Short course on Supplemental Damping and Seismic Isolation for Structural Applications

Pavia, 16-20 April, 2007

The main objective of the course is to introduce structural engineers to the basic principles of passive supplemental damping and seismic isolation systems and to their implementation into real structures.

An introduction on the basic earthquake engineering principles and energy formulation needed to understand the impact of different supplemental damping and isolation techniques on the performance of structures is first provided.

The focus is then set on theoretical and applied knowledge on various supplemental damping and seismic isolation systems that have demonstrated potential at raising the performance of buildings and bridges under earthquake ground motions while keeping construction costs reasonable.

For each of the supplemental damping and base isolation systems such as hysteretic dampers, viscous and visco-elastic dampers, self-centering systems, tuned-mass dampers, elastomeric, lead-rubber, metallic and sliding bearings, the physical behaviour, analytical modelling, experimental investigations and practical implementations are presented.

Design strategies and methods are also presented for each of the supplemental damping and seismic isolation systems. Finally, two sample projects are described: the seismic isolation of a complex new structure and the retrofit of an existing steel moment-resisting steel frame using various passive supplemental damping devices.

The course is fully organised by Dr C. Christopoulos, from the University of Toronto, Canada, who will be responsible for all lecturing activities. In addition, it is also noted that a textbook recently published by the IUSS Press ("Principles of Passive Supplemental Damping and Seismic Isolation," by C. Christopoulos and A. Filiatrault) covers the material that will be taught during this course, and is available from the IUSS Press website (

Further information can be found by following the links below: