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    2005 Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition

    2005 Competition Over!

    The SLC and PEER thank all our contestants, further results will be available at this site in the coming days. In the meantime, please visit:
    Mike Gebman's Seismic Competition Page.

    Objectives | Competition Details | Ground Motions | Registration

    This Seismic Design Competition for Undergraduates in Civil and Structural Engineering is being made possible through support from the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) and the volunteer efforts of the Student Leadership Council (SLC). PEER's mission is to develop and disseminate performance-based earthquake engineering. Nine universities on the west coast are associated with PEER, they include: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, UC Irvine, UCSD, Caltech, Stanford, USC and University of Washington.

    Graduate student representation and input is provided to PEER via the Student Leadership Council. This group consists of over 20 students at the PhD or Masters level, a majority of which conduct PEER research and volunteer to serve on the SLC.

    Building upon the success of last years Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition, the PEER SLC has recently launched the 2005 competition with some changes that promise to shake things up this year. The primary changes to this year's competition include an emphasis on performance prediction, and a substantial mass on the roof level which will make the simulated earthquakes quite lively.

    Teams will design, analyze and construct a scaled model of a 15 level commercial office building using balsa wood, similar to the 2004 event. Judging will be based on the seismic performance, performance prediction, and economic viability. Teams competing in the 2005 competition will face some stiff competition from the Mid-America Earthquake Center (MAE) and from the Multi Disciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER). MCEER will send the winning team from its regional competition, using the PEER SLC's rules. The competition will be held on April 29th-May 1st, at UC Berkeley, and will allow undergraduates a unique opportunity to attend a portion of the PEER Annual Meeting. For more information please contact:

    The information contained in this page is subject to revision -- please check back regularly for updates.

    For information on the 2004 seismic competition, including pictures of the competition from last year and the participating teams, please visit the 2004 Seismic Competition Page.


    The following document contains some important information regarding the Seismic Competition:
    Annual Meeting and Seismic Competition Maps, with Parking Info


    We have compiled a list of questions that teams have submitted to the Seismic Competition team, and their responses.
    This list is available here.


    The objectives of the Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition are:

    • To provide civil engineering undergraduate students an opportunity to do a hands on project and gain practical experience by designing and fabricating a cost effective frame structure, which will withstand severe earthquake simulation.
    • To build the awareness of the versatile activities at PEER among the civil engineering students and faculty at the core universities as well as the general public in order to encourage nation-wide participation.
    • To increase the attentiveness of the value and benefit of the Student Leadership Council (SLC) representatives and officers among the core universities for the recruitment and development of SLC, which is a key liaison between PEER students and the PEER center.


    Competition Date/Location

    The Seismic Competition will be held Saturday, April 30th through Sunday, May 1st. Participating teams are encouraged to arrive on Friday morning (April 29th) in time for lunch, and to attend the PEER Annual Meeting afternoon sessions and the student poster session Friday afternoon. (The PEER Annual Meeting is being held April 29th-30th at the U C Berkeley Richmond Field Station.) Teams will attend a brief morning session on Saturday, and then go to the Berkeley campus for the seismic competition. The first day of the competition will consist of team presentations, model inspection and model weigh-in. The visiting teams will also have about 2 hours for a tour of the campus. Dinner will include a presentation from PEER, on some related topic (TBD). The second day will consist of the structural testing on the UC Berkeley shake table.

    PEER Center
    1301 S. 46th Street
    UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station
    Richmond, California, 94804
    Tel: 510-231-9554
    Attn: SLC

    Preliminary Schedule


    Friday, April 29th, 2005
    Morning -
    Mid Afternoon
    Undergrads arrive for
    PEER Annual Meeting (AM)
    Marriott - Walnut Creek
    ----- Teams are encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting afternoon sessions -----
    9:00 - Noon Annual Meeting: Morning SessionsMarriott - Walnut Creek
    Noon - 1:00 PM Lunch Marriott - Walnut Creek
    1:00 - 4:30 PM Annual Meeting: Afternoon SessionsMarriott - Walnut Creek
    4:30 - 5:00 PM Seismic Competition Welcome Meeting Marriott - Walnut Creek
    5:00 - 7:00 PM Reception and Poster Session
    (PEER Annual Meeting)
    Marriott - Walnut Creek
    7:00 - 8:30 PM Dinner Marriott - Walnut Creek
    8:30 - 9:30 PM SLC Meeting for Seismic Competition

    Saturday, April 30th, 2005
    Time Event Location - (at UC Berkeley)
    7:00 AM SLC to conduct final Setup Davis Hall Structures Lab
     Setup of Presentation Room Davis Hall Structures Lab
    - Adjacent Class Room
    8:30 AM Judges arrive - brief meeting
    Judges: Dr. Mahmoud Hachem (WJE), Walterio A. Lopez, SE (Rutherford/Chekene), Tim Graf (Degenkolb)
    Davis Hall Structures Lab
    - Adjacent Class Room
    8:30 AM Undergraduates arrive at UC Berkeley
    8:30 - 9:30 AM Breakfast Served Davis Hall Structures Lab
    8:30 - 9:45 AM Model Unpacking/Final Preparations
    for Model Judging
    Davis Hall Structures Lab
    9:45 - 11:15 AM Team Presentations Davis Hall Structures Lab
    - Adjacent Class Room
    11:15 - noon Model Weigh-In and Model Inspection Davis Hall Structures Lab
    11:30 - noon Setup on Shake Table for First Model Davis Hall Structures Lab
    Noon - 12:30 PM Lunch Bechtel Terrace
    12:30 - 3:30 PM Shake Table Testing Davis Hall Structures Lab
    3:30 - 4:45 PM Campus Tour (Undergraduates) Berkeley Campus
    3:30 - 4:45 PM Judges Meeting (Score Presentations, Aesthetics, Economics, etc.) Davis Hall Structures Lab
    - Adjacent Class Room
    3:30 - 4:45 PM SLC to Pack Equipment Davis Hall Structures Lab
    4:45 - 5:00 PM Presentation of Awards Davis Hall Structures Lab
    5:00 - 5:30 PM Final Packing of Equipment and Cleanup Davis Hall Structures Lab
     (Teams to have models repackaged for shipping prior to leaving)
    [Note: the competition will conclude at 5:30 PM, if everything remains on schedule, and there are no major issues with building models/testing]

    Sunday, May 1st, 2005
    Teams depart for home

    Competition Rules

    Rules for the 2005 Seismic Design Competition: rules05.pdf


    Building Description

    [To be filled in later. See competition rules above for more details.]


    [To be filled in later. See competition rules above for more details.]



    One competing team from each PEER Core Institution or Affiliate Institution will be eligible for financial support from PEER. This support will help cover expenses associated with transportation and model construction (please note that teams will need to do some fundraising or obtain support from their university/department). Teams will need to save all receipts, as they will be required for reimbursement. Teams from universities not associated or affiliated with PEER are welcome to compete, however, PEER will not be able to provide financial support.

    PEER Core Institutions:
    University of California, Berkeley
    University of California, Davis
    University of California, Irvine
    University of California, Los Angeles
    University of California, San Diego
    California Institute of Technology
    Stanford University
    University of Southern California
    University of Washington
    PEER Affiliate Institutions:
    Oregon State University
    University of Hawaii
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


    See Competition Rules for registration details. Teams need to be registered with the PEER SLC by March 25th, 2005. Registration can be submitted via email to


    A list of competing teams will be posted here and updated as registrations are submitted.

    For more information on the seismic competition, please e-mail

    Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley
    1301 South 46th Street, RFS 451
    Richmond, California, 94804-4698

    Telephone: (510) 231-9554
    Fax: (510) 231-9464

    Contact the PEER Center in Berkeley