CORVALLIS, Ore. - Dan Cox, professor of civil and construction engineering in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, has been named as the new director of the Cascadia Lifelines Program.

The mission of this research consortium, which was begun by OSU, is to implement value- and cost-informed decisions to mitigate damage to Pacific Northwest infrastructure from a major future earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.

"Dan has a wealth of experience with research focused on community resilience to coastal hazards, a deep understanding of the potential impact of such events, and a steadfast drive to help our communities prepare," said Scott Ashford, Kearney Professor and dean of the College of Engineering.

"This program was created to provide a means to critical infrastructure improvements by bringing together leaders in the industry, and I'm excited to watch it happen under Dan's leadership."

A Cascadia subduction zone earthquake could be catastrophic, and this consortium is working toward infrastructure improvements to provide a safer environment and mitigate damage. OSU researchers are studying soil liquefaction, which can lead to failure of roads, bridges, buildings, and other critical structures; landslide prediction and mitigation; cost-effective improvements to existing infrastructure; evacuation routes; and tools to plan for hazards and anticipate risks.

Consortium members include Bonneville Power Administration, Northwest Natural Gas, Oregon Department of Transportation, Port of Portland, Portland General Electric, Eugene Water and Electric Board, Portland Water Bureau, and Tualatin Valley Water District.

Cox joined OSU in 2002, and was the recipient of the College of Engineering Outstanding Research Leadership Award in 2013. He is the principal investigator on a project that received a $3.8 million award from the National Science Foundation to increase the resilience of the nation's coastal communities, and is the lead organizer for a new engineering short course titled "Cascadia Resilience."                 

More information about the program is available online at

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Story By: 

Krista Klinkhammer, 541-737-4416