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Unit information: Engineering Seismology in 2018/19

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Engineering Seismology
Unit code CENGM0041
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Katsu Goda
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


Students will be able to understand the key concepts of engineering seismology and probabilistic seismic hazard analysis and carry out seismic hazard assessment for a seismic region by themselves. Students will be able to develop their own computer codes for probabilistic seismic hazard analysis using MATLAB as part of computer labs and coursework. They will gain the practical understanding of the subjects and technical computational skills.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course, successful students will;

1. be able to understand the analytical framework and method of probabilistic seismic hazard analysis,

2. be able to understand the outputs from the probabilistic seismic hazard analysis in the context of earthquake and geotechnical engineering,

3. be able to understand the components of probabilistic seismic hazard analysis and apply suitable methods to develop such model components using data,

4. be able to conduct probabilistic seismic hazard analysis for a seismic region and produce a written report on the seismic hazard assessment.

Teaching details

The lectures will cover the theoretical as well as technical aspects of engineering seismology and probabilistic seismic hazard analysis, while the computer labs and homework exercises will be used to apply the learned theories and methods to solve practical problems. The computer lab sessions and homework exercises are carefully designed such that students can build their own computational tools gradually. In the end, students will be able to integrate key model components, which have been developed individually, into a complete methodology for probabilistic seismic hazard analysis.

22 hrs of lectures (11 x 2hr)

8 hrs of computer labs (8x1hr)

70 hrs private study

Assessment Details

Coursework (100%)

Please note that regular formative feedback will be provided through teaching activity such as simple exercises and optional activities.

Reading and References

Musson, R.M.W., and Sargeant, S. L. (2007). Eurocode 8 Seismic Hazard Zoning Maps for the UK. Technical Report CR/07/125, British Geological Survey, Nottingham, United Kingdom. Available at:

Kramer, S.L. (1996). Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering. Prentice Hall, NJ.

McGuire, R.K. (2008). Seismic Hazard and Risk Analysis. Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, CA.

Nowak, A.S., and Collins, K.R. (2013). Reliability of Structures. CRC Press, NY.