Continuing Education

Night School 25

Fundamentals of Earthquake Engineering for Building Structures

This eight-session, twelve-hour course provides the background on seismic effects on structures and the concepts and principles that underlie design of steel structures according to AISC standards. This course will present the following:

• the principles of earthquake engineering
• the application of those principles in the fundamental procedures of seismic design
• how the material properties of steel are utilized in seismic design

This course can be used as background for the upcoming 9-hour virtual seminar on the AISC Seismic Design Manual. Students are encouraged to use AISC’s Facts for Steel Buildings #3: Earthquakes and Seismic Design, as a resource. Engineers with little or no experience with seismic design and engineers wishing to refresh their understanding of the principles underlying seismic design will benefit from this course.

  • Date: 02/08/2021 to 04/19/2021
  • Duration: 1.5 hours per session
  • Location: Night School
  • PDH Credits: 1.5 PDH per session (up to 12.0 PDH)
  • Registration Deadline: 3/1/2021 4:00 p.m.
  • Connection Instructions: Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing your receipt, a link to access the webinar, dial-in audio instructions, and a link to a PDF handout of slides.


February 8, 2021, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EST

This lecture will begin with a discussion of plate tectonics as the source of seismic energy release. It will also cover earthquake measures and the concepts of magnitude and intensity, as well as a discussion of local and widespread earthquake effects.  Probability concepts, return periods and risk in addition to issues of related hazards, including tsunamis will be discussed.

February 22, 2021, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EST

This lecture will focuses on the dynamics and response to earthquakes. It will include a review of single-degree-of-freedom dynamics. An explanation of harmonic response spectra and a discussion of earthquake response spectra and inelastic response will be discussed. The lecture will include a review of factors affecting response reduction.

March 1, 2021, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EST

This session included a review of building dynamics and multiple degrees of freedom as well as a review of modal analysis. Inelastic response of multiple-degree-of-freedom systems was introduced and discussed for building design. The lecture will go through the development of equivalent lateral force concepts. The use modal-response-spectrum analysis in the design of structural steel buildings will be discussed.

March 8, 2021, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EST

This Steel Behavior lecture will present the basic mechanics of steel behavior, including yield, elongation, strain-hardening, and rupture. Multi-axial stress and its effects will also be discussed. Steel behavior issues related to welded joints will be covered in this session. Toughness is an important concept in steel and the treatment and concept of toughness will be presented.

March 15, 2021, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EDT

System ductility and seismic design of steel framed structures will be covered in this lecture. This lecture will include a discussion of the relationship between steel material ductility and system ductility. The concept of capacity design and its application at the member and system levels and plastic mechanism analysis as it is used in the design of steel systems will be explained. This session will then present the fuse concept and its application to different steel seismic systems.

March 22, 2021, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EDT

This lecture will cover steel systems used in building design. Moment frames and braced frames will be covered. The presentation will include moment-frame intended behavior and source of inelastic drift as well as moment-frame analysis issues. There will be background discussion of moment-frame connection testing and lessons learned after the Northridge earthquake. The currently prequalified moment connections will be covered. Braced-frame configurations will be presented. The session will discussion of behavior of braced frames in earthquakes and in testing. Detailed treatment of brace behavior in tension and compression and the design issues for gusset plates will be covered. There will be a discussion of the behavior of beam-column-gusset connection assemblies at large drifts and related design approaches.

March 29, 2021, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EDT

This Building Configuration lecture will focus on load path and the role and components of diaphragms. There will be a discussion of foundation issues. Irregularities and their treatment in steel frame design will be covered. The session will present the treatment of 3-dimensional analysis issues as well as of modal-response-spectrum analysis issues. The concept of deformation compatibility will be presented. This lecture will also include a discussion of issues related to fixity and rotation demand.

April 19, 2021, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EDT

This session includes a presentation of the formal relationship of codes in the U.S. for building design. The basic concepts employed in code- seismic design, such as seismic design category, maximum considered earthquake, importance factor, etc. will be explained. The lecture will also explain of general analysis and design requirements. There will be a discussion of detailed systems (designed using the AISC Seismic Provisions) and non-detailed systems (designed using only the AISC Specification). The treatment of wind-vs.-seismic comparison issues for building design will be covered. The session will end with a discussion of future directions in earthquake engineering.


Rafael Sabelli

Rafael Sabelli, SE

Rafael is a Principal and Director of Seismic Design at Walter P Moore.


Price Info

Individual Live Sessions


$185  Member
$285  Non-member
$155  Student/Faculty
$155  Government Employee

Prices are per webinar.  Registration includes certificates for an unlimited number of people at one connection site. Work From Home accomodations are available for this registration option.

8-Session Package 


$500  Member
$900  Non-member
$250  Student/Faculty
$500  Government Employee

 Registration includes a certificate for the registrant only. Work From Home accomodations are NOT available for this registration option.

Accommodations for Stay-at-home and Safer-at-home orders

In light of the recent changes to daily work life, we understand that many people are working from home at this time. If the individual live sessions registration is the preferred choice for your company, we will accommodate each attendee who would typically gather in your office conference room. Once you've registered for the individual live sessions option, Once you've registered for the individual webinars option, you will have the option to add your employees to the registration.

Substitutions and Cancellations

Substitutions may be made at any time. Cancellations received 1-3 days prior to the webinar will be charged a $50 service charge. Cancellations and no shows the day of the webinar session will not receive a refund.