2020 Chapter Meetings


Earthquake Drain Mitigation of Seismic Damage: Research and Practical Applications
Antonios Vytiniotis, Ph.D., P.E., Managing Engineer at Exponent
 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, New England Chapter, Lecture Series

Thursday December 3, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)The Zoom Seminar is FREE!

For registration please email Debra McKnight (Debra.Mcknight@tufts.edu)

Abstract: Soil liquefaction is an important design consideration. A technique finding increasing use due to its simplicity and low cost is mitigating liquefaction using earthquake drains (EQ-Drains).  EQ-Drains are perforated vertical plastic conduits that function by accelerating the dissipation of excess pore water pressures. This seminar will describe general characteristics of EQ-Drains and present the results of state-of-the art research for the design and use of EQ-Drains. The presentation will discuss coupled pore pressure-deformation dynamic finite element analyses of liquefiable soils improved with EQ-Drains. It will discuss coupling of the soil domain with simpler structural models incorporating advanced dynamic p-y springs. It will finally discuss the use of fragility analysis to understand the seismic risk of geostructural components. The seminar will include detailed comparisons with centrifuge and field experimental testing as well as practical applications for practitioners. EQ-Drains, if designed and installed correctly, can provide a cost-effective means to combine the benefits of both strength- and drainage-based liquefaction mitigation.
Biography: Dr. Vytiniotis has background in structural and geotechnical engineering, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and numerical analysis. He has worked on numerous projects in more than 20 states and multiple countries, assisting project owners, law firms, utility companies, insurance companies and developers. His analyses consist of assessing soil improvement, soil-structure interaction, effects of vibrations and vibration isolation, construction defects, premises code compliance, dam safety, landslides, LNG and diesel tank condition assessments, API tank inspections, assessing wind turbine failures, causation of MSE wall failures, effects of adjacent construction, soil heave or settlements, frost-induced effects on soils, pipeline installation, effects of soil movements on pipelines, water intrusion, flooding, scour and backfill quality. Dr. Vytiniotis has performed research and consulting work on the seismic response of pile-supported wharves, seismic slope stability, the effectiveness of prefabricated vertical drains (earthquake drains) and soil densification in reducing liquefaction risk, the effect of gravel drains in amplifying seismic accelerations, and numerical simulations of centrifuge experiments. He also has research experience in constitutive soil modeling and evaluating settlements in soft soils associated with staged levee construction. He is also a member of Geo-Institute’s Deep Foundation and Computational Geotechnics committees.

Lecture Flyer (PDF)

Approaches to Modeling Ergodic Seismic Site Response in Central and Eastern North America

Grace Parker, U.S. Geological Survey, Earthquake Science Center

Tufts CEE Seminar Series and The New England Chapter of EERI Present

Friday November 13, 2020 12:00pm Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Virtual Event

The seminar focuses on the Next Generation Attenuation East project resulting in a suite of ground motion models for central and eastern North America.

Grace Parker is a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow at the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Science Center in Moffett Field, California. She holds a B.S. in Applied Geophysics (2014) and a PhD in Civil Engineering (2018) from the University of California Los Angeles. Her research interests are in earthquake ground motion and seismic hazard, with a particular focus on model development, nonergodic site response, and applications to earthquake early warning systems.


Functional Recovery: What it Means to Design for Community Resilience
 2020 EERI Distinguished Lecturer David Bonowitz (M.EERI, 1994)
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, New England Chapter, Lecture Series

Tuesday September 15, 2020, 4:00 – 5:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Abstract: This lecture will focus on the emerging concept of functional recovery as a basis for earthquake-resistant design. Designing buildings and infrastructure for limited downtime – or an acceptably quick functional recovery – is not new, but it is receiving new attention through state and federal legislation, and showing new feasibility through research and technology. Most intriguing is the recognition that designing for functional recovery is a necessary tool for achieving community-wide earthquake resilience. And if progress is to be measured at the community level, functional recovery will also be a matter of public policy. The lecture will look at the roles EERI members can play in shaping this thinking into design practice with four sets of questions: definitional, technical, policy, and implementation.
Biography: The EERI Distinguished Lecturer for 2020 is Mr. David Bonowitz (M. EERI, 1994). He is an appointed member of the new Federal Emergency Management Agency-National Institute of Standards and Technology working group on Functional Recovery of the Built Environment and Critical Infrastructure. He is a co-author of “Functional Recovery: A Conceptual Framework,” an EERI white paper, and lead author of “Resilience-based Design and the NEHRP Provisions”. Mr. Bonowitz is also a Fellow Member of Structural Engineers Association of Northern California and Structural Engineers Association of California, and past chair of the National Council of Structural Engineers Association Existing Buildings and Resilience committees.

The Distinguished Lecture Award recognizes EERI members who have made outstanding contributions to earthquake risk reduction. The award encourages communications and dialogue on important and timely topics.