CE 725 Earthquake Structural Engineering

Effects of earthquakes on structures and of design of structures to resist earthquake motions; earthquake mechanisms and ground motions; response of structures to earthquake motions; behavior of materials, structural elements and assemblages subjected to earthquakes; principles of earthquake-resistant design practice; soil-structure interaction; and special topics. The course focus extensively on Displacement-Based Seismic Design and will utilize a recently released text on the topic. 3 credit hours.


• Prerequisite

Structural Dynamics (CE 527 or equivalent), structural design (courses in concrete)

• Course Objectives

At the conclusion of the course, students will:

  1. Be able to develop analytical models and conduct analysis of structures under the influence of seismic actions.
  2. Develop an understanding for the effects that earthquakes have on structural systems.
  3. Develop an understanding of basic aspects critical for seismic design, assessment, and retrofit.
  4. Apply the basic principals of Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering via Direct Displacement-Based Design to a variety of structural systems.
  5. Apply the principals of capacity design for the proper detailing of RC structures subjected to seismic conditions.

• Course Requirements

HOMEWORK: 40% (8 Assignments)

OTHER: Paper and Text Reviews – 10% (Reviews of journal articles and readings from the textbook)  

EXAMINATIONS: Final Exam - 50%

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Familiarity with Matlab.

• Textbook

Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Structures. M.J.N Priestley, G.M. Calvi, and M.J. Kowalsky. IUSS Press, 2007. Available online via the IUSS press at:


• Computer and Internet Requirements

NCSU and Engineering Online have recommended minimum specifications for computers. For details, click here.

• Instructor

Dr. Mervyn J. Kowalsky, Professor
Department of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering
North Carolina State University
417 Mann Hall
Campus Box 7908
Raleigh, NC 27695-7908

Phone: (919) 515-7261
Fax: (919) 515-7908
Email: kowalsky@ncsu.edu
Instructor Website: https://www.ccee.ncsu.edu/people/kowalsky/