The Geotechnical Society of Edmonton is pleased to present the Canadian Geotechnical Society Cross-Canada Lecture Tour featuring Dr. Steven Kramer.

Date: May 3, 2023
Time: 11:30am – 1:30pm
Location: Woodvale Facility, Millwood Golf Course, 4540 50 Street NW, Edmonton
Cost: GSE/CGS Members $25, Students $10, Non-members $30

Click to register for in-person attendance on EventBrite


The use of performance-based concepts for seismic design has increased greatly over the past 20 years.  The performance-based approach is based on the idea that structures and facilities can now be designed and constructed in such a manner that their performance under anticipated seismic loading can be predicted with acceptable accuracy.  The large uncertainties involved in characterizing anticipated ground motions, along with those associated with prediction of system response, physical damage, and losses have led most approaches to performance-based geotechnical design to be formulated in probabilistic terms, although the probabilistic approach is not absolutely required, and not consistently used in current practice, at least in the United States.

Performance-based design of structures and facilities can be accomplished in many different ways.  In this paper, the term “structures” will be used in a generic sense to describe systems that could include buildings and bridges, but also earth structures such as embankments, levees, earth dams, natural slopes, foundations, etc.  The paper will review probabilistic geotechnical response prediction methods, explore alternative approaches to performance-based design, discuss their implementation in practice, and show how their benefits can be realized in a framework that most practitioners are already familiar with.


Steve Kramer is Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle.  His primary research interests include soil liquefaction, site response analysis, seismic slope stability, and hazard analysis.  He has worked on the coupling of probabilistic seismic hazard and response analyses within performance-based earthquake engineering frameworks, particularly with respect to soil liquefaction.  Kramer is author of the textbook, Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (Prentice-Hall).  Kramer has been the recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the NSF, the Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award from ASCE, a Walter Huber Research Prize from ASCE, and the ASCE Norman Medal (in 2009 and 2017).  He received the 2016 M.J. Nigel Priestley Prize from the European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering, the 2018 H. Bolton Seed Medal from ASCE, and the 2018 Nabor Carrillo Lecturer Award from the Mexican Society of Geotechnical Engineering.  In 2020, he was named as a Distinguished Member of ASCE, a member of the U.C. Berkeley Academy of Distinguished Alumni and elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  Most recently, he was named an Honorary Member of the International Association of Earthquake Engineering.  Kramer was a Senior Research Scientist in the International Centre for Geohazards at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) in 2003 and is also a member of the faculty of the European School for Advanced Studies in the Reduction of Seismic Risk (the ROSE School) at the University of Pavia in Italy.  Although recently retired from the University of Washington, he remains active in research and consulting and is nearing completion of the second edition of his textbook.