Earthquake resilience in the Cascadia Subduction Zone

Designed For
Professionals interested in learning about the impact of earthquakes on electrical systems resilience in the Pacific Northwest and ways to prepare these systems for a major event.
Online | Self-paced
2.0 CEUs

The Pacific Northwest is regularly struck by large earthquakes (i.e., magnitude 9.0) from the Cascadia Subduction Zone fault. The last of these earthquakes was approximately 300 years ago, but there is an estimated 30% chance of another large earthquake occurring within the next 50 years. Electrical systems are vulnerable to earthquakes and exhibit many different modes of failure, and it's important to analyze these vulnerabilities carefully in order to prepare.

This course discusses some of the vulnerabilities and failure modes of large electrical systems in earthquakes, and also provides tools for analyzing, quantifying and improving systems resilience.

This online self-paced course will help you:

  • Describe Pacific Northwest geology and frequency of earthquake events
  • Define multiple types of damage mechanisms, such as shaking, tsunami, liquefaction, landslides and flooding due to subsidence
  • Describe current preparedness levels of the Pacific Northwest as compared to those of more experienced countries
  • Describe current anticipated costs and impacts of a major subduction event to the Pacific Northwest
  • Describe how to use IEEE Std 693, the recommended practice for seismic design of substations
  • Describe typical types of electrical equipment vulnerabilities, mitigation techniques and strategies
  • Demonstrate application of the Performance Based Earthquake Engineering risk analysis framework

You will also cover background information on the Cascadia Subduction Zone fault, benchmarks for similar earthquakes, electrical equipment standards, and tools and metrics for quantifying resilience.

  • Ted K.A. Brekken (Senior Member, IEEE)

    Ted Brekken
    Ted K.A. Brekken is a professor in energy systems at Oregon State University. He received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1999, 2002, and 2005, respectively. He studied electric vehicle motor design at Postech in Pohang, South Korea, in 1999. He also studied wind turbine control at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway in 2004–2005 on a Fulbright scholarship. His research interests include control, power electronics, electric drives, advanced control and modeling techniques applied to renewable energy systems, and electrical system resilience. He is director of the Wallace Energy Systems and Renewables Facility (WESRF). He is a recipient of an NSF CAREER, the IEEE Power & Energy Society 2011 Outstanding Young Engineer award, and numerous teaching and research awards.