James Kaklamanos
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Merrimack College

Welcome to the website of Dr. James Kaklamanos, Assistant 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.  He serves as the faculty advisor to the Merrimack College chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  At the local and national levels, he is involved in the American Society of Civil Engineers, Seismological Society of America (SSA), and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI).  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:


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.


11/02/2016:  Jim Kaklamanos and former student Tom Cross co-authored a book chapter entitled “Incorporating Natural Disasters into the Undergraduate Civil Engineering Curriculum: A Case Study Using Hurricane Katrina and the Oso Landslide”, published in Planning for Community-based Disaster Resilience Worldwide: Learning from Case Studies in Six Continents.

10/26/2016:  Jim attended the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Eastern Section of the Seismological Society of America (ES-SSA) in Reston, Virginia, and gave a research presentation on site response in strong-impedance contrast environments.

07/25/2016:  Congratulations to Friederike Wulff for successfully defending her M.S. thesis in the Department of Ocean Engineering at the University of Rhode Island.  Jim served as the external member of Friederike’s thesis committee.

06/29/2016:  Jim co-authored a paper on the usage of pre- and post-course knowledge surveys in undergraduate geotechnical engineering courses; this work was presented by lead author Simon Ghanat at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) 2016 Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

06/10/2016:  Jim attended the 2016 ADSC Civil Engineering Faculty Workshop, sponsored by the International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC), in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  This weeklong “teach the teacher” workshop was attended by geotechnical engineering faculty from across the country, and focused on drilled shafts, micropiles, and earth retention systems.

05/23/2016:  Jim met with Profs. Jon Stewart and Scott Brandenburg at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and presented an invited talk on his site response research and the challenges associated with accurately predicting surface ground motions.

04/22/2016:  Jim attended the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Seismological Society of America (SSA) in Reno, Nevada, and presented research on the evaluation of physical explanations for observed bias in site response models.

03/04/2016:  The paper “Soil Amplification with a Strong Impedance Contrast: Boston, Massachusetts” was published in the March 2016 issue of Engineering Geology.  Laurie Baise was the lead author on this article, followed by Jim Kaklamanos, Bradford Berry, and Eric Thompson.

02/17/2016:  Along with students Kyle Elmy and Leyna Tobey, Jim attended the 2016 ASCE Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Congress in Phoenix, Arizona.  Jim presented a paper on the development of the geotech R software package and its implementation in the civil engineering curriculum.

01/30/2016:  Jim Kaklamanos and student Kyle Elmy have released version 1.0 of the geotech R software package for geotechnical engineering.  This program contains a wide range of functions relevant to geotechnical engineering education, research, and practice.

01/15/2016:  Welcome to student researchers Aiswarya Moolacattu and Brad Picard, who will be performing research with Jim on site response using ground motions from Japan’s KiK-net database.  Their research efforts in 2016 will be funded by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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James Kaklamanos Photo

James Kaklamanos
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Civil Engineering
Merrimack College
315 Turnpike Street
North Andover, MA 01845

Tel: 978-837-3401