Postdoctoral Fellow Selected to Research Japanese Earthquake

Carmine Galasso to research Japanese earthquake

Carmine Galasso, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Civil and Enviromental Engineering (CEE) at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, was selected as one of three Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows in the U.S. to spend a month in Japan researching the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated the country in March 2011.

Galasso, who is concentrating his research on performance-based earthquake engineering at the Samueli School, began work in November with Associate Professor Hitoshi Shiohara, Ph.D., University of Tokyo.

“It is evident that the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, given its scale and its severity, represents an important case study for all interested in earthquake engineering and in general seismic risk reduction,” Galasso says. “This program represents for me a unique opportunity to closely learn more about several topics on which my research is focused.”

Galasso is working with CEE Assistant Professor Farzin Zareian, Ph.D., and his research group at the Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering Laboratory (PBEE-Lab),on providing solutions to various issues and challenges involved in performance-based seismic design of tall buildings, with an emphasis on the multi-mode response of shear and flexural tall buildings to recorded and simulated ground motions. In particular, his current research is addressing the issue of engineering validation of ground motion simulations in terms of elastic and post-elastic structural response. Preliminary results of this study were presented in September 2011 at the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, Calif. and the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center Annual Meeting in Berkeley, Calif.

The United States-Japan Collaborative Research program, co-organized by Shiohara and Professor John W. Wallace, Ph.D., P.E. of UCLA, was open to Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows working with U.S. faculty on earthquake engineering research related to structural engineering. The three selected (Galasso, Kristijan Kolozvari of UCLA and Taylor Rawlinson of Auburn University) worked on tasks related to the Tohoku earthquake with Japanese university researchers during the one-month program. They spent two weeks working at their host institutions to help prepare reports related to the Tohoku earthquake. The remainder of the month was spent interacting with faculty and students outside of the host institution, visiting laboratories and visiting areas impacted by the earthquake.