Ramin Motamed

Ramin Motamed

Associate Professor
Ramin Motamed
Biography

Dr. Ramin Motamed is an associate professor of geotechnical engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nevada Reno.

His main areas of research are shake table tests on deep and shallow foundations; liquefaction and laterally spreading grounds; mitigation measures for foundations in liquefiable soils; nonlinear site response analysis; soil-structure interaction using instrumented structures and downhole array data; and LRFD of drilled shafts. He leads projects in these areas sponsored by the federal and state agencies as well as industry.

Dr. Motamed received his Ph.D. in 2007 at the University of Tokyo where he carried out research on the behavior of pile foundations in liquefiable soils using E-Defense shake table facility. Prior to joining the University of Nevada, Reno, Dr. Motamed was a senior engineer with Arup in San Francisco, and he is a registered professional engineer in the state of California.

Education
  • Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Japan 2007
  • M.S. in Civil Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran 2002
  • B.S. in Civil Engineering, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran 2000
Professional certifications and memberships
  • Professional Engineer, State of California
  • Member, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
  • Member, Seismological Society of America (SSA)
  • Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Member, Deep Foundations Institute (DFI)
  • Member, Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER)
  • Member, United States Universities Council on Geotechnical Education and Research (USUCGER)

News & announcements

  • 05/3/2019: Dr. Motamed presented at SuperPile’19 in Seattle, WA on “1g Shake Table Model Tests on Dynamic Response of Helical Piles in Dry Sands.” 
  • 04/25/2019: Swasti Saxena presented a poster at the 2019 SSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA on “Ground Motion Simulations for an M4.2 Aftershock of the Niigata-Chuetsu Earthquake of 2007 Using Large-Scale Wavefield Simulations.”

Prospective graduate students

I am constantly looking for qualified and motivated graduate students. Preferred qualifications will depend on the nature of research projects and specific information will be posted here as new positions become available.

Currently, there are two graduate research assistantship positions available in my group for Ph.D. students:

Project 1: local site effects and ground motions analysis. Preferred qualifications are:

  1. Prior research experience in the area of local site effects
  2. Research publications
  3. Competency in using computer programs such as Matlab

Project 2: experimental research on soil-structure-interaction using shake table tests. Preferred qualifications are:

  1. Prior experimental research background
  2. Research publications
  3. SSI experience
  4. Familiarity  with design codes

Learn more about our graduate programs 

Research interests

  • Shake table tests on deep and shallow foundations
  • Liquefaction and laterally spreading grounds, mitigation measures
  • Site response analysis and soil-structure-interaction
  • LRFD for deep foundations
  • Analysis and interpretation of ground motions for soil-structure system response evaluation

Current research projects

  1. Evaluation of Soil-Structure Interaction in the Seismic Design of Buildings
  2. Local Site Effects and Reducing Uncertainties in Ground Motion Prediction Equations by Incorporating Site Period
  3. Lateral Analysis and LRFD of Large-Diameter Drilled Shafts
  4. Validation of Advanced Modeling Techniques Using Instrumented Building and Downhole Array Data
  5. Shake Table Tests on Shallow Foundations in Liquefiable Soils
  6. Development of Site-Specific Vertical Ground Motions
  7. Helical Piles for Underpinning of Shallow Foundations on Soils Susceptible to Liquefaction
  8. Evaluation of Nonlinear Soil Response Using Geotechnical Downhole Arrays
  9. Exploration of Scaling Effects Based on Small and Large Diameter Drilled Shaft Load Test Data
  10. Calibration of Resistance Factors for LRFD of Axially Loaded Drilled Shafts in Las Vegas Valley

Selected publications

  1. O'Riordan, N., Almufti, I., Lee, J., Ellison, K., and Motamed, R. (2018) "Site response analysis for dynamic soil-structure interaction and performance-based design" ICE Proceedings Geotechnical Engineering (in press)
  2. Li, G., Motamed, R., and Dickenson, S. (2018) "Evaluation of One-Dimensional Multi-Directional Site Response Analyses Using Geotechnical Downhole Array Data" Earthquake Spectra. February 2018, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 349-376.
  3. Stanton, K., Motamed, R., and Elfass, S. (2017) "Robust LRFD resistance factor calibration for axially loaded drilled shafts in Las Vegas" Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 143, Issue 6, June 2017.
  4. Li, G., and Motamed, R. (2017) "Finite element modeling of soil-pile response subjected to liquefaction-induced lateral spreading in a large-scale shake table experiment" Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 92 (2017) 573-584.
  5. Motamed, R., Stanton, K., Almufti, I., Ellison, K., and Willford, M. (2016) "Improved Approach for Modeling Nonlinear Site Response of Highly Strained Soils: Case Study of the Service Hall Array in Japan" Earthquake Spectra, May 2016, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 1055-1074.
  6. Almufti, I., Motamed, R., Grant, D.N., and Willford, M. (2015) "Incorporation of velocity pulses in design ground motions for response history analysis using a probabilistic framework" Earthquake Spectra, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, August 2015, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 1647-1666.
  7. Motamed, R., Towhata, I., Honda, T., Tabata, K., and Abe, A. (2013) "Pile group response to liquefaction-induced lateral spreading: E-Defense large shake table test" Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 51, August 2013, pages 35-46.
  8. Motamed, R., and Towhata, I. (2010) "Shaking table tests on pile groups behind quay wall model undergoing lateral spreading" Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 136, No. 3, pp. 477-489.
  9. Motamed, R., and Towhata, I. (2010) "Mitigation measures for pile groups behind quay wall models undergoing lateral flow of liquefied soil: shaking table results" Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 30, Issue 10, October 2010, Pages 1043-1060.
  10. Motamed, R., Sesov, V., Towhata, I., and Anh, N.T. (2010) "Experimental modelling of large pile groups in sloping ground subjected to liquefaction-induced lateral flow: 1-G shaking table tests" Soils and Foundations, Vol.50, No.2, pp. 261-280.

Recent conference presentations

  1. Oruji, S., Ketabdar, M., Gregorian, K., and Motamed, R. (2019) “Climate Change Resiliency of Natural Gas Pipelines: Overview of Land Subsidence and Associated Issues in Central California” International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure, Los Angeles, CA, 7-9 November 2019.
  2. Jahed Orang, J. Toth, and Motamed, R. (2019) “Experimental Evaluation of Dynamic Response of Helical Piles in Dry Sand using 1g Shaking Table Tests” VII International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering (7ICEGE), Roma Italy, 17-20 June 2019.
  3. Motamed, R., Saxena, S., and Ryan, K. (2019) “Effects of Subsurface Soil Spatial Variability on Recorded Ground Motions at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant” SMiRT 25 - Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology Conference, August 4-9 2019, Charlotte, NC, USA..
  4. Jahed Orang, M., Bruketta, S., and Motamed, R. (2019) “Experimental Evaluation of Spatial Variability on Liquefaction-Induced Settlements” Geo-Congress 2019: The Eighth International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering, GSP 308, March 24 –27 2019, Philadelphia, PA, pp. 294-303.
  5. Toth, J.A.W. and Motamed, R. (2018) “Extrapolation of Unit Side Resistance in Drilled Shaft Foundations Based on Bi-Directional Load Test Data” DFI 43rd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, October 24-27 2018, Anaheim CA, pp. 351-360.
  6. Saxena, S., Anderson, J.G., and Motamed, R. (2018) “Incorporation of Site-Specific Attenuation Model using Kappa in Broadband Simulations” 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (11NCEE), June 25-29 2018, Los Angeles CA, Paper No. 432.
  7. Bitsani, A., Istrati, D., Buckle, I. G., Motamed, R., Elfass, S., Laplace, P. and Siddharthan, R. (2018) “Design of a Large-Scale Biaxial Soil-Box for Seismic Soil -Structure-Interaction Studies” 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (11NCEE), June 25-29 2018, Los Angeles CA, Paper No. 1683.
  8. Metz, A. Motamed, R., Stanton, K., Ellison, K., and Almufti, I. (2018) “Evaluation of Site Response Analysis for Vertical Ground Motions based on Geotechnical Downhole Array Records: Case Study of the Service Hall Array in Japan” 5th Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics (GEESD V), June 10-13 2018, Austin TX, GSP 291, pages 400-409.
  9. Metz, A., Stanton, K., and Motamed, R. (2017) “Data normalization and user interface design for the Nevada Department of Transportation Deep Foundation Load Test Database” DFI 42nd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, October 24-27 2017, New Orleans LA, pages 76-85.
  10. Toth, J.A.W., and Motamed, R. (2017) “Parametric study on liquefaction-induced building settlements using 1-g shake table experiments” 3rd International Conference on Performance-based Design in Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering (PBD-III), July 16-19 2017, Vancouver BC, Canada, Paper No. 149.
  11. Stanton, K., Ostovar, M., and Motamed, R. (2017) “The sensitivity of settlement predictions for an axially loaded drilled shaft to e50” Geotechnical Frontiers, March 12-15 2017, Orlando FL, Paper No. 170443.
  12. Ostovar, M., and Motamed, R. (2017) “Exploratory experimental evaluation of e50 in cohesive granular (c-f) soils” TRB 96th Annual Meeting, Washington DC, January 8-12 2017, Presentation No. 17-02548.
  13. Nasimifar, M., Siddharthan, R.V., Hajj, E. and Motamed, R., (2016) “Investigation of 3D-Move responses under traffic speed deflection devices (TSDDs)” The Roles of Accelerated Pavement Testing in Pavement Sustainability, Proceedings, 5th International Conference on Accelerated Pavement Testing, San Jose, Costa Rica, Sept. 2016, pp. 161 – 176, ISBN: 978-3-319-42796-6.
  14. Toth, J.A.W., Motamed, R. and Ghazavi, F. (2016) “Experimental evaluation of building settlements founded on liquefied soils” DFI 41st Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, October 12-15 2016, New York, pp. 677-687.
  15. Motamed, R. and Li, G. (2016) “Experimental and Numerical Evaluation of Lateral Forces on Pile Foundations in Laterally Spreading Grounds” TRB 95th Annual Meeting, January 10-14 2016, Washington DC, Presentation No. 16-4764.
  16. Motamed, R., Stanton, K., Elfass, S., and Kluzniak, B. (2016) “Development of the Nevada Deep Foundation Load Test Database: Drilled Shaft Component” TRB 95th Annual Meeting, January 10-14 2016, Washington DC, Presentation No. 16-3925.
  17. Li, G., and Motamed, R. (2015) “Numerical modeling of pile group response subjected to liquefaction-induced large ground deformation in E-Defense shake table test” 6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering (6ICEGE), 2-4 November 2015, Christchurch, New Zealand, paper no. 173.
  18. Motamed, R., Stanton, K., Almufti, I., Ellison, K., and Willford, M. (2015) “Effects of Multi-directional Shaking in Nonlinear Site Response Analysis: Case Study of 2007 Niigata-ken Chuetsu-oki Earthquake” 6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering (6ICEGE), 2-4 November 2015, Christchurch, New Zealand, paper no. 56.
  19. Stanton, K., Motamed, R., Elfass, S. and Ellison, K. (2015) “An Evaluation of the T-Z Analysis Employed in DFSAP” 40th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, October 12-15, 2015, Oakland, CA page 27-36.
  20. Motamed, R., Stanton, K., Nasimifar, M., Pearson, N., and Kluzniak, B. (2015) “A Methodology for Axially Loaded Drilled Shaft Performance Predictions Using DFSAP” International Foundations Congress and Equipment EXPO (IFCEE), San Antonio, TX, March 17-21, pp. 1791-1805.
  21. Motamed, R. and Lubkowski, Z. (2013) “Empirical evaluation of liquefaction-induced lateral spreading in waterfronts and sloping grounds” 7th National Seismic Conference on Bridges & Highways, Oakland, California, May 20-22 2013, paper no. C4-5.

Courses taught

  • CEE 442/642 Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering
  • CEE 443/643 Foundation Engineering Design
  • CEE 479/679 Earthquake Engineering
  • CEE 745 Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
  • CEE 746 Advanced Foundation Engineering
  • CEE 748 Advanced Geotechnical Laboratory

Group members

Ph.D. students

  1.  Reza Boushehri, 01/2019-present 
  2. Fahim Mashroor Bhuiyan, 01/2018-present 
  3. Swasti Saxena, 01/2018-present 
  4. Milad Jahed Orang, 08/2017-present 
  5. Joseph Toth, 01/2017-present 
  6. Gangjin Li, (graduated) 
  7. Kevin Stanton, (graduated) 

M.S. students (with thesis)

  1. Fahim Mashroor Bhuiyan
  2. Swasti Saxena
  3. Austin Metz, (graduated)
  4. Joseph Toth, (graduated) 
  5. Maryam Ostovar, (graduated)
  6. Seyed Farshid Ghazavi, (graduated)