastic structural systems.

Conceptual undertanding of seismic design and retrofit of buildings and bridge structures.

Overview knowledge of the seismic design codes for the design of new buildings and the seismic rehabilition of existing buildings.

General method of instruction

Class room lecture, field trip(s), experimental laboratory and homework assignments.

Recommended preparation

Senior level standing in civil engineering with an emphasis on structural engineering

Class assignments and grading

Short answer, written, and nalytical homework assignments will be issued.

A linear grading scale in accordance with Unversity of Washington requirements.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by David B. Swanson
Date: 03/29/2008