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Introduction of IAEE Initiative – “Masters Program”

By Masayoshi Nakashima, President of IAEE
On behalf of IAEE’s Executive Committee

About IAEE’s New Initiative

The discipline of earthquake engineering shall promote activities that are more “multi-disciplinary”, inter-disciplinary”, and “trans-disciplinary” so as to cope with the complexity and diversity that surround the challenges of earthquake disaster mitigation. To this end, IAEE tries its best to serve as “Connection” among the diversity of people and genres engaged in our discipline. (IAEE President Address, December 2018, https://www.iaee.or.jp/)

As a modest step toward this goal, IAEE has launched a new initiative named “Masters Program”. Motivation for the initiative is for IAEE to serve as “Connection” among the past, present, and future of earthquake engineering and to secure the transfer of knowledge across generations. It is very relevant in consideration of the nature of earthquake disaster, i.e., such that earthquake disaster occurs rather seldom, but once it occurs, the influence to human lives and society is extreme. Learning from the past and reflecting it to the present and future is trusted to be the key to achieve our goal in a most effective manner.

Outline of “Masters Program”

In “Masters Program”, the following three events are organized. The concept is to connect legendary figures in the world of earthquake engineering with contemporaries.

Read the Masters

IAEE is to publish a series of monographs to foster the circulation of high level documents and thus improve the understanding of crucial subjects in earthquake engineering. The expected authors will be well established scientists, whose names and experience pledge the quality of the monographs. The monographs will be printed and distributed during WCEE at no or minimal cost. It will further be posted “free of charge” on the IAEE’s webpage six-months after WCEE. The planned frequency for the publication is one monograph per year. Once established, four new monographs will become available at each WCEE.

The length of each monograph will be between one and two hundred pages, and typical monographs could intend to be: a) Comprehensive state-of-the-art documents on a selected aspect of earthquake engineering, b) Documents on cutting-edge and novel research for advancement of earthquake engineering, and/or c) Dissemination documents on disaster mitigation strategies. Perspective readers include professionals, graduate students, young and once-young researchers. In light of the mission of IAEE, two streams are considered in the monograph series, i.e., one the promotion of cutting-edge research and technology of earthquake engineering, and the other the effective dissemination of research and practice to mitigate earthquake disasters particularly in developing countries/regions. A good balance of the two streams will be kept in mind.

Meet the Masters

As with all scientific disciplines, we stand on the shoulders of masters who have walked before us. Fortunately, earthquake engineering is a relatively young discipline where many great masters are still among us, providing an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with the next-generation of earthquake engineering.

In this effort of “Meet the Masters”, we invite great names of earthquake engineering to WCEE. Four masters are planned to be invited to each WCEE. For each master, a special session related to the master’s expertise is organized during WCEE, in which the master offers a keynote lecture, followed by an open Q&A session on topics related to the master. To make the session run most smoothly, a person who has been close to the master is asked to serve as a moderator. The person may be a former student, current or former junior colleague, or personal friend of the master, and will be determined by the consensus of the master and IAEE.

Greet the Masters

This is a sister effort to “Meet the Masters”, having the same objective of connecting our masters to the next-generation of earthquake engineering but in a more casual fashion.

In this effort of “Greet the Masters”, we also invite great names of earthquake engineering to WCEE. Similar to “Meet the Masters”, four masters are planned to be invited. For each master, a reception is organized during WCEE, in which the master offers a short speech, followed by frank, friendly, and candid exchange with young and once-young researchers/practitioners and students. To make the reception run most smoothly, a person who has been close to the master is asked to serve as a facilitator. The person may be a former student, current or former junior colleague, or personal friend of the master.

Financial Support to Attend Greet the Masters

To encourage young researchers/practitioners and students particularly from developing countries and regions to participate in “Greet the Masters”, IAEE will provide financial support to cover travel expenses. The IAEE’s financial support will be integrated in the general support program offered by WCEE.

Initial Actions for 17WCEE in 2020

As the starter of IAEE’s “Masters Program”, IAEE is pleased to announce the following arrangements regarding the program, which is in tune with 17WCEE.

(A) “Read the Masters” – IAEE Monographs

The program was launched in 2018; hence the first two monographs are under preparation and will be published and distributed on time of 17WCEE. The following two Masters are writing their monographs, and hardcover copies will be distributed to all registered participants to 17WCEE. The monographs will also be posted “free of charge” on IAEE’s webpage six-months after 17WCEE.

Volume 1: Author: Luis Esteva, Maraboto,UNAM, Mexico
Title: Trends and Challenges of Optimal Performance-based Earthquake Resistant Design Criteria for Buildings
Volume 2: Author: Peter Fajfar, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Title: The story of the N2 method

(B) “Meet/Greet the Masters”

The following four legendary figures will serve as Masters for both Meet and Greet events.

Theodosios (Theo) Tassios (Greece) with Eli Vintzileou (Greece) as his associate
Luis Esteva (Mexico) with David de Leon Escobedo (Mexico) as his associate
Tsuneo Katayama (Japan) with Ryuji Isoyama (Japan) as his associate
Jim Jirsa (USA) with Sergio Alcocer (Mexico) as his associate

Each of them will address a keynote speech during 17WCEE (as part of “Meet the Masters”) and also join the IAEE “Greet the Masters” event, which will feature either a lunch or a tea-time session. Those who are interested in joining the “Greet the Masters” are asked to register for the lunch/tea-time sessions.


On behalf of the IAEE Executive Committee, I would like to ask for your support to the IAEE’s New Initiative named “Masters Program” by joining the events, and more importantly, by encourage young colleagues and students to actively participate in the events.

- September 5, 2019

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International Association for Earthquake Engineering
last updated 09.05.19