Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering

UCSD Engineers to Shake Historic Masonry Building During Strong Simulated Earthquakes

UCSD engineering researchers will test the seismic response of a 1920s era masonry building on July 9, similar to the building pictured above, which was subjected to a series of simulated  earthquake tests in November 2008 at the UCSD Englekirk Structural Engineering Center, which has the largest outdoor shake table in the world.

San Diego, CA, July 8, 2009 -- UC San Diego researchers will shake a  three-story, 1920s era masonry building on the world’s largest outdoor shake table during a series of simulated earthquakes ranging from about 5.0-7.0 in magnitude on Thursday, July 9.

The structural engineers will use records from historical earthquakes to shake a 3-story, masonry-infilled, reinforced concrete frame representing structures built in California in the 1920s. The tests will be performed at the UCSD Englekirk Structural Engineering Center.

Currently, there is a lack of reliable analysis methods to evaluate the seismic performance of these older structures and validated retrofit methods to improve their seismic behavior. The ultimate goal of this $1.24 million project supported by the National Science Foundation is to provide methods to assess and improve the seismic performance of these older buildings located in cities across California as well as other parts of the country.  This is a follow-up to seismic tests conducted on a similar structure in November 2008. The difference is that the structure to be tested this time has an unreinforced masonry wall at the bottom story retrofitted with cement mixed with a special type of glass fibers to resist crack openings.

The shake tests are scheduled between 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. To view the dramatiic earthquake simulation tests live, please visit or

The direct link to the camera on the building during the shake test is


Print News Release  Email News Release

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn