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The John A.Blume Earthquake Engineering Research

The John A.Blume Earthquake Engineering Research

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Date: 2017-05-29

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The Introduction of this website is as follows:

The destruction caused by the 1906 earthquake marked the beginning of a long and rich history of research and innovation in engineering, seismology, and geology at Stanford.

Most of the Stanford campus buildings were constructed of unreinforced masonry and were concentrated within a central quadrangle. Several buildings on campus were destroyed or severely damaged during the quake, including the newly built gymnasium, the library and museum, and Memorial Church. Colored mosaic tiles from the Memorial Church were later found several hundred meters from the collapsed structure.

The earthquake sparked interest in research and experimental work, including Professor William Rogers’ development of the first instrument to experimentally investigate soil effects during earthquakes. However, interest in earthquake risks was often short-lived and poorly-funded, so subsequent earthquakes throughout the world continued to result in great loss of life due to buildings designed with inadequate seismic resistance. Nevertheless, research at Stanford, particularly through the 1930s, laid the groundwork for modern analytical and design approaches. Significant early research was the work of Professor Bailey Willis following the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake, the same earthquake that inspired a young John Blume to enter the field. Blume’s extraordinary career included contributions to dynamic theory, soil structure interactions, and the inelastic behavior of structures, earning him the title of the “Father of Earthquake Engineering.” In conjunction with the advent of computer modeling and measurement tools, the 1971 San Fernando and the 1972 Managua earthquakes stimulated sustained interest in earthquakes and contributed to the founding of the John A. Blume Center for Earthquake Engineering at Stanford in 1974.

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