Bristol Benjamin Meaker Distinguished Visiting Professor Jonathan Paul Stewart, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), USA

Trans‐Atlantic Partnership for Transformative Research on Seismic Risk Characterization and Mitigation for Critical Infrastructure

Visit dates to be confirmed for 2021/22


Jonathan P. Stewart is a Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at UCLA, where he has been a faculty member since 1996. He previously served as Department Head (Chair) from 2012‐2018. His degrees (BS, MS, PhD) are from UC Berkeley.

Stewart’s technical expertise is in geotechnical earthquake engineering and engineering seismology, with emphases on soil‐structure interaction (SoFSI), ground motion and ground failure hazard characterization, and seismic risk analysis for levees and other distributed infrastructure. Several current research endeavours include his leadership of the Next‐Generation Liquefaction project, development of site amplification and ground motion models for diverse global applications, development and application of non‐ergodic site response analysis methods for use in probabilistic seismic hazard analysis, and development of soil‐structure interaction‐based procedures for evaluating seismic earth pressures on retaining structures.

The work of his research group has impacted the US National Seismic Hazard Maps; the Global Earthquake Model; building code documents (NEHRP Provisions and ASCE‐7); and guidelines documents for tall buildings (Tall Buildings Initiative project), existing structures (ASCE‐41), soilstructure interaction (NIST, 2012), and landslide hazards (SCEC, 2002). His work has been recognized with a Fulbright Scholarship, the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, the Bruce Bolt Medal and the Joyner Lecture from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and Seismological Society of America, the Huber Prize and Casagrande Award from ASCE, the NSF CAREER Award, and several best paper awards.

He is a former Chief Editor for the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering and is currently Past Editor of Earthquake Spectra.


Professor Stewart, from UCLA Garrick Risk Institute, California, is a world authority on how buildings and other structures interact with their foundations and the ground on which they are built. This factor, called Soil‐Foundation‐Structure Interaction (SFSI), is crucial to the safe earthquake behaviour of structures, such as nuclear power stations, high speed rail, highways, ports, dams and major industrial facilities yet it is still poorly understood. SFSI is a focus area for the University of Bristol's new £12m SoFSI laboratory, which is led by the Department of Civil Engineering and forms part of the £276m UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC). During his 3‐month visit, Prof Stewart is working with his Bristol colleagues, Professor George Mylonakis and Professor Tasos Sextos, to forge a partnership between UCLA and Bristol that will harness the complementary capabilities of the two institutions and build a world leading integrated programme of research, which will eventually draw in other researchers and industry partners from across the UK, Europe, the US and Asia with a long term goal of unifying international industry standards and practice.

Professor Stewart is hosted by Professor George Mylonakis, Civil Engineering.