Dr. Benedikt Halldórsson is an Associate Research-Professor at the EERC. He has a BS in Geophysics and MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Iceland, and a PhD in Structural and Earthquake Engineering from University at Buffalo, SUNY, USA. His main research areas are earthquake and engineering seismology.
His professional interests are focused on four key aspects: (1) basic research (2) industry research and development, (3) infrastructure development, and (4) teaching and supervision of students.
The primary components that constitute each aspect are:
(1) Seeking a deeper understanding of the nature of earthquakes and their effects on engineering structures and the society by modelling the complex earthquake source processes, the seismic wave propagation through the heterogeneous crust and the localized site amplification effects. This involves the simulation of strong-ground motion from physical earthquake models using various simulation methods, with particular emphasis on near-fault effects, modelling structural dynamics and fragility analyses.
(2) Collaboration with instrument manufactures and designers to develop new measurement systems for the improved quantification of the earthquake action on structures and structural response, and the characteristics of the free-field earthquake ground motion. This also includes service projects for general engineering practice.
(3) The design and installation of dense strong-motion, urban arrays for the purpose of investigating the earthquake source characteristics, the complex incoherence aspects of the seismic wavefield over short distances within an urban setting, including the effects of localized wave amplification due to site conditions, and its potential effects on critical systems of modern society. This includes the deployment of urban arrays for microzonation purposes in strong earthquake events by combining earthquake accelerographs with latest technology CGPS systems, and converting traditional strong-motion networks to arrays using wireless communication technologies and system development.
(4) Teaching at the undergraduate level but emphasizing strengthening the graduate study programme in earthquake engineering on an international level. This includes designing and teaching summer courses and developing a full-scale international study programme for earthquake and volcanic risk reduction, and a Nordic master’s programme in earthquake engineering. He has established a student exchange program between the University of Iceland and Virginia Tech in order to facilitate the student exchange and research collaborations.