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Unit information: Earthquake Resistant Structures in 2018/19

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Unit name Earthquake Resistant Structures
Unit code CENGM0055
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Sextos
Open unit status Not open

CENG31400 Structural Engineering 3 and CENG30005 Design of Geotechnical Structures



School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit will provide a grounding in the basic principles and practices of Earthquake Engineering in structural and geotechnical engineering. The emphasis will be on understanding how seismic loads affect typical building and geotechnical artefacts, how the various materials respond up to the ultimate limit state (i.e. collapse), and how the structures shall be designed to meet pre-defined performance objectives. The content will be set within the context of the new European Code of Practice for Earthquake Engineering, Eurocode 8 and the associated Eurocodes for Steel, Concrete and Geotechnics. Reference will also be made to the newly evolving Performance Based Engineering paradigm, which is the basis for the next generation of design codes.


  1. To develop students' awareness of the nature of earthquakes and their effects on typical civil engineering systems;
  2. To develop students' knowledge and understanding of the underpinning principles of earthquake design and construction;
  3. To enable students to apply the above principles to the basic earthquake design and detailing of some typical structural systems, with emphasis on buildings;
  4. To develop students' awareness of important evolutions in earthquake engineering practice expected over the next 10 years.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course, successful students will:

  1. be able to explain the main methods for characterizing seismic hazard
  2. be able to explain how ground shaking drives the dynamic response of single and multi-degree of freedom systems and how the characteristics of those systems (i.e. mass, stiffness, damping, yielding ,etc.) can be selected during design to optimize their performance for different levels of earthquake loading,
  3. understand the philosophy and evolution of current codes of practice (particularly Eurocode 8, in terms of force-based, capacity- and performance-based design),
  4. be able to apply the above concepts in a professional framework for typical steel and concrete buildings and bridges.

Teaching details

Lectures: 20 hours

Assessment Details

3 hours exam 100%

Reading and References

  1. Dynamics of Structures, Anil K. Chopra, Prentice Hall, ISBN-13: 978-0131561748
  2. Dynamics of Structures, R.W. Clough and J. Penzien, McGraw-Hill ISBN-13: 978-0071132411
  3. Seismic Design of Reinforced Concrete and Masonry Buildings, T. Paulay, M.J.N. Priestley, Wiley ISBN-13: 978-0471549154
  4. Seismic Design and Retrofit of Bridges, M.J.N. Priestley and F. Seible, Wiley, ISBN-13: 978-0471579984
  5. Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, S. Cramer, Prentice-Hall, ISBN-13: 978-0133749434
  6. Earthquake Design Practice for Buildings, E.D. Booth, Thomas Telford, ISBN-13: 978-0727729477
  7. Eurocode-Compliant Seismic Analysis and Design of R / C Buildings. Avramidis IE, Athanatopoulou AM, Morfidis K, Sextos AG, Giaralis A. Springer; 2015.
  8. Concrete buildings in seismic regions. Penelis GG, Penelis GG. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group; 2014.
  9. Eurocode 8 – available on-line via University Library