March 2020

Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering

Status: Advanced registration is now closed. Please contact Jennifer Chan at [email protected] for inquiries.
Date: Monday, March 9, 2020 - Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Time: 7:30 AM–8:00 AM: Registration and Breakfast
8:00 AM–4:30 PM: Day 1 Course
8:00 AM–3:00 PM: Day 2 Course
8:00 AM–4:30 PM: Day 3 Course
Location: Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre (Ballroom East), 711 West Broadway Vancouver, BC
Presenter: Dr. Mahdi Taiebat, P.Eng., M.EERI, M.GEER, M.ASCE
Professor of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia
Credit: 21 Formal Professional Development Hours (PDH)
Cost: Early Bird Price Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member: $1,350.00 + GST = $1,417.50 until Feb 24, 2020

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member and EIT/GIT Regular Price: $1,450.00 + GST = $1,522.50

Non-Member Price: $1,450.00 + GST = $1,522.50

Student Member Price: $750.00 + GST = $787.50
Please Note: *A minimum number of registrations are needed by February 24, 2020 to proceed with this seminar. Please register early to avoid cancellation.
**All prices are subject to applicable taxes.
Contact: Jennifer Chan | Senior Professional Development Coordinator
Direct: 604.412.4861
Toll Free: 1.888.430.8035 ext.4861
Fax: 604.639.8180
Email: [email protected]
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, as well as 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 dynamic soil properties, local site effects and seismic site response analysis, liquefaction assessment, seismic slope stability, soil-structure interaction, and seismic design of retaining structures.

Course Outline and Description

The course consists of the following seven modules:

Introduction to Earthquakes – Day 1

  • Plate tectonics and faults
  • Types of earthquakes
  • Size of earthquakes
  • Tectonics of North-East Pacific
  • Damaging effects of earthquakes

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 modelling.

Local Site Effects and Seismic Site Response Analysis – Days 1 and 2

  • Review of field observations
  • Basics of wave propagation
  • Ground response analysis methods
  • Case history examples

Liquefaction – Day 2

  • Review of field observations
  • Fundamentals of liquefaction behavior
  • Triggering of liquefaction
  • Consequences of liquefaction: lateral spreading and settlement
  • Case history examples

Seismic Slope Stability – Day 2 and 3

  • Review of field observations
  • Sliding block methods
  • Regressions models
  • Dynamic methods
  • Practical example

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

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
  • Seismic response of basement walls

Unique Features of the Course

The 3-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

Professor of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia

Dr. Mahdi Taiebat is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He received his PhD degree in civil engineering from University of California at Davis in 2008, and his M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in civil engineering from Iran's Sharif University in 2003 and 2001, respectively. His contributions in geotechnical research, professional practice, and education are primarily in the areas of theoretical and computational geomechanics, with focus on constitutive modelling and applications in geotechnical and earthquake engineering.

At UBC he leads the Theoretical and Applied Geomechanics Research Group, and teaches courses in soil mechanics, constitutive models for soils, and geotechnical earthquake engineering. He has (co-)supervised 30 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, has published over 100 technical papers, serves in the ASCE Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering committee, and the Editorial Boards of the Soils and Foundations Journal and Geotechnique Letters. He has spent a postdoctoral year at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) in 2008–2009, and a sabbatical year at MIT in 2015-2016. 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.

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