Ian D. Aiken

Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1990

M.S., Civil Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1988

B.Eng. (Hons), Civil Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 1986


Civil Engineer, California, No. C048734


Seismic Isolation Engineering, Inc., 12 years
University of California at Berkeley, 10 years


Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers
Member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Member of the New Zealand National Society for Earthquake Engineering
Member of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California
Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor (ALMR) Seismic Isolation Working Group
SEAONC Base Isolation Subcommittee
SEAONC Base Isolation Subcommittee Energy Dissipation Working Group
AASHTO T-3 Working Group
ASCE Code Committee for Seismic Isolation Testing Provisions


Professor Ian G. Buckle, Vice-Chancellor, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Professor Emeritus Vitelmo V. Bertero, University of California at Berkeley
Professor James M. Kelly, University of California at Berkeley


Principal, Seismic Isolation Engineering, Inc., Oakland (1993 - present)
Research Engineer, University of California at Berkeley (1990 - 1996)
Research Assistant, University of California at Berkeley (1986 - 1990)

Dr. Aiken has twenty years of experience in earthquake, structural and civil engineering. Specialist areas encompass eleven years of experience in the field of seismic isolation, and nine years of experience in the field of passive energy dissipation for seismic structural control. His interest and activities in the field of seismic isolation began in 1984, with involvement on two full-scale field tests of isolated bridges in New Zealand. Since then he has been extensively involved in research activities in the field. These have included more than 15 experimental studies of the dynamic characteristics of elastomeric seismic isolation bearings, and 4 earthquake simulator studies of the performance of different isolated structures. In 1986 he developed an interest in the field of structural control, and it was in this area, passive energy dissipation for seismic structural control, that he received his Ph.D. in 1990. His research work involved the earthquake simulator testing and analytical studies of a large structural frame with two different types of passive damping systems. He is familiar with various seismic design requirements including the Uniform Building Code, the SEAOC Blue Book and the New Zealand seismic code. He has published more than 70 technical papers and reports related to earthquake engineering, primarily in the fields of isolation and passive energy dissipation for seismic structural control.

In the field of seismic isolation and passive structural control Dr. Aiken's accomplishments include:

  • Recognized in the U.S., U.K., Italy, Japan, and New Zealand as a leading expert in seismic isolation technology.
  • Tested the following types of isolation bearings at the Earthquake Engineering Research Center of the University of California at Berkeley:
    • SAFR 1/4-scale bearings
    • PRISM 1/4- and 1/2-scale bearings
    • Bridgestone high-damping elastomeric bearings
    • San Bernardino County Medical Center Replacement Project pre-prototype bearings
    • Foothill Communities Law & Justice Center 10-year re-test of high-damping rubber bearings
    • 13-year re-test of lead-rubber bearings
    • Two types of high-damping bearings and lead-rubber for the EERC/Shimizu joint research project
    • Three types of MRPRA high-damping elastomeric bearings
    • Bearings for LNG tanks in South Korea
    • Bearings for UNIDO demonstration buildings in Indonesia and China
    • Three types of high-damping rubber bearings for the ALMR
  • Tested the following isolated structures in earthquake simulator experiments:
    • 9-story steel frame, with 5 types of elastomeric isolation systems
    • 3-story reinforced-concrete building with 3 types of elastomeric isolation systems
    • 5-story steel frame with two types of elastomeric isolation systems, for the NPR isolation study
    • 7-story reinforced-concrete frame with three types of elastomeric isolation systems
  • Managed a Caltrans-sponsored field testing project investigating the dynamic characteristics of a 700-ft., long isolated bridge, and a 1200-ft. long single-column concrete box-girder viaduct, both located in Walnut Creek, California.
  • Participated in the field testing of 900-ft. and 300-ft. long isolated bridges in New Zealand.
  • Member of several California and national committees which are developing design code requirements for seismic isolation and passive energy dissipation for building structures.
  • Member of the AASHTO T3 Committee Task Group which developed the 1997 AASHTO ``Guide Specification for Seismic Isolation Design"for isolation of bridges.
  • Managed the prequalification testing program of fluid viscous dampers from four different manufacturers for the seismic retrofit of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Tested the following types of passive energy dissipation systems:
    • 3M viscoelastic double-layer shear damper
    • Sumitomo friction damper
    • Pall-type friction damper
    • Enidine, FIP, Lisega and Taylor Devices' viscous dampers for the Golden Gate Bridge
    • Fluor-Daniel Energy Dissipating Restraint (EDR) friction damper
    • NiTi shape memory alloy dampers

Other accomplishments include:

  • He has attended numerous international conferences, workshops, and symposia on structural and earthquake engineering.
  • Invited lecture to the JSSI Forum on Seismic Isolation, Japan Society for Seismic Isolation, Tokyo, August 1994.
  • Co-author of the invited paper on seismic energy dissipation for the ATC-17-1 Conference on Seismic Isolation, Passive Energy Dissipation and Structural Control, March, 1993.
  • U.S. delegate to the U.S.-Japan Joint Workshop on Earthquake Protective Systems for Bridges, Tsukuba, Japan, 1992.
  • Manager of the UCB-EERC/Shimizu Corporation Joint Research Project on seismic isolation, 1991-1992.
  • Analysis and design of structural steel roof systems and other structural steel components for three high-rise buildings in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Analysis and seismic retrofit design for a number of industrial structures, including warehouses, towers, and general equipment.
  • Experience with the structural analysis computer programs: COSMOS/M, SAP-90, SADSAP, SAP-2000, ETABS, PC-ANSR, ANSR-1, DRAIN-2DX, DRAIN-3DX, 3D-BASIS.