CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University has joined the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, or PEER, a research and educational consortium involving more than 20 universities, private companies and government agencies focused on performance-based earthquake engineering.

The center is based at the University of California, Berkeley, and does work in structural and geotechnical engineering, geology, seismology, lifelines, transportation, risk management and public policy.

OSU is the first university since PEER's inception in 1997 to be added as a core institution, and will become a transitional member of the group's institutional board. This includes nine of the leading universities on the West Coast working in these fields - the California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine; UCLA, UC San Diego, USC, and the University of Washington.

"PEER consists of the leading academic institutions in the West focused on earthquake engineering and preparedness, and being part of this group will be a significant asset to Oregon," said Scott Ashford, professor and interim dean of the OSU College of Engineering. "Our region faces major earthquake and tsunami risks from the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and this collaboration will help provide the science and research needed to better address those risks."

OSU has one of the nation's most sophisticated tsunami research basins and extensive programs in earthquake engineering, seismic safety, the study of "liquefaction," fault analysis, geophysics and other work relevant to earthquake hazards and mitigation.

"With their wide range of expertise, resources and connections in the state of Oregon, PEER anticipates that OSU researchers will make important contributions to a variety of activities, especially our tsunami and lifelines research programs," said Stephen Mahin, director of the center.

Besides research, PEER also conducts professional workshops, conferences, educational programs and outreach to policy makers and the public. More information about the center can be found online at


Scott Ashford, 541-737-4934

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