Earthquake and Lifeline Engineering

Earthquakes cause damage to our built environment and disrupt out social systems. Infrastructure, such as water, gas, electricity, communications and transportation systems are not independent but rather complexly interact with each other. Therefore, even if only a part of the infrastructure is damaged, the urban community can sustain serious damage and functional disruption. Our laboratory covers a broad field, from the estimation of strong ground motion in the near fault zone, to the investigations of the mechanisms of structural damage, human injury and organizational disruption. Our goal is effective earthquake risk reduction, accomplished via analysis of the earthquake loss chain of causation, and development of effective mitigation measures for each link in that chain.

Academic Staff


Aiko FURUKAWAAssociate Professor (Graduate School of Engineering)

Research Topics

Development of a numerical simulation method for analysis of elastic, failure and collapse behaviors of structures and development of structural damage diagnosis technique based on vibration monitoring.


Room 136, C1 Bldg. , Katsura Campus
TEL: +81-75-383-3250
FAX: +81-75-383-3253


Research Topics

Numerical Simulation of Seismic Ground Motions in Kyoto

Observed seismic motions are sometimes very different between two stations although their distance are not so large. This phenomenon is caused by the geometric structure of the ground. We here simulate the seismic ground motions taking into account the three-dimensional structural effects of ground.

Figure-1 Maximum velocity of seismic ground motions taking into account the three-dimensional structural effects of ground in Kyoto

Investigation of Mechanisms for Human Damages Induced by Earthquake, and Development of its Simulation Technique

Human damages are often caused by the earthquake damage to structures. There are many complicated factors between structural and human damages. For example, a person in a damaged house is injured not only by the structural elements but also by the furniture on the floor. In a train accident induced by an earthquake, the damage to human bodies also might occurs. Once a train is derailed by the earthquake motion, people in the train have serious damages. In the underground passageways, an electricity cut-off or a fire during the earthquake may cause a panic and many casualties.

In our laboratory, we investigate the process in which the structural damage derives to casualties. We develop the computer program in order to simulate those processes numerically.

Figure-2 Behavior of trains approached the collapsed bridge

Figure-3 Behavior of a crowd in super-high-density state

Analysis of failure phenomena of masonry buildings during earthquakes

It has been reported that catastrophic earthquakes account for 60% of worldwide casualties associated with natural disasters. In most large-scale earthquake disasters, the principal cause of death is the collapse of buildings, and this has accounted for about 75% of earthquake fatalities over the last century. In addition, a large number of victims have died because of the collapse of masonry buildings. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the earthquake resistance of these primarily weak structures to reduce the number of casualties. With this background, a new numerical analysis method that enables the simulation of a series of seismic behaviors—from elastic to failure to collapse behaviors—is developed in order to clarify how the failure begins and proceeds, how the structures collapse, and how earthquake resistance can be improved effectively.

Figure-4 Failure process of masonry structures

Laboratory Website