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Mark Shwartz, News Service (650) 723-9296;

John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center launches distinguished lecture series Oct. 25

Tom Paulay, professor emeritus of civil engineering from New Zealand's University of Canterbury, will present the first John A. Blume Distinguished Lecture at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the Gates Building, Room B01.

The free, public lecture, "Compatibility Criteria Relevant to Displacement Ductility," will focus on how to determine compatibility between the material properties of a structure and the degree of horizontal movement it can withstand during an earthquake.

The lecture series is presented by the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center, which encourages the advancement of earthquake engineering research and education at Stanford.

The center was established in 1974 by a donation from John A. Blume, often called the "father of earthquake engineering." Blume earned his doctorate in civil and environmental engineering at Stanford in 1967 -- 34 years to the day after receiving his bachelor's degree on campus. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Blume is a three-time winner of the Leon S. Moisseiff Annual Award. Today at age 91, he remains a consulting professor in the department.

The John A. Blume Distinguished Lecture will be given once a year by a structural engineer whose career best exemplifies Blume's outstanding achievements.

Paulay, who has taught structural design and mechanics for 28 years, was a consultant to UNESCO in connection with the United Nations earthquake mitigation effort in the Balkan region. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers in New Zealand.

Parking will be available across the street at the Stanford Medical Center or in the parking structures on Campus Drive West and at the corner of Via Ortega and Panama.

For more information and directions, visit the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center website at or contact Racquel Hagen at (650) 723-4150 or


By Mark Shwartz

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