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The course will be organized in twelve lectures of two hours each, including tutorials.
Two homework assignments will be provided during the course. The students will have to hand in the assignments within a week.
The final exam will include a written and an oral examination.
The final grade will be based either on the grades obtained in the assignments and on the final exam.

Teaching Assistant: Ricardo Monteiro

Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology


1. Historical understanding of earthquake engineering (4 hours)

Ancient perceptions on earthquakes from the origin to the Age of Enlightenment
Robert Hooke and the theory of elasticity
Galileo, Newton and the law of inertia
Tectonics, waves, statistics and probability
Acceleration, velocity, displacement
Demand and capacity after the Messina earthquake
Early evaluation of ground acceleration and response spectra
Structural design, from elasticity to the discover of ductility
Strength demand in modern codes
Capacity design and detailing in modern codes
Displacement based design

Recommended reading

Calvi, G.M., Engineers Understanding of Earthquakes Demand and Structures Response, in Earthquake Engineering in Europe, Springer Science, 2010, pp. 223-248 or, alternatively Calvi, G.M., A lezione dai terremoti, Progettazione Sismica, 01, 2010, pp. 3-18.

2. Dynamics of structural systems and response to seismic action (4 hours)

Linear response of one degree of freedom (DOF) systems
Linear response of multi DOF systems
Linear response of distributed parameters systems
Non linear response of structural systems
Integration of the equations of motion
Structural stability

Recommended reading

Clough, R. W., and J. Penzien, Dynamics of structures, McGraw-Hill, 1975. Chapters 1 – 3.
Bathe, K. J., and E. L. Wilson, Numerical Methods in Finite Element Analysis, Prentice-Hall, 1976. Chapter 8.

3. Basics of seismology, ground motion, seismic input
(4 hours)

Plate tectonics
Origin and source of earthquake ground motion
Attenuation laws
Ground motion prediction equations
Hazard disaggregation
Ground motion return period vs design life
Code zonation vs site specific parameters
Time dependent characterization of hazard
Probabilistic vs deterministic characterization of hazard
Acceleration, displacement and velocity as intensity parameters
Acceleration and displacement spectra

Recommended reading

Dragoni, M., Terrae Motus, la sismologia da Eratostene allo Tsunami di Sumatra, UTET, Novara, 2005.

4. Structural testing
(4 hours)

Historical ages: Galileo, Hooke, Mariotte, Euler and others
Laboratory testing
Field testing
Imposing loads and displacements
• Hydraulic actuators
• Screw jacks
Data acquisition
• Strain gauges
• Linear potentiometers
• Pressure transducers
• Load cells
• Accelerometers
• Seismometers
• Optical reading
Static and dynamic testing
Shake table testing
Pseudo–dynamic testing
Test control

Recommended reading

Calvi G.M., A. Pavese, P. Ceresa, F. Dacarro, C.G. Lai, C. Beltrami, Design of a large-scale dynamic and pseudo-dynamic testing facility, IUSS-Press, Pavia, 2005

5. Seismic design and assessment philosophy
(4 hours)

Design life
Design intensity
Design performances and limit states
Design for damage control or avoidance
Simplifying structures
• From real structures to models
• From multi to single degree of freedom
Simplified design approaches
Correlation between protection and structural cost
Different standards for design and assessment
Assessment when details and material are known
Assessment approach when details are unknown
• Use of testing
• Use of design simulation
• Use of back analysis
Potential for step change in safety
Policies for resources allocation, insurance policies, …

Recommended reading

Priestley, M.J.N., G.M. Calvi and M.J. Kowalsky, Displacement Based Seismic Design of Structures, IUSS Press, Pavia, 2007, 740 pp. Chapters 1 – 3.
Welch, D.P., Sullivan. T.J. and Calvi G.M. Developing Direct Displacement-Based Procedures for Simplified Loss Assessment in Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering, Journal of Earthquake Engineering, 18:290–322, 2014.
G.M. Calvi (2013) Choices and Criteria for Seismic Strengthening, Journal of Earthquake Engineering, 17:6, 769-802

6. Seismic design, assessment and strengthening in practice (4 hours)

Isolation and energy dissipation
Foundations and retaining walls
Modification of damage and collapse mode
• Use of additional elements
• Local member strengthening
• Increasing local deformation capacity
• Reduction of displacement demand by added damping
• Introduction of base isolation

Recommended reading

Priestley, M.J.N., G.M. Calvi and M.J. Kowalsky, Displacement Based Seismic Design of Structures, IUSS Press, Pavia, 2007, 740 pp. Chapter 11 and 13
Priestley, M.J.N, Kowalsky, M.J. and G.M. Calvi, Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Bridges, in Bridge Engineering Handbook – Seismic Design, Taylor and Francis, 2014, 201-236
Calvi, G.M, P.E. Pinto and P. Franchin, Seismic Design Practice in Italy, in Bridge Engineering Handbook – Seismic Design, Taylor and Francis, 2014, 633-660

Ambito: Scienze e Tecnologie

Semestre: Semestre I