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A performance-based framework for the settlement and tilt of shallow-founded structures on liquefiable ground

Mr. Zachary Bullock

(PhD Candidate, University of Colorado, Boulder)

Auckland Presentation: Wednesday 14 February 2018

Video recording link:

The state of practice in evaluating the potential for damage to shallow-founded structures due to liquefaction has several shortcomings. Many methods do not account for soil-structure interaction (SSI) in a robust way, and many provide only deterministic estimates of settlement. This talk will discuss the development of one of the first procedures for predicting foundation settlement that includes the effects of SSI and provides the rigorous description of model uncertainty required by performance-based frameworks, as well as the corresponding model for foundation tilt. These models incorporate a large-scale numerical parametric study, centrifuge test results, and case history observations, and use techniques from machine learning for both validation and form selection. Lastly, the application of these models and their insights to mitigation decision-making will be discussed, with focus on ongoing challenges in liquefaction engineering.


Mr. Bullock is a doctoral student in civil engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder in the United States. He is co-advised by Professors Shideh Dashti, Abbie Liel, and Keith Porter. His research focuses on probabilistic modeling of liquefaction consequences in the context of a performance-based earthquake engineering framework, but he is also interested in many other aspects of earthquake engineering. He holds a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Auburn University and a master’s from Stanford University, and previously worked at Risk Management Solutions