Vitelmo V. Bertero to be awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

vitelmo bertero

On September 23, 2010 University of California, Berkley Professor Emeritus Vitelmo V. Bertero will be awarded in Mexico City Doctor Honoris Causa by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) for his many contributions in the field of Earthquake Engineering. The degree of Doctor Honoris Causa is conferred on Mexican or foreign teachers and researchers of exceptional merit for their contributions to teaching, or for their dedication to improving living conditions or welfare of mankind. UNAM was founded in 1551 (although it changed its name in 1910 and became non-denominationa l) and is one of the oldest and largest Universities in the Americas. Today it has more than 300,000 students. In its long history it has conferred very few of these awards.

Bertero is recognized worldwide among his peers as a legend in the field of earthquake engineering, because of his lifelong efforts to improve concrete and steel construction in seismic regions around the world through his inspired teaching and research. His extensive studies of the nonlinear behavior of structures included the correlation of advanced analytical techniques with actual performance in damaging earthquakes. He became a specialist in defining analytical models for use in conducting seismic performance evaluations. He emphasized the importance of treating the complete structural system in developing a sound seismically resistant design, including consideration of architectural, geotechnical, and construction issues. He has received more than 70 awards and honors for his teaching and publications on the seismic-resistant design of structures, and has authored more than 360 papers and reports on this subject. (source: EERI Newsletter July 2009 Volume 43, Number 7 )

The oral history of Vitelmo V. Bertero is available from EERI online at

posted September 9, 2010