Today is International ShakeOut Day. In order to help people know how to respond to earthquakes, the Great ShakeOut ( is organizing drills across the world (nearly 60 million registered participants) that teach people to drop, cover, and hold on.

Earthquake research experts in the Oregon State University College of Engineering School of Civil and Construction Engineering are available to answer your questions about earthquakes.


Andre Barbosa

Research Interests: Performance-based earthquake engineering, nonlinear structural analysis, structural reliability and risk analysis, structural dynamics, multi-hazard loss estimation, assessment of robustness and resilient design of building and bridge structures (reinforced concrete, steel, and timber), high-throughput computing, virtual reality modeling of engineering structures.


Dan Cox

Dr. Cox’s research focuses on community resilience to coastal hazards, including tsunami and hurricane surge and waves inundation in the built and natural environments. He conducts research on tsunami and wave impacts on near-coast structures, tsunami evacuation and life safety, sediment transport and erosion, and nature-based solutions for coastal hazards mitigation.


Erica Fischer

Dr. Fischer’s research interests revolve around innovative approaches to improve the resilience and robustness of structural systems affected by natural and man-made hazards. This includes performance-based design approaches of structural systems to decrease the environmental impact of the built environment on the natural environment. Dr. Fischer’s focus is on steel and composite systems and connections. These research interests are implemented through both large-scale experimental testing and numerical modeling approaches. Dr. Fischer is a member of a number of committees including the ASCE/SEI Fire Protection Committee and ASCE/SEI Sustainability Committee. She has been a member of a number of post-earthquake reconnaissance team missions including Haiti (2010), Napa (2014), and Italy (2016). 


Judy Liu

Dr. Liu teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in behavior and design of steel structures. In her research, Dr. Liu explores resilient steel structures, with focus on seismic and disproportionate collapse resistance. She has interests in behavior and design of structural steel connections and innovative systems for lateral resistance. She was awarded an AISC Milek Fellowship for research on steel slit panels for lateral resistance. Dr. Liu is a member of a number of committees, including the ASCE/SEI Disproportionate Collapse Mitigation Standard Committee, NCSEA Basic Education Committee, and AISC Partners in Education Committee. She also serves as Research Editor for the AISC Engineering Journal. She has been honored with an AISC Special Achievement Award for her contributions to the Partners in Education Committee and other efforts to improve structural steel education.


Ben Mason

Dr. Mason’s primary field of research interest is natural hazards engineering. Within this broad field, he has interests in geotechnical earthquake engineering, including soil-structure interaction and residual soil liquefaction as well as coastal geotechnical engineering, including fluid-soil-structure interaction, momentary soil liquefaction, and tsunami-induced scour. He has a particular interest in how a combined earthquake and tsunami event affects coastal soil instability and ultimately the stability of coastal buildings and infrastructure. He uses physical modeling techniques coupled with numerical and analytical modeling to investigate his aforementioned research interests. He is also interested in the fields of sustainable geotechnical engineering and geotechnical engineering education. He participates in post-earthquake reconnaissance events to motivate and strengthen his research and teaching interests.


Michael Scott

Dr. Scott's research interests include nonlinear structural analysis and dynamics, structural response sensitivity, object-oriented software design, parallel computing, and numerical methods. 


Barbara Simpson

Dr. Simpson uses advanced computational and experimental methods to characterize structural response. Her aim is to develop innovative structural systems that improve building performance and reduce the effects of natural hazards on the built environment. Research areas include resilient design and retrofit of building structures, performance-based earthquake engineering, and next-generation computational modeling, optimization, and simulation.


Armin Stuedlein

Dr. Stuedlein’s research focuses on ground improvement, reinforced soils, foundations, and the characterization and incorporation of inherent soil variability and model transformation errors, with methodologies that range from full-scale testing, element-level laboratory work, and numerical and statistical simulations. Presently, his research is funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Science, with projects concerning the understanding of the axial, lateral, and torsional load transfer of drilled shaft foundations, tall MSE walls with closely-spaced reinforcements, and ground improvement for liquefaction mitigation.