Site Map


Winners of PEER/NEES Concrete Column Blind Prediction Contest 2010

During September, PEER organized Blind Prediction Contest for a full-scale reinforced concrete bridge column that was tested on the NEES Large High-Performance Outdoor Shake Table located at UCSD's Englekirk Structural Engineering Center. More than 50 teams registered for the contest and 41 teams submitted complete entries. The contest applicants were asked to predict the global and local response of the specimen to 6 different earthquake records, including the failure mode, maximum displacement, moment demand, acceleration, shear force, axial force, curvature, strain, residual displacement and several other parameters.

Based on a comparison of the submitted response predictions and measured response quantities, overall winners were identified by the contest judges in two categories: Professional Engineer and Researcher.

For the Engineering Professional category, Bill Tremayne and Lawrence Burkett tied for first place.

  • Lawrence Burkett, of Rutherford & Chekene, San Francisco, CA, used the program SeismoStruct in conjunction with force-based fiber elements for his winning entry.
  • Bill Tremayne, of Holmes Culley, San Francisco, used the program ANSR for his predictions. The column was modeled using 3D beam-column elements with concentrated plastic hinges that exhibit degrading strength and stiffness.

For the research category, the entry from Dr. Zhe Qu was identified as the first place winner.

  • Dr. Zhe Qu, of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokahama, Japan, used the program Abaqus with 2-node linear beam elements having end fiber sections employing special user-defined steel and concrete material property models.

In recognition of the many excellent submissions, the judges identified six other entries that are being recognized for their excellence in being able to predict the broad array of response parameters required of the contestants. These Award of Excellence winners are listed alphabetically below, as each predicted some important parameters better than others, but each achieved a superior level of fidelity to the test results.

  • António Arêde, Nélson Vila-Pouca, André Monteiro, Pedro Delgado, and Raimundo Delgado, Researchers from the University of Porto & Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo in Portugal, used the program Seismostruct in conjunction with an Inelastic force-based element.
  • Eric Kelley, Kongsak Pugasap, and Rick Unruh, Engineering Professionals from Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. used the program SAP Release 14.1.0 with a Fiber Hinge model.
  • Otton Lara, Carlos Ventura, and Vinicio Suarez, Researchers from Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral and Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja in Ecuador and the University of British Columbia in Canada, used OpenSees with a Nonlinear fiber-based Beam-Column Element.
  • Bruce Maison, an Engineering Professional in El Cerrito, California, used PC-ANSR with Fiber-hinge type elements.
  • Rui Pinho, Romain Sousa, Federica Bianchi, and Roberto Nascimbene, Researchers from EUCENTRE in Pavia, Italy used the program Seismostruct with a Displacement-based fiber beam element.
  • Andreas Schellenberg, an Engineering Professional from Rutherford & Chekene in San Francisco, California used OpenSees with a Force-based beam-column element.

The judges noted some interesting trends in the results, suggesting that certain types of modeling approaches are better able to predict certain response parameters, while other approaches do better at simulating other parameters. PEER is currently compiling the results of the contest and a final report will be issued that identifies the trends observed.

PEER would like to congratulate all contestants for their entries and thank them for taking the time to participate. All winners were announced at Quake Summit 2010, the PEER and NEES Annual Meeting, in a special plenary session on the Blind Analysis Contest.

For more information about the contest including the experimental results and data, please visit:

posted October 28, 2010