First factsheet series available

First factsheet series available
To account substantially to a better understanding of seismic hazard and risk in Europe, several questions have to be answered. With our factsheet series, we address key questions SERA is challenged with and present preliminary results. Througout the project, we plan to publish three such factsheet series. The first one is available now - online as well as in PDF form. The questions answered therein are:
  • Why is it important to know the seismic hazard of a certain region?
  • What is seismic risk?
  • What happens to buildings in case of an earthquake?
  • How does the testing of a building on a shake table works?


Successful tests at STRULAB reaction wall

Successful tests at STRULAB reaction wall

An international project team composed of scientists from Cyprus University of Technology, Ecole Centrale de Nantes and DENCO Structural Engineering carried out experiments at the STRULAB reaction wall at the University of Patras – one of the ten research facilities SERA is facilitating access to. The scope of the project called ARISTA (Seismic Assessment of ReInforced Concrete frames with SmooTh bArs) was to study the seismic behaviour of a 1:1.5 scaled three-storey two-bay reinforced concrete frame with smooth bar reinforcement. According to the project members, the results will provide invaluable information for design guidelines and code rules.

The first tests consisted of a cyclic loading-unloading-loading history. The top story have undergone a displacement of ± 50 mm during a cyclic loading-unloading-loading history and a final unloading cycle to zero force. The maximum damage occurred at the first story in the form of shear cracks. The relation between the story shear force and interstory drifts are shown here. The columns in the first story cracked at a shear force of approximately 100kN. Due to yielding of the reinforcement, a small residual drift after the final unloading remained.

The ARISTA-project leaders already plan a second test series. Subsequently, the results will help to calibrate numerical mathematical models for the flexural and shear capacity of substandard RC frames with smooth bar reinforcement. 

For project and contact details, please click here.


Annual scientific meeting in Bucharest

Annual scientific meeting in Bucharest

From 25 to 26 April 2018, the SERA community met for its first scientific annual meeting in Bucharest. Around 70 project participants took part and presented the status-quo, results and upcoming work for their tasks and work packages. Following the contributions of all SERA participants, the SERA Scientific Advisory Board described its impressions of the tasks accomplished in the first twelve months of the project.

Based on those, its members will elaborate a set of recommendations for the attention of the general assembly. In addition, the SERA management board held its third meeting to discuss amongst others, details of the data management plan or measures to ensure a successful outcome of transnational access experiments. Framing the main meeting, numerous work packages took the opportunity to get together in smaller groups and to deepen the discussions on specific topics.

Of course, there was also time allocated for informal exchange: Be it at the social dinner in the old town of Bucharest, or during the tour to INFP, which the local SERA team offered.

You find more pictures here.

Click here to have look at the detailed agenda.


Data and services for engineering seismology portal online

Data and services for engineering seismology portal online

The SERA WP20/VA3 has recently outlined a web portal to access data and services for engineering seismology. It facilitates the access to the European Strong Motion Database (ESM), the European Archive of Historical Earthquake Data (AHEAD), and the European Database of Seismogenic Faults (EDSF). The portal's aim is to coordinate the currently separated and intrinsically diverse services. In future, it is planned to extend the functionalities of the existing services and provide interactions among the three data sources.


Visit to Grimsel rock laboratory

Visit to Grimsel rock laboratory

During the meeting of SERA work package WP23/JRA1 on 18 and 19 January, ten people from Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy and Poland gathered in the snowy Swiss mountains. On the first day, they visited the Grimsel rock laboratory, which is located 1730 metres above sea-level in the granitic formations of the Aar Massif 450 metres deep in the rock. The JRA1 group eyed especially on the "in-situ stimulation and circulation (ISC)" experiment since its dataset could be used as one of the validation cases for the JRA1 work package.

The afternoon and the following day was filled with discussion and presentation, for example on the current status of the JRA1 work package as well as on the newly developed Platform for the Research into Anthropogenic Seismicity and other Anthropogenic Hazards. The next JRA1 meeting will take place in Bucharest during the SERA annual meeting.


First TA projects selected

First TA projects selected

An important part of SERA is to offer transnational access to ten high-class European experimental facilities for earthquake engineering, integrated studies on geotechnical site effects and engineering seismology, and array seismology. Access is provided to the most talented research teams. The TA-SEP (Transnational selection and evaluation panel) selected 17 research projects within the first call for proposal. Here you find the list of the selected proposals.


SERA and EPOS: a perfect match

SERA and EPOS: a perfect match

Running in parallel, SERA and EPOS-IP will offer numerous opportunities to benefit from each other, especially regarding advancements in the data and products offered in EPOS through virtual and physical access.

See also...


TA projects selected within second call

TA projects selected within second call

After the second call for proposals within the SERA transnational access framework, the TA Selection and Evaluation panel selected sixteen promising projects. This leads to a total of 33 projects from the beginning of SERA until today. The list of the approved projects is available here. The dates for the third call are not yet set, but we will keep you informed.


Join the "earthquake early warning" voices in Malta!

Join the

The 36th General Assembly of the European Seismological Commission will take place in Valetta (Malta) from 2 to 7 September 2018. SERA participants Aldo Zollo, John Clinton, Stefano Parolai and Matteo Picozzi will be convenor of session S18 - towards a faster and more accurate assessment of the impact of an earthquake - which is related to the topics investigated by SERA. The aim of the session is to provide a state-of-the-art overview in the field of earthquake early warning and rapid response systems.

In particular, they intend to create a forum to share experiences, techniques, perspectives, to identify areas for improvements, and to move towards an international agreement on standards, instrumentation, and methods for new real-time seismic risk mitigation systems.

For questions regarding the SERA related session, do not hesitate to contact Matteo Picozzi ( For general information about the event, visit the organizer's website. It would be a pleasure to meeting many of you there!


"Scientific value and innovation were the most important selection criteria"

Suited to the launch of the second call for proposals for transnational access projects, Igor Lanese, inolved in the TA coordination, talks about how he and his colleagues of the TA evalution panel selected the most promising projects during the first round. And he also summarizes the expected contribution of the projects to the seismology and earthquake enginnering community.

Which were the three main criteria for the selection?
Scientific value and innovation of the proposals were the most important selection criteria, together with the importance for European competitiveness. Besides, technical and economical compatibility with the selected research infrastructure's available resources were critical aspects for the decision.

Where are the selected research teams from?
Overall, the involved researchers come from 18 different nations. The most represented are Italy, Switzerland and Portugal (see details graphics).

When will the experiments start?                
The first access to NORSAR data centre has already been provided. For all other research infrastructures, the preliminary phase which includes the specimen and test setup design, material supply, specimen construction, instrumentation layout design, etc. is currently implemented. This phase generally requires few months, therefore, the first tests should start between March and June 2018.

What is the overarching goal of the experiments?
The accepted projects cover a wide range of key aspects related to structural safety. The research will encompass geotechnical aspects with soil-structure interaction and liquefaction, existing structures with limited seismic design provisions as well as innovative structural systems, with focus both at component (e.g. steel connections, coupling beams) and whole structure level, to enhanced seismic isolation and retrofit solutions. Further, the experiments aim at implementing innovative testing techniques such as geographically-distributed hybrid simulation for seismic and fire testing.

What contributions you expect for the seismology and earthquake engineering community?
Given the heterogeneity of the selected projects and the research infrastructures peculiarities, we expect a wide range of contributions to the earthquake engineering and engineering seismology scientific community: The research will improve the knowledge and the safety of new, existing and retrofitted structures, through the investigation of specific structural aspects (e.g. components of shear resistance of coupling beams, soil-structure interaction) as well as the global response to different kind of actions (seismic, fire). The role of non-structural elements gained more and more importance in the last years, and it will be duly considered in the research. Furthermore, EE and ES communities will profit from the revision and improvements of Eurocodes, design guidelines and novel design methods based on the experimental campaigns results. Novel testing techniques will be implemented and validated, giving access to the scientific community to new powerful and cost-effective tools for structural assessment. Finally, all TA users will significantly benefit from the collaboration with highly-specialized first-class research infrastructures, bringing new skills and knowledge to their own institutions and to the whole scientific community through conferences, workshops, and so on.


Second call for TA proposals open

Second call for TA proposals open

SERA's transnational access (TA) activities offer a combined and integrated access to the largest collection of high-class experimental facilities for earthquake engineering in Europe. During the first call for TA projects, the SERA TA evaluation panel selected 17 promising research projects and granted them with access to the facilities. This week, the second round to apply for access has started. Interested researchers must submit their proposal until 4 March 2018 including project details, scientific bases, foreseen advances and target schedule. For detailed information, please visit or download this pdf.


Teachers' workshop in Bucharest

Teachers' workshop in Bucharest

The teachers workshop in Bucharest focused on demonstrating how seismology and seismic engineering can provide tools and examples for educational activities. It included presentations, hands-on activities, round table discussions and thematic visits at research facilities. More than 200 teachers mainly from Romania but also from Moldavia and Ukraine took part in the 3-day event. 


SERA kick-off meeting

SERA kick-off meeting

The SERA kick-off meeting took place from 31 May to 1 June 2017 at ETH Zurich. The aim of the meeting was that the project participants get an insight to all work packages and understand the big picture of SERA. During the social dinner on lake Zurich the participants could get to know each other on a personal level - an important aspect to make future cooperation successful.


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