PEER has just published Report No. 2017/01: “PEER Annual Report 2016.” This report was prepared by PEER staff, led by Khalid Mosalam, Amarnath Kasalanati and Grace Kang. It contains a summary of research, educational and outreach activities at the PEER Center since January 2016.
The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) is a multi-institutional research and education center with headquarters at the University of California, Berkeley. PEER’s mission is to develop, validate, and disseminate performance-based seismic design technologies for buildings and infrastructure to meet the diverse economic and safety needs of owners and society.
The year 2016 began with a change of leadership at PEER. On January 1, Professor Khalid Mosalam became the new PEER Director as Professor Stephen Mahin completed his 6-year term. Also in early 2016, Dr. Yousef Bozorgnia stepped down from the position of Executive Director, after serving as a key member of PEER’s management team for over 12 years. Several accomplishments of the Center during the leadership of Director Mahin were recounted during the PEER Annual Meeting on January 28–29, 2016. This meeting also set the course of the Center with several new thrust areas identified for future research.
During the past year, PEER has continued its track record of multi-institutional research with several multi-year Mega-Projects. The PEER Tall Buildings Initiative (TBI) was recently expanded to include assessment of the seismic performance of existing tall buildings. The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) awarded a $3.4 million, 3.5-year research contract to PEER to investigate the seismic performance of wood-frame homes with cripple walls. The project will directly contribute to the improvement of seismic resiliency of California’s housing stock. Former Director Mahin will lead a broad effort for computational modeling and simulation (SimCenter) of the effects of natural hazards on the built environment. Supported by a 5-year, $10.9-million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the SimCenter is part of the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) initiative, a distributed, multi-user national facility that will provide natural hazards engineers with access to research infrastructure (earthquake and wind engineering experimental facilities, cyberinfrastructure, computational modeling and simulation tools, and research data), coupled with education and community outreach activities.
In addition to the Mega Projects, PEER researchers were involved in a wide range of research activities in the areas of geohazards, tsunami, and the built environment focusing on the earthquake performance of old and new reinforced concrete and steel structures, tall buildings, and bridges including rapid bridge construction. As part of its mission, PEER participated in a wide range of education and outreach activities, including a summer internship program, seminars, OpenSees days, and participation in several national and international conferences. The Center became an active board member of two prominent international organizations, namely GADRI (Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes) and ILEE (International Laboratory of Earthquake Engineering). PEER researchers and projects were recognized with awards from several organizations.
Going forward, PEER aims to improve the profile and external exposure of the Center globally, strengthen the Business-Industry-Partnership (BIP) program, engage the Institutional Board (IB) and the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to identify new areas of research, and explore new funding opportunities.