Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center

OpenSees is an open-source computer analysis software, developed and supported by PEER, that is used to simulate the earthquake behavior of structures and the surrounding soil, as is shown in this model of a bridge structure and its foundations.  

The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) is a multi-institutional research and education center with headquarters at the University of California, Berkeley. Investigators from over 20 universities, several consulting companies, plus researchers at various State and Federal government agencies contribute to research programs focused on performance-based earthquake engineering in disciplines including structural and geotechnical engineering, geology/seismology, lifelines, transportation, risk management, and public policy.

The PEER mission is to develop, validate, and disseminate performance-based seismic design technologies for buildings and infrastructure to meet the diverse economic and safety needs of owners and society. PEER's research defines appropriate performance targets, and develops engineering tools and criteria that can be used by practicing professionals to achieve those targets. It actively disseminates its research findings to earthquake professionals who are involved in the practice of earthquake engineering in addition to conducting education and outreach programs for students, policy makers, and others interested in earthquake issues.

PEER was established as a consortium of nine West Coast Universities in 1996 and gained status as a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center in 1997. PEER graduated from NSF Funding in 2008 and is now supported by federal, state, local and regional agencies together with industry partners. Despite this funding shift, PEER continues to grow and remains an active earthquake engineering research center with a wide spectrum of technical activities and projects. PEER now has ten Core Institutions but also actively involves researchers, educators, students, and earthquake professionals from across the US and worldwide.  PEER’s Core Institutions include University of California, Berkeley (Lead Institution), California Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Stanford University, University of California at Davis, University of California at Irvine, University of California at Los Angeles, University of California at San Diego, University of Southern California, and University of Washington.

PEER conducts research at many universities around the US, including this concrete column test at Purdue University for PEER's NEES Grand Challenge Project: Mitigation of Collapse Risk in Older Concrete Buildings.  

PEER's current facilities at UC Berkeley include PEER's administrative headquarters in Davis Hall, and three facilities at the Richmond Field Station: the Earthquake Simulator Laboratory, the nees@berkeley Structural Research Laboratory, and the National Information Service for Earthquake Engineering (NISEE) Library. The shaking table in the Earthquake Simulator Laboratory, dedicated in 1972, was the first of its kind and at 20 ft. x 20 ft. is still the largest multidirectional shaking table in the US.

More information about the Center can be found on the PEER website, including descriptions of all PEER's current research projects, latest news articles, and upcoming events.


Researching ways to improve the performance of lifeline networks and components is one of PEER's research focus areas. This specimen is a liquid storage tank supported on seismic isolators that was tested at PEER's Earthquake Simulator Laboratory at UC Berkeley.
Khalid Mosalam
(510) 642-3437
Staff contact
Grace Kang
(510) 642-3462
Mailing address

325 Davis Hall , Berkeley, CA 94720 - 1792