A1) The MEEES Erasmus Mundus Masters Course Program in the field of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology

Central coordination is carried out by: Institute for Advanced Study/University of Pavia

National Coordinators: Dr. Haluk SUCUOĞLU, Dr. Güney ÖZCEBE


The MEEES Maters Course Program had been prepared by a consortium comprising four academic institutions, namely (i) the Institute for Advanced Study of Pavia (IUSS), (ii) the University of Patras, (iii) the University of Grenoble 1 “Joseph Fourier” and (iv) the Middle East Technical University.  “The MEEES Proposal” was among the 170 masters degree proposals submitted to the commission within the framework of FP7 EM II Master Courses (Action 1). MEEES Masters Course Program was the first and the only Erasmus Mundus Masters Program in which a Turkish partner took place.

Graduate students involved in this Erasmus Mundus Masters course have the possibility of following a 18-month MSc programs on either Earthquake Engineering or Engineering Seismology. In addition, the proposed EM Masters course envisages also the possibility of students following a 18-month study program that leads to the attainment of a Masters degree on Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology.

MEEES graduates will be awarded a Joint Masters degree diploma by the Rectors of the Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori, the University of Patras, the University of Grenoble 1 “Joseph Fourier” and the Middle East Technical University. The official language is English. Admission to the course depends mainly on academic qualifications, past professional experience, reference letters and English proficiency.

A total of 11 students from different Turkish universities were enrolled with the MEEES program. Half of them have already finished their studies and the others are carrying out their studies in te partner institutions. Until now 6 students from Canada to Pakistan took courses in the Department of Civil Engineering of METU and two of these students are currently working on their thesis. Their thesis work is supervised by METU-CE Faculty.

A2) Capacity Building in Earthquake Research for Risk Reduction in Urban Environments

Principal Coordinator: Dr. Haluk SUCUOĞLU, Co-Coordinator: Dr. Güney ÖZCEBE

Final Report:

CyBER project was developed in relevance to the Seismic Risk Reduction RTD activities of the 6th Framework Programme to initiate implementations for safer urban environments, hence to search for methods for reducing exposure to seismic risk. It was aimed at increasing the capacity of METU’s Earthquake Engineering Research Center (METU-EERC) to a center of excellence.  Furthermore, collaboration of METU_EERC with the expert seismic research institutions of Europe within the scope of the project also increased the level of scientific co-operation, technical capabilities and enhancement of human potential.

The European Community funds allocated to this project was 650,000 EUR.  Middle East Technical University acceded to the contract in accordance with the procedures referring to a financial contribution for the implementation of this project within the framework of the specific research and technological development program ‘Integrating and Strengthening the European Research Area’. The duration of the project was 36 months spanning between 2005 and 2008

At the end of project activities METU-EERC has gained a pseudo-dynamic testing facility where earthquake simulation tests of 6 meters high 10 meters wide and 10 meters long structural systems or components can be made. METU-EERC testing facility is the largest facility of its kind in Turkey.


B1) Investigation of Various Structural Rehabilitation Methods by Pseudo-dynamic Protocols (TÜBİTAK-106M451)

Research Team: Dr. Güney Özcebe, Dr. Barış Binici, Dr. Erdem Canbay, Dr. Özgür Kurç

The 106M451 TUBITAK Project titled “Investigation of Strengthening Procedures by Pseudo Dynamic Testing” had a total budget of 342.150.-TL. The Project was conducted between February 1 2007 and June 1 2010. Five international peer-reviewed conference proceeding and two journal publications were printed by using the results from the project. A final national journal publication summarizing all the results is under preparation.

The Project focused on pseudo-dynamic testing of ½ scale-2 story-3 three bay RC frames with and without structural retrofits. The conducted pseudo dynamic tests are a premier in pseudo dynamic testing in the nation. Efe Gokce Kurt, who was funded by the project graduated with a Master of Science Degree by submitting his thesis based on the outcomes of the project and he is now a Ph.D. candidate in Purdue University.

At the end of extensive testing program valuable data was acquired and this data will be used in the development of next generation seismic codes.

B2) Evaluation and Advancement of the Seismic Assessment and Strengthening Methods in the Turkish Seismic Code through Experimental and Analytical Research (TÜBİTAK KAMAG 1007, 108G034, 2010-2013)

Principal Coordinator: Dr. Haluk Sucuoğlu

Project Team: Dr. Sinan Akkar, Dr. Barış Binici, Dr. Burcu Burak, Dr. Erdem Canbay, Dr. Altuğ Erberik, Dr. Özgür Kurç, Dr. Güney Özcebe, Dr. Ahmet Yakut

The research outlined in this proposal focusses on the consistency of diferent seismic performance assessment techniques and strengthening methodologies proposed for existing buildings, their applicability in the practice, and their conformity to the procedures employed in the technical guidelines of other earthquake prone countries. The first phase of the proposed experimental research studies is on the experimental verification of performance acceptance criteria stated in the Turkish Seismic Code for different structural components. The aim of the second phase of experimental research is to develop the most efficient and feasible strengthening methods for especially the school buildings. This study founded on the test-bed of the previous study (Project BI) also uses the new dynamic simulation system (pseudo-dynamic testing system) which has been developed in the Structural Mechanics Laboratory of the Middle East Technical University, with a funding from the EC Framework 6 Programme. The total duration of the project is foreseen as three years. In accordance with the results obtained from the proposed research, necessary corrections and improvements will be made in the Code in order to establish safe and reliable methods and regulations for achieving efficient risk reduction in existing seismically vulnerable buildings.

There are currently 9 researchers and 4 MS and/or Ph.D. students working in different project packages. Project activities are expected to end by June 2013.

B3) Seismic Assessment and Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings (NATO SfP9977231)

Project Director: Dr. Güney Özcebe

Partner Country Coordinators: Dr. Mihail Garevski, Macedonia, Dr. Michael Fardis and Dr. Kyriazis Pitilakis, Greece, Dr. James O. Jirsa, USA.

National Project Team: Please visit this link for detailed information.

The general objective of this study was to develop simple methodologies for the seismic vulnerability assessment and sound, practical and economical rehabilitation techniques for seismically vulnerable buildings in Turkey and Greece. Seismic evaluation and rehabilitation works of the existing buildings necessitate participation of a large number of practicing engineers. However, these tasks require special expertise. Therefore, a major thrust of this project was to develop engineer-training programs to enhance the knowledge of the practicing engineer and to disseminate the findings and the end-results of the proposed research program.

The proposed project had three specific goals. The first goal was to develop methodologies for the seismic vulnerability assessment of the existing buildings, which will offer guidance for engineers in evaluating existing buildings that might present unacceptable risk to life-safety in future earthquakes. To preserve life-safety in buildings that are identified as weak, it is necessary to provide strengthening that conforms to acceptable safety standards under earthquake forces. This leads to the second goal of the proposed project that was to develop simple, effective and economical strengthening techniques and strategies, which are applicable to buildings in use in Balkan countries. The final goal is the dissemination of the knowledge gained.

Project was financed by the Science for Peace program of NATO. The total NATO funds allocated for the project was 711,000 EUR. A matching amount (cash and in-kind was) provided by Turkey. TÜBİTAK has funded this project via “Structural Engineering Research Unit-SERU” projects summing up to 595,000 USD.

During the project activities a thorough three-tier seismic vulnerability assessment methodology was developed to assess the seismic vulnerability of existing buildings on a regional scale. This methodology was used by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality to assess the regional seismic vulnerability of Zeytinburnu, Fatih and Küçükçekmece districts of Istanbul. More than 150,000 buildings were assessed within the framework of this assessment studies.

Moreover two occupant friendly retrofit techniques were developed to upgrade the seismic safety of existing buildings.

Moreover, two innovative rehabilitation techniques were also developed. As they do not require the evacuation of the building under consideration, these rehab technologies are of special value especially when the rehabilitation of large building stocks is under consideration. Through the course of the project, necessary verification studies and a pilot application were conducted to validate the reliability of the methodologies proposed. Within the scope of this pilot study a 10-story building in Antakya was rehabilitated in 6 months without evacuating the occupants of the building during rehab work.

Over the four years of its tenure, the project has brought together researchers from four countries, namely Macedonia, Greece, Turkey and the United States. In the joint research activities, research teams from 7 different research institutes and universities collaborated for the common goal of earthquake risk mitigation in big cities. A total of 5 Ph.D. and 16 MS students completed their graduate studies.

B4) Studies on High-Strength and High-Performance Concrete

Research Team: Dr. Guney Ozcebe Dr. Uğur Ersoy, Dr. Tuğrul Tankut, Dr. Erdem Canbay

In these studies the behavior of reinforced concrete beams and columns made of high-strength concrete were investigated under static and reversed-cyclic loading. Studies spread over a time span from 1992 to 1999. Numerous tests were performed to assess the performance of such elements. Test parameters included the concrete strength and reinforcement details. At the end of extensive experimental investigation design tools were proposed for safer design of reinforced high-strength concrete members. Among which the “definition of the minimum shear reinforcement requirement” [based on a sound solid-mechanics formulation, which was fine-tuned by the test results] was adopted as a design tool by the American Concrete Institute in 2002. In all four different code cycles ACI 318: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete cites the paper published by Ozcebe, Ersoy and Tankut (1999).

These studies were financed by TÜBİTAK, through MAG and İÇTAG channels. During the course of these studies 5 MS theses have been completed. Three prestigious papers were published in highly cited magazines.

A summary of R&D activities under B-type research activities is given below.


Investigation and Development of Performance Based Assessment Methodologies for New Generation Seismic Codes

TÜBİTAK (KAMAG), 775,000 USD, 2010-2013, Co-coordinator, National

Investigation of Various Structural Rehabilitation Methods by Pseudo-dynamic Protocols

TÜBİTAK (1001), 248,839 USD, 2007-2010, Principal Investigator, National

Harmonization of Seismic Hazard and Risk Reduction in Countries Influenced by Vrancea Earthquakes

NATO SfP, 371,811USD, 2005-2009, Principal Investigator, International

Strengthening of Infilled Frames by Using Wire-Mesh Reinforcement

TÜBİTAK (İÇTAG), 34,576 USD; 2005-2008, Researcher, National

Ductile Hybrid Connections in Prefabricated Beam-Column Connections

TÜBİTAK (İÇTAG), 27,905 USD, 2003-2005, Researcher, ational

Seismic Assessment and Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings

NATO SfP, 669,043 USD, 2001-2006, Principal Investigator, International

Structural Engineering  Research Unit

TÜBİTAK (İÇTAG), 595,000 USD, 2001-2006, Principal Coordinator, National

Effect of RC Infills on the Seismic Behavior of Structures

TÜBİTAK (MAG), 41,085 USD, 1999-2001, Principal Investigator, National

Seismic Energy Dissipation in Prefabricated RC Frames by Formation of Plastic Hinges

TÜBİTAK (MAG), 30,570 USD, 1995-1997, Researcher, National

Seismic Behavior of RC Frames Strengthened with RC Infills

TÜBİTAK (MAG), 57,200 USD, 1994-1998, Principal Investigator, National

Investigation of the Behavior of High Strength RC Members

TÜBİTAK (MAG), 46,300 USD, 1991-1994, Principal Investigator, National


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