ASCE Seismic Nonlinear Survey

Many of our staff members here at Bentley are engineers who participate in standards writing organizations. Rakesh Pathakm, PhD is a Software Research Engineer with the RAM Structural System team and also serves on the Emerging Analysis Methods in Earthquake Engineering Subcommittee of the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute (SEI). This SEI subcommittee is currently hoping to gauge the difficulties practicing structural engineers have in performing and interpreting a nonlinear analysis.

The following is from Dr. Kevin Mackie, Assistant Professor of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering at the Univ. of Central Florida and chair of this subcommittee:

Advances in computational tools for earthquake engineering analysis continue to improve the structural engineer’s ability to conduct performance-based simulations, evaluate ductility, and make decisions on performance criteria that involve deformations of a structure beyond the elastic limit. However, with the advent of these tools, the industry has also seen a proliferation of codes and guidelines, as well as options and parameters that must be understood to perform nonlinear analyses.

The Emerging Analysis Methods in Earthquake Engineering Subcommittee is interested in identifying some of the perceptions and challenges that exist when one needs to perform, or interpret the results of, a nonlinear analysis. To this end, the committee requests all current and potential users of nonlinear tools for earthquake engineering analysis to fill out the survey located at the following URL:

The results of the survey will help guide committee activities on formulating online and/or published material to address the principle concerns and barriers identified. It is expected that several future ASCE Structures Congress sessions will be organized around themes from this survey. Input is solicited from all engineers (including from industry, academia, and consultants) who focus on all structural systems (buildings, bridges, and non-building structures).

The deadline for completing the survey is November 15, 2011. For any further information about the survey or the activities of the committee, please contact Kevin Mackie, Subcommittee Chair, at

Though this is not a Bentley-sponsored survey, we felt that may be of interest to many of our users to have their voice heard on nonlinear analysis, as so many of you routinely perform these as part of your work.