Professor Buchanan



 The 25th Buchanan Lecture 

Sponsored by Fugro Consultants, Inc.

Professor Buchanan

"Turning Disaster into Knowledge"

Presented by Jonathan Bray

Dr. Bray


Professor Jonathan Bray is the Faculty Chair in Earthquake Engineering Excellence at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned engineering degrees from West Point, Stanford, and Berkeley. Dr. Bray is a registered professional civil engineer and has served as a consultant on several important engineering projects and peer review panels. He has authored more than 350 research publications on topics that include liquefaction and its effects on structures, seismic performance of earth structures, earthquake ground motions, and earthquake fault rupture propagation. He leads the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association. Dr. Bray is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and has received several honors, including the Ishihara Lecture, Peck Award, Joyner Lecture, Middlebrooks Award, Huber Research Prize, Packard Foundation Fellowship, and NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. 


Advancing hazard-resistant design demands an understanding of what happens when a disaster occurs. Documenting and sharing the key lessons learned from extreme events around the world contributes significantly to advancing research and practice in hazards engineering. The detailed mapping and surveying of damaged areas provides the data for well-documented case histories that drive the development of many of the design procedures used by geotechnical engineers.

Many design methods are based on insights gleaned from observations from past events. Field observations are particularly important in the discipline of geotechnical engineering, because it is difficult to replicate in the laboratory soil deposits built by nature over thousands of years. Much of the data generated by an extreme event is perishable and therefore must be collected within a few days of the occurrence of the event. Thus, engineers should be ready to investigate the next important extreme event.



Adapazari, Turkey (1999 Kocaeli EQ)                                LIDAR image Ruta 5 (2010 Chile EQ: R. Kayen)