Engineers and Geoscientists BC
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Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering Short Course

Monday, March 6, 2023
Login and Registration Day 1: 8:15 AM–8:30 AM Pacific Time
Online Course Day 1–3: 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Pacific Time
Registration is now closed.

Eligible for 21.0 CE Hour(s) of Technical Learning

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Event Details


Jennifer Chan

Event Description

The course provides the participants with the fundamental concepts of geotechnical earthquake engineering, and expands those to the key issues related to dynamic soil properties, local site effects and seismic site response analysis, soil liquefaction during earthquakes and the related assessments, seismic slope stability, basics of seismic soil-structure interaction, and seismic design of retaining structures.

Event Presenter(s)

Dr. Mahdi Taiebat, P.Eng., M.EERI, M.GEER, M.ASCE
Professor of Civil Engineering
University of British Columbia (UBC)

About the Event

The background information needed for understanding the fundamentals and relevant concepts will be introduced. Supplementary resources, including reports and papers, will also be provided in various parts of the course. Relevant practical exercises will be given at the end of selected modules. Consequently, the course is relevant to all geotechnical, structural, geological, and mining engineers and consultants interested in geotechnical earthquake engineering.

Course Outline

Day 1

  • Introduction to Earthquakes
    • Plate tectonics and faults
    • Tectonics of North-East Pacific
    • Types and sizes of earthquakes
    • Damaging effects of earthquakes
  • Dynamic Soil Properties
    • Stress-strain behavior of soil under cyclic loading
    • Modulus reduction and damping in cyclic loading
    • Soil characterization with laboratory and field experiments
  • Local Site Effects and Seismic Site Response Analysis
    • Review of field observations
    • Basics of wave propagation
    • Ground response analysis methods
    • Case history examples

Day 2

  • Liquefaction
    • Review of field observations
    • Fundamentals of liquefaction behavior
    • Triggering of liquefaction
    • Consequences of liquefaction: lateral spreading and settlement
    • Case history examples
  • Seismic Slope Stability
    • Review of field observations
    • Sliding block methods
    • Regressions models
    • Dynamic methods
    • Practical example

Day 3

  • Seismic Soil-Structure Interaction
    • 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
    • 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


Dr. Mahdi Taibat, P.Eng., M.EERI, M.GEER, MASCE

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 the 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. At UBC, he serves as the Associate Head of the Civil Engineering Department, leads the Theoretical and Applied Geomechanics Research Group, and teaches courses in soil mechanics, advanced soil mechanics, constitutive models for soils, and geotechnical earthquake engineering.

Dr. Taiebat's contributions to geotechnical research, professional practice, and education are primarily in theoretical and computational geomechanics, including constitutive modelling of engineering materials, physics, and mechanics of granular materials, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and static and dynamic soil-structure interaction. He has (co-)supervised over 30 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, has published over 120 technical papers, serves on the ASCE Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering committee, and the Editorial Boards of the Soils and Foundations Journal, Geotechnique Letters, and Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering Journal. 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 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.