James Kaklamanos
Associate Professor and Zampell Family Faculty Fellow, Department of Civil Engineering, Merrimack College

Welcome to the website of Dr. James Kaklamanos, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Merrimack College. Jim Kaklamanos joined the faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., in fall 2012. He obtained his degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Tufts University (BSCE 2008, M.S. 2010, Ph.D. 2012). He specializes in geotechnical engineering, and his research focuses in the area of geotechnical earthquake engineering, specifically on the improvement of models for predicting earthquake-induced ground motions. Jim’s published work has included research on ground-motion prediction equations, site response analyses, uncertainty in earthquake engineering, and engineering education.

At Merrimack College, Jim has taught courses in geotechnical engineering, foundation engineering, earth retaining structures, earthquake engineering, engineering mechanics, and engineering probability and statistics.  At the local and national levels, he is involved in the American Society of Civil Engineers, Seismological Society of America (SSA), Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).  Jim has been named as one of the 2017 Top Ten New Faces of Civil Engineering by ASCE, and he is a recipient of the ASCE ExCEEd New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.  For more information on Jim’s research, teaching, and service, please explore the subpages on this site, view Jim’s video profile, and/or visit his Merrimack webpage.

Recent News:


07/26/2018:  Jim delivered an invited lecture on lessons learned for site response using KiK-net data at the monthly web conference of the New Zealand Centre for Earthquake Resilience (QuakeCoRE) Ground Motion Simulation and Validation (GMSV) flagship program.

06/26/2018:  Jim attended the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He delivered a presentation on the usage of concept inventories in undergraduate geotechnical engineering courses, and he received the 2017 ASCE ExCEEd New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award at the ASEE Civil Engineering Division Banquet.

06/12/2018:  Jim attended the Fifth Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics Conference (GEESDV) sponsored by ASCE and held in Austin, Texas.  He gave a presentation on the contribution of input parameters to uncertainty in site response analyses, and he also chaired a session on ground motions and site response.

06/01/2018:  Welcome to undergraduate student researcher Kayla Lang, who will be researching input motion selection protocols and their contribution to uncertainty in ground-motion intensity measures.  Her research efforts in 2018 will be funded by the U.S. Geological Survey.

05/22/2018:  Jim attended the USUCGER (United States Universities Council on Geotechnical Education and Research) Second Early Career Workshop for Geotechnical Engineering Faculty at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  This workshop is intended for early career professionals to build their academic careers productively.

05/09/2018:  Congratulations to graduate student researchers Brad Picard and Nick Shaw, who presented their site response research at Merrimack's 2018 Graduate Research and Creative Achievement Conference.  Nick was also inducted into Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, at the 2018 induction ceremony.  Brad, a research assistant in the group for the past two years, was previously inducted into Sigma Xi in 2017.

05/03/2018:  Jim has been named as one of the inaugural Merrimack College Zampell Family Faculty Fellows.  The Zampell Family Faculty Fellowship is Merrimack’s first established research fellowship for faculty; Jim's proposal, entitled "Enhancing the Prediction of Earthquake-Induced Ground Motion", was one of three projects funded for the 2018-19 academic year.  Zampell Family Faculty Fellows are a group of academics seeking to pursue professional development through a variety methods, such as: research, writing, presenting, attending academic conferences, student collaboration, and external collaborations.

05/03/2018:  Congratulations to civil engineering senior Alex Juliano, who presented his research project on liquefaction hazards in Boston at Merrimack's 2018 Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Conference.  This project was performed in conjunction with CEN 5024 - Seismological and Geotechnical Aspects of Earthquakes.

04/18/2018:  The newly formed Merrimack College Engineering Honor Society has inducted its first group of members.  Jim serves as one of the faculty co-advisors to the group, which plans to work towards building a Tau Beta Pi chapter at Merrimack.

03/01/2018:  Jim has been granted tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor at Merrimack College.  His new title and position will become effective on 1 September 2018.

01/31/2018:  Congratulations to Dr. Morteza Mirshekari for successfully defending his Ph.D. Dissertation entitled "Seismic Site Response of Partially Saturated Soil Layers" in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New Hampshire.  Jim served as the external member of Morteza’s dissertation committee.


12/21/2017:  Jim has received a research grant from the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) of the U.S. Geological Survey.  This one-year project is entitled “Assessment of the Contribution of Input Motion Selection Procedures to Uncertainty in Ground Motion Intensity Measures”, and involves a collaboration with Prof. Ashly Cabas at North Carolina State University and Dr. Albert Kottke at Betchel Corporation.

12/15/2017:  Jim delivered a research presentation entitled "How Can We Improve Our Prediction of Earthquake Ground Motions?" in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Rhode Island.  He was hosted by Prof. Aaron Bradshaw.

Jim attended the 2017 "Educate the Educators" workshop for geotechnical engineering faculty organized by the North American Chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS-NA).  This two-day workshop provides hands-on training to professors to effectively teach geosynthetics at their home institutions, and was held at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

Jim was inducted into the Merrimack College circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the National Leadership Honor Society.  Founded in 2014, ODK recognizes and encourages superior leadership and exemplary character.  Members were nominated from the student, faculty, staff, and alumni populations; Jim was the sole faculty member to receive this honor in Fall 2017.

06/25/2017:  Jim co-authored a paper on the assessment of students' prior knowledge and learning in undergraduate foundation engineering courses; this work was presented by lead author Simon Ghanat at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) 2017 Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

05/10/2017:  Congratulations to the Merrimack student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on receiving a Letter of Honorable Mention from the ASCE Committee on Student Members based on their 2016 annual report.  Merrimack senior Leyna Tobey serves as President, and Prof. Jim Kaklamanos serves as faculty advisor.

05/08/2017:  Jim has been named a recipient of the 2017 ExCEEd New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award by ASCE. This national award was established by ASCE's Project ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) and the Committee on Faculty Development to recognize and reward outstanding new faculty (within their first five years as a faculty member).

05/02/2017:  Congratulations to undergraduate research assistant Brad Picard and graduate research assistant Aiswarya Moolacattu, who presented their work at the Second Annual Merrimack College Research and Creative Achievement Conference, and were inducted into Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society.

04/18/2017:  Jim attended the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Seismological Society of America (SSA) in Denver, Colorado, and gave a presentation on improvements to assumptions on soil profiles and material parameters in site response analyses.

04/11/2017:  Jim presented a lecture in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University on the background and theory of site response, with linkages to his research in this area.

03/16/2017:  Jim attended the ASCE Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Awards in Arlington, Virginia, where he was recognized as a 2017 New Face of Civil Engineering.

Jim has been named as one of the 2017 Top Ten New Faces of Civil Engineering by ASCE.

01/10/2017: The content on this website has undergone a thorough round of reorganization and expansion.  Of particular note is the new Software page, which provides computational resources related to Jim’s work.

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James Kaklamanos
Associate Professor
Zampell Family Faculty Fellow
Dept. of Civil Engineering
Merrimack College
315 Turnpike Street
North Andover, MA 01845

Tel: 978-837-3401