University of California at Berkeley (Lead Instructor)

Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, and is the Past-President of the U.S. Universities Council on Geotechnical Education and Research. She received her BS (2003) from the University of Patras, Greece and her MSc (2004) and PhD (2008) from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Athanasopoulos-Zekkos’ research focuses on assessing and mitigating the impact of multi-hazard stressors on geotechnical engineering infrastructure. Her research aims to address infrastructure challenges, including age-related deterioration, population growth and densification, natural and manmade hazards, and evolving demands from climate change. She has participated in several post-disaster reconnaissance efforts in earthquake and hurricane-affected areas in Taiwan, Ecuador, New Zealand, Greece and USA to collect perishable data and study the performance of flood-protection systems, and the seismic stability of earth fills, retaining structures as well as ports. She has published more than 100 papers on soil liquefaction hazard assessment, the use of, new, largely unexploited materials (EPS, Engineering Cementitious Composite, ECC) to solve challenging problems under dynamic loading conditions, the performance of flood protection systems and soil structures under extreme loading like hurricanes and earthquakes by using the latest technologies and methodologies to design, monitor and reinforce them. She has also made contributions on the monitoring and seismic response assessment of retaining structures, ground motion propagation characteristics due to pile-driving activities, and the impact of ground motion selection for dynamic analyses. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), PEER, Caltrans, CSMIP, MDOT, and private organizations. She has received the NSF CAREER award, the 2014 Univ of Michigan Faculty Excellence Award, the 2015 ASCE Arthur Casagrande Award, the 2015 ASCE Thomas Middlebrooks Award, the 2016 Chi Epsilon (XE) Outstanding Teaching Award, and the 2020 TC203 Young Research Award from the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. She also delivered the 30th Annual Mueser Rutledge Memorial Lecture in 2020. Adda can be reached at:


University of California at Berkeley (Lead Instructor)

Jonathan Bray is the Faculty Chair of Earthquake Engineering Excellence and a Distinguished Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He was elected to U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2015. He earned engineering degrees from West Point, Stanford University, and Berkeley. His expertise includes seismic performance of earth/tailings structures, material characterization, numerical modeling of geosystems, liquefaction and its effects on structures, earthquake surface faulting and ground motions, seismic site response, and post-extreme event reconnaissance. Dr. Bray has been a registered professional civil engineer since 1985. He served as a consultant on several engineering projects and peer review panels, including several tailings dams, California High-Speed Train Project Technical Advisory Panel, and Advisor to the New Zealand Earthquake Commission, and he served as an expert geotechnical engineer in several legal cases. Dr. Bray is the creator and former Chair of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association. Additionally, he served as the Vice-President of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction. Professor Bray has authored over 450 research publications. He received several honors, including the ASCE Seed Medal, ASCE Terzaghi Award, ISSMGE Ishihara Lecture, ASCE Peck Award, SSA-EERI Joyner Lecture, ASCE Middlebrooks Award, ASCE Huber Research Prize, Packard Foundation Fellowship, and NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. Bray can be reached at:


University of California at Berkeley (Lead Instructor) 

Dimitrios Zekkos is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and a licensed Professional Engineer in California and Greece. Dr. Zekkos has 20+ years of experience in soil dynamics and geotechnical earthquake engineering. His work has involved the field characterization using various techniques including CPT, DPT, SPT and shear wave velocity measurements, as well as large vibroseis. He has also conducted laboratory testing through a range of devices including cyclic triaxial, cyclic simple shear and resonant column testing to assess dynamic properties and liquefaction resistance of a range of materials including soils, waste materials, and mine tailings. He has deployed in earthquake-affected areas in Japan, New Zealand, Nepal, Greece and USA to collect perishable data and have focused on the seismic stability of earth fills (landfills and dams) as well as co-seismic landslides. He has also published on the seismic response of earth fills, port facilities and ground improvement sites.  Dimitrios has published more than 200 scientific publications and his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, the World Bank, the USGS, the Michigan Department of Transportation, and private organizations. His work has been recognized by ASCE through several awards including the Middlebrooks Award, Collingwood Prize and Casagrande Award by ASCE, as well as the Shamsher Prakash Research Award and the Outstanding Innovator Award by the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the ISSMGE International Journal of Geoengineering Case Histories. Zekkos can be reached at:

Norman Abrahamson, PHD, NAE

University of California at Berkeley (Instructor)

Norman Abrahamson is a part-time Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley.  Abrahamson’s research is in the interface between seismology and earthquake engineering, focusing on the practical application of advances in seismology to the development of ground-motion models for use in deterministic and probabilistic analyses for estimation of design ground motions and seismic risk. Abrahamson has extensive experience in the development of design ground motions for hundreds of projects, including dams, bridges, nuclear power plants, nuclear waste repositories, water and gas pipelines, rail lines, ports, landfills, hospitals, electric substations, and office buildings. About 2/3 of these projects have been in the Western U.S., and the other 1/3 have been in the Eastern US or outside of the US (e.g., Europe, New Zealand, Taiwan, Chile, Peru). Abrahamson can be reached at:


USGS [retired] and University of California at Berkeley (Instructor)

Dr. Robert Kayen is Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, and on the Executive Committee Member of the Berkeley Center for Smart Infrastructure. He is a retired Senior Research Scientist from the United States Geological Survey, where he worked for four decades. Dr. Kayen has been a registered professional civil engineer since 1989. He currently serves as a consultant on engineering projects and peer review panels, and served as an Expert in the area of geotechnical engineering for  the US Department of  Justice. Kayen has published over 400 Journal   papers, Conference Papers, and Technical Reports in the fields of geotechnical earthquake engineering, TLS-LIDAR, InSAR, Structure-From-Motion, engineering geophysics, and marine-geotechnics. He is one of the founders and long-time steering committee member of the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance organization, participating in over thirty extreme-event studies. Kayen has received honors that include the Thomas Middlebrooks Award from ASCE, Commendation Award from the United States Department of Justice Environmental Division, and the NASA-Ames Honor Award.  He is the current Vice-Chairman of the Marine Engineering Geology Commission of IAEG. He was the editor of a multi-volume U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper Series on "Earthquake Hazards of the Pacific Northwest Coastal and Marine Regions". Kayen can be reached at:


University of California at Berkeley (Instructor)

Nicholas Sitar is the Edward G. Cahill and John R. Cahill Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley.  He is also a Staff Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He hols B.A.Sc. in Geological Engineering from the University of Windsor, M.S. in Hydrogeology, and Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering, in 1979, both from Stanford University. He joined the faculty in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley in 1981. Among other appointments he served as the Director of the University of California Earthquake Engineering Research Center from 2002 to 2008. He is the recipient of the Douglas R. Piteau Award from AEG, the ASCE Huber Research Prize, The Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, and the James M. Robbins Excellence-in-Teaching Award from Chi Epsilon. His professional and research interests include engineering geology, geotechnical earthquake engineering, rock mechanics, groundwater modeling, groundwater remediation and the application of numerical and stochastic methods to engineering analysis. He is the author and co-author of over 200 publications in various aspects of geotechnical engineering, engineering geology, groundwater and groundwater remediation. Over the past 40+ years he has participated in and led a number of post-earthquake reconnaissance missions, with the 1976 Guatemala Earthquake being his first and the 2016 Kaikoura, New Zealand, being the most recent. His main focus in geotechnical earthquake engineering has been the seismic performance of natural slopes in soils and rock, the seismic response of retaining structures and mechanically stabilized walls, and the performance of improved ground. Sitar can be reached at: