Older News

2018

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.

2017

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.

12/05/2017: 
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.

11/07/2017: 
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.

01/27/2017: 
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.

2016

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.

2015

12/23/2015:  Congratulations to Finn Groenewold for successfully defending his M.S. thesis in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Rhode Island.  Jim served as the external member of Finn’s thesis committee.

11/24/2015:  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 1D Nonlinear Site Response Uncertainty at a Large Number of Vertical Seismometer Arrays”.

11/04/2015:  Jim’s research on site response model evaluation was presented at the Sixth International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, Christchurch, New Zealand.  Co-author Brendon Bradley presented this paper on Jim’s behalf.

10/11/2015:  As part of a special earth science program at the Museum of Science in Boston, Jim gave an invited talk on the 2010-2011 Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquakes, and discussed their relevance for understanding seismic hazards in New England.

08/20/2015:  Jim gave a talk in the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury on his ongoing site response research, focusing on the statistical and physical conclusions gained from a large dataset of ground motions.

07/15/2015:  Jim is headed to Christchurch, New Zealand, through the end of August to work as a visiting scholar on research with Prof. Brendon Bradley at the University of Canterbury.

06/26/2015:  Jim received the Award of Excellence at the Professors’ Driven Pile Institute (PDPI) sponsored by the Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA).  This weeklong “teach the teacher” workshop was held at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and was attended by geotechnical engineering faculty from across the country.

05/15/2015:  Welcome to student researcher Kyle Elmy, who will be working with Jim this summer and fall on the development of a geotechnical engineering software package in R.

04/29/2015:  Congratulations to the Merrimack College ASCE student chapter on being named Outstanding Academic Student Organization of the Year at Merrimack College at the annual Leadership, Excellence, Achievement, and Determination Awards.

04/11/2015:  Congratulations to the Merrimack College ASCE student chapter for successfully hosting the 2015 New England ASCE Student Conference and Steel Bridge Competition, and earning third place in the competition (qualifying them for the 2015 National Student Steel Bridge Competition in Kansas City).  Prof. Marc Veletzos oversaw the planning of the conference, and Jim serves as the faculty advisor of the student chapter.

04/03/2015:  Jim attended the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) in Boston, partially supported by an EERI Young Professional Travel Grant.  He presented ongoing research using site response data from the KiK-net database in Japan.

03/12/2015:  Jim was hosted by Prof. Chris Baxter in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Rhode Island, and presented a seminar on his site response research.

03/01/2015:  Jim’s paper “A Simple Approach to Site‐Response Modeling: The Overlay Concept” has been published in the March 2015 issue of Seismological Research Letters.  This work was co-authored with Luis Dorfmann and Laurie Baise.

02/01/2015:  Jim’s paper “Comparison of 1D Linear, Equivalent-Linear, and Nonlinear Site Response Models at Six KiK-net Validation Sites” has been published in the February 2015 issue of Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering.  This work was co-authored with Laurie Baise, Eric Thompson, and Luis Dorfmann.

2014

08/16/2014:  Jim attended the ASCE Practitioner and Faculty Advisor Training Workshop (PFATW) at the ASCE Headquarters in Reston, Virginia.  This concentrated two-day workshop provides faculty advisors with the background to successfully advise their student chapters.

07/16/2014:  Jim has been awarded with the first Special Project Grant from the United States Universities Council on Geotechnical Education and Research (USUCGER). These funds will support a student researcher during summer 2015 to work with Jim on the development of a geotechnical engineering software package in R.

06/02/2014:  Welcome to student researchers Tom Cross and TJ Blair, who will be working with Jim this summer on his research on uncertainty in earthquake engineering.

05/31/2014:  Along with several Merrimack colleagues, Jim attended the 2014 Teaching Professor Conference in Boston, to learn more about innovative classroom techniques and proven best practices in pedagogy.

05/09/2014:  Jim attended the 2014 International Conference on Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Sustainable Reconstruction, held at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and gave an invited presentation on the incorporation of natural disasters into the undergraduate civil engineering curriculum.

03/25/2014:  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 2013 annual report.  Merrimack senior Rebecca Read serves as President, and Prof. Jim Kaklamanos serves as faculty advisor.

02/26/2014:  Jim attended the 2014 ASCE Geo-Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, and presented a research paper on site response modeling using the overlay concept.

01/10/2014:  Jim has begun as a faculty participant in Merrimack’s multi-year Foundations for STEM Success program funded by the National Science Foundation.  He will be developing and leading the peer and faculty Advising, Tutoring, and Mentoring (ATM) initiative, with the goal of promoting recruitment and retention of students in engineering and computer science.

2013

07/26/2013:  Jim attended the ASCE Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop, held at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida, as a 2013 ExCEEd Teaching Fellow.  The ExCEEd workshop is a week-long intensive practicum that provides engineering educators with opportunities to transform their teaching abilities.

06/20/2013:  Jim attended the 11th International Conference on Structural Safety and Reliability (ICOSSAR 2013), held at Columbia University in New York City.  He presented a paper on his site response research and also chaired a session on earthquake engineering.

06/15/2013:  Welcome to student researcher TJ Blair, who will be working with Jim this summer on computer programming related to ground-motion prediction equations.

06/01/2013:  Jim’s paper “Critical Parameters Affecting Bias and Variability in Site‐Response Analyses Using KiK‐net Downhole Array Data” has been published in the June 2013 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.  This work was co-authored with Brendon Bradley, Eric Thompson, and Laurie Baise.

04/26/2013:  Congratulations to Merrimack senior Maggie Jacques on being named the New Face of Civil Engineering among all college students in the United States by ASCE and the National Engineers Week Foundation.

04/19/2013:  Jim attended the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Seismological Society of America (SSA) in Salt Lake City, Utah, and presented his research on nonlinear site response.

03/12/2013:  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 2012 annual report.  Merrimack senior Maggie Jacques serves as President, and Prof. Jim Kaklamanos serves as faculty advisor.

2012

11/03/2012:  Jim has officially received his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University.  His dissertation, Quantifying Uncertainty in Earthquake Site Response Models Using the KiK-net Database, was advised by Prof. Laurie Baise.

09/28/2012:  Jim’s research on bias and variability in site response was presented at the 15th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering in Lisbon, Portugal.  Co-author Eric Thompson presented this paper on behalf of the group.

09/01/2012:  Jim began his appointment as Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Merrimack College.