PEER has just signed a three-year research contract with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to carry out a comprehensive multidisciplinary research program on the seismic evaluation and performance of lifelines. This new funding from Caltrans launches a new phase of investigation for the PEER Lifelines Research Program.
"Lifelines" are components, systems, and networks needed to sustain modern societal operation. Some example lifelines include transportation networks (i.e. road and rail networks), structures that are critical to transportation networks (i.e. bridges), telecommunication systems, electric power generation and distribution networks, and components required for electricity distribution. Due to the important nature of these lifelines to urban society, continued research aims to enhance the performance and safety of lifelines systems during future earthquakes.
The new funding from Caltrans will support multidisciplinary research projects focused on the quantification of seismic hazard and risk as well as the performance-based earthquake engineering of lifelines. These projects will likely involve aspects of earth science, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, tsunami engineering, and the financial impacts of earthquakes.
Since its inception in 1997, PEER’s Lifelines Research Program has successfully completed over 110 research projects on seismic performance of transportation systems, bridges, electric substations and networks. The research topics range from characterizing earthquake ground motion hazard, seismic performance of soil, soil-structure interaction, life-safety and operation of structural systems, seismic performance of non-structural systems, and probabilistic tsunami hazard analysis for California. Outcomes of the PEER Lifelines Research Program have had national and international impacts on seismic analysis and design of a wide range of civil engineering facilities.
Additional sustained funding for this program comes from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).