New PEER Report 2020/08: "PEER Activities 2018—2020"

November 30, 2020

PEER has just published Report No. 2020/08:  "PEER Activities 2018—2020." It was authored by Khalid Mosalam, PEER Director and Amarnath Kasalanati, PEER Associate Director.

Visit the PEER publications page to download a free color pdf of the document.

Executive Summary

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 (1) develop, validate, and disseminate performance-based engineering (PBE) technologies for buildings and infrastructure networks subjected to earthquakes and other natural hazards, with the goal of achieving community resilience; and (2) equip the earthquake engineering and other extreme-event communities with new tools. This report presents the activities of the Center over the period of July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020. PEER staff, in particular Grace Kang, Erika Donald, Claire Johnson, Christina Bodnar-Anderson, Arpit Nema and Zulema Lara, helped in preparation of this report.

Key activities of the past two academic years include the following:

  1. Requests for Proposals: PEER issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) in the Fall of 2018 and 2019 for the Transportation Systems Research Program (TSRP). The 2018 RFP funded 11 projects and the 2019 RFP funded 14 projects. Since 2017, TSRP funds have supported 47 projects by researchers from all 11 core institutions of PEER, spanning a wide range of thrust areas such as geo-hazards, computation, modeling, experimental work, and network vulnerability.
  2. PEER Annual Meetings: PEER organized the 2019 PEER Annual Meeting at the UCLA campus, and the 2020 PEER Annual Meeting at UC Berkeley. The 2019 meeting was held on January 17 & 18, 2019, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Northridge earthquake with active participation from over 200 people. The 2020 meeting, featuring the theme of ‘The Future of Performance-Based Natural Hazards Engineering’ had over 250 participants.
  3. Major Projects: A new major project began in December 2019, when PEER was awarded $4.9 million from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop seismic risk assessment tool for natural gas storage and transmission systems. Other major projects such as the Next Generation Liquefaction (NGL) by PEER researchers at UCLA and UW are continuing. Two major projects, the PEER-CEA Project to quantify the seismic performance of retrofitted homes with crawl spaces, and the Development of Bridge Design Guidelines for Tsunami Loads, are nearing their completion. The NGA-East project was completed with a final PEER report 2018/08 released and a seminar hosted by EERI in October 2019.
  4. Researchers’ Workshops: These forums for in-progress reporting of PEER-funded projects, were conducted in Summer of 2018 & 2019. With 20 presentations in 2 days and ample time for discussion, these workshops foster interaction between differenprojects and provide constructive feedback.
  5. Blind Prediction Contests: A blind prediction contest on foundation settlement, the first of its kind in liquefaction studies, was held in Fall 2018, with robust participation from industry and research groups. In Fall 2019, a blind prediction contest was held on seismic response of rocking columns.
  6. PEER Hub Imagenet (PHI-Net): The first image-based structural damage recognition competition (PHI Challenge) was conducted in Fall 2018, with excellent participation from structural engineering groups and computer science groups. This work highlighted some of the pioneering work by PEER researchers in the emerging Data-to-Decision field.
  7. Strategic Plan: PEER Headquarters developed a strategic plan and action plan for the organization, which was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Board. These plans provide a blueprint for the organization’s direction and goals in the coming years.
  8. PEER Committees: Three committees were formed: Research Committee, with the charge of shaping the general research direction of the organization; Industry Advisory Board, to serve as a bridge between research and practice; and, Resource Identification Committee, with the goal of identifying future funding sources for the Center. These committees took on their charges in early 2020.

Going forward, PEER aims to hold more focused workshops, leverage the new committees’ activities, and draw on existing experience on PBE to systematically move towards Resilient Design for Extreme Events (RDEE).