Khalid M. Mosalam, Taisei Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, has been appointed Director of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), a multi-institutional research and education center headquartered at Berkeley.
Mosalam will begin his appointment January 1, 2016, succeeding Stephen Mahin, who has served as director since 2009. “It has been a rewarding experience working with the collaborative PEER community,” remarked Mahin. “As my term ends, I look forward to a smooth transition with Khalid as well as continuing involvement with the research community.”
“We are delighted to entrust the leadership of PEER to Khalid Mosalam,” said S. Shankar Sastry, dean and Carlson professor of engineering at Berkeley. “He is globally recognized as a foremost authority on the seismic performance of buildings, bridges and civil infrastructure that are essential to public safety and community resiliency. PEER serves an important public mission, and we are confident Khalid Mosalam will sustain its prominence and impact.”
“I am very humbled to follow a line of prior PEER directors who are truly giants of earthquake engineering,” said Mosalam. “As director, I intend to build on the multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary collaborative community of researchers that has enabled PEER to become the primary earthquake engineering research arm of California.”
“PEER will continue to focus on a performance-based engineering approach to earthquakes and other hazards such as tsunami,” said Mosalam. “We will also continue working in the areas of consequential and socioeconomic impacts at a regional, national and global scale.”
Mosalam joined the faculty of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Berkeley in 1997. He currently leads the department’s Structural Engineering, Mechanics & Materials program and has long been affiliated with PEER.
Mosalam was one of the developers of nees@berkeley, a facility for modeling and testing structures to evaluate their response to earthquakes. He served as principal investigator for its operation from 2009 to 2014. He studies the performance of structural systems of concrete, masonry and wood subjected to extreme loads, along with assessing and rehabilitating essential civil infrastructure such as bridges and electrical substations. His research also covers large-scale computations and physical testing, including hybrid simulation. He is active in research related to energy efficiency and sustainability in buildings.
Mosalam received the 2006 ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, recognizing his computational research integrated with large experiments to solve practical structural engineering problems. His efforts to improve seismic safety in low-cost housing in Morocco earned him, along with three other faculty from architecture and anthropology, the Chancellor’s Award for Public Service at Berkeley in 2013.
He has been a visiting professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Middle East Technical University in Turkey and the Disaster Prevention Research Institute in Japan. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. from Cairo University and his Ph.D. from Cornell University, all in structural engineering.
PEER, the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, is an organized research unit of the College of Engineering at Berkeley. PEER is a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional center that is a consortium of researchers from 10 core institutions including UC campuses (at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles and San Diego), California Institute of Technology, University of Southern California, Stanford University, Oregon State University and University of Washington. Additionally, investigators from over 20 universities, several consulting companies and various state and federal government agencies participate and contribute to research programs at PEER.
PEER’s mission is to develop, validate and disseminate performance-based engineering technologies for buildings and infrastructure networks, with the goal of achieving economic and community resilience. Research programs aim to identify and reduce risks to life safety and to the economy by promoting collaboration among a variety of disciplines, including earthquake-related geohazard and inundation assessment, geotechnical and structural engineering, transportation systems, lifelines and networks, economics, risk management and public policy.