January 2018

Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering

Status: Advanced registration is now closed. Please contact Tonya Hyde for registration options
Date: Monday, January 15, 2018 - Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Time: 8:00 AM–8:30 AM: Registration – Day 1 
8:30 AM–4:30 PM: Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering – Day 1 – 3
Location: The Blue Horizon Hotel, Baker + Arrowsmith Rooms 1225 Robson Street Vancouver, BC
Presenter: Dr. Mahdi Taiebat, P.Eng., M.EERI, M.GEER, M.ASCE
Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia
Credit: 21 Formal Professional Development Hours (PDH)
Cost: Early Bird Price Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member: Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering : $1350.00 + GST = $1417.50 until January 3, 2018

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member and EIT/GIT Regular Price: Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering : $1450.00 + GST = $1522.50

Non-Member Price: Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering : $1450.00 + GST = $1522.50

Student Member Price:Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering : $750.00 + GST = $787.50
Please Note: *A minimum number of registrations are needed by January 03, 2018 to proceed with this seminar. Please register early to avoid cancellation.
**All prices are subject to applicable taxes.
This short course should be of interest to geotechnical, structural, geological, and mining engineers and consultants who wish to have a better understanding of the issues in the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering and current state-of-the-art seismic analysis and design of geo-structures. The purpose of this course is to provide the participant with a basic knowledge and understanding of the fundamental concepts in geotechnical earthquake engineering.

The course will cover introduction to local site effects and seismic site response analysis, liquefaction assessment, seismic slope stability, seismic design of retaining structures, soil-structure interaction, and advanced topics in geotechnical earthquake engineering.

Course Outline and Description

The course consists of the following seven modules:

  1. Introduction to Earthquakes – Day 1
    • Plate tectonics and faults,
    • Types of earthquakes,
    • Size of earthquakes,
    • Tectonics of North-East Pacific, and
    • Damaging effects of earthquakes.
  2. Dynamic Soil Properties – Day 1
    • Stress-strain behavior of soil under cyclic loading,
    • Modulus reduction and damping in cyclic loading,
    • Soil characterization with laboratory and field experiments, and
    • Centrifuge modeling.
  3. Local Site Effects and Seismic Site Response Analysis – Days 1 and 2
    • Review of field observations,
    • Basics of wave propagation,
    • Ground response analysis methods, and
    • Case history examples.
  4. Liquefaction – Day 2
    • Review of field observations,
    • Fundamentals of liquefaction behavior,
    • Triggering of liquefaction,
    • Consequences of liquefaction including lateral spreading and post—liquefaction settlement, and
    • Case history examples.
  5. Seismic Slope Stability – Day 2 and 3
    • Review of field observations,
    • Pseudo–static analysis,
    • Sliding block methods,
    • Regressions models, and
    • Practical example.
  6. Seismic Soil: Structure Interaction – Day 3
    • Review of field observations,
    • Kinematic and inertial interactions,
    • Soil-structure interaction analysis,
    • Equivalent system for a SDOF structure on a footing,
    • Group effects in pile groups, and
    • Soil-pile interaction in bridge foundations.
  7. Seismic Design of Retaining Structures – Day 3
    • Review of field observations,
    • Types of retaining walls,
    • Static and seismic pressures on retaining walls,
    • Seismic displacement of gravity walls, and
    • Seismic response of basement walls.

Unique Features of the Course

The three-day course consists of a series of lectures on various aspects of geotechnical earthquake engineering. Selected worked examples in classroom will be used to reinforce the lecture content. Extension of examples and/or case studies will be introduced for outside classroom exercise to illustrate the full range of problems.

Target Audience

Geotechnical, structural, geological, and mining engineers and consultants who wish to have a better understanding of the issues in the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering.


Dr. Mahdi Taiebat,  P.Eng., M.EERI, M.GEER, M.ASCE

Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, UBC

Dr. Mahdi Taiebat is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in civil engineering from Sharif University of Technology and his PhD in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis. After spending a year with the Computational Geomechanics Division of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, he joined the Department of Civil Engineering at UBC in 2009. Dr. Taiebat’s research interests include theoretical and computational geomechanics, constitutive modeling of engineering materials, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and static and dynamic soil-structure interaction.

At UBC he leads the Theoretical and Applied Geomechanics Research Group, and teaches courses in soil mechanics, advanced soil mechanics, and geotechnical earthquake engineering. He has (co-)supervised 17 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and has published over 70 technical journal and conference papers. He has received the UC Davis excellence in geotechnical engineering award in 2007; the Professor Appreciation Award from the UBC Civil Engineering Undergraduate Club in 2011; the ASCE Norman Medal in 2012; and the NSERC DAS award in 2015. He spent a sabbatical year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015–2016.

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