CUREE Organization

CUREE Past Presidents

Over the course of its 28 year history, CUREE had the honor of having many distinguished figures in the field of Earthquake Engineering research serve in the role as president of the organization. Professor Wilfred Iwan of the California Institute of Technology, who was instrumental in the founding of the organization when it began as the California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering, was the first to serve in this role.

James Beck James Beck - Caltech (1998-1999)

James Beck is Professor of Applied Mechanics and Civil Engineering, and Executive Officer for these departments, at Caltech. Professor Beck has broad research interests in earthquake engineering and structural dynamics.

His research focused primarily on the dynamics of structural systems, particularly in dynamic response prediction, model identification and structural health monitoring from vibrational data, and control of vibrational response. His interests also included improving earthquake-resistant design, modeling and predicting earthquake loads, and damage/monetary losses (repair costs and income loss) that a structure may experience during its lifetime. His research involved a probability approach to handle the uncertainties involved in structural modeling and excitation modeling for response prediction, structural health modeling, loss estimation and vibration control.

Other research projects included: Efficient stochastic simulation methods for computing first-excursion failure probabilities of dynamical systems subject to uncertain excitation and applications to seismic risk -- Efficient computational methods for quantifying the effects of uncertainties in a dynamic model of a system on predictions of its response, including robust reliability -- Stochastic simulation methods for Bayesian updating of structural models and reliability predictions using vibration data, including the case of unidentifiable models -- Bayesian model class selection methods and an information-theoretic interpretation -- Methods for probabilistic structural health monitoring (i.e. using vibration data to detect and assess damage in a structure caused by environmental deterioration and severe loading events) -- Robust control methods using probability distributions over sets of possible models for a structure, with application to vibration control of tall buildings under environmental loads -- A rational economic basis for performance-based design and mitigation and recovery strategies using predicted net asset value or lifecycle costs for structures


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