Professor Emeritus Vitelmo V. Bertero Passed Away

Vitelmo V. Bertero, CEE faculty member for 33 years, and a world-renowned pioneer, expert, and leader in the field of earthquake engineering, died on Oct. 24.  He was 93.

Professor Bertero was a CEE faculty member from 1958 to 1991. From 1988 to 1990, he was the Director of the Berkeley's Earthquake Engineering Research Center, the predecessor to PEER (Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center), and a hub for analytical and experimental earthquake engineering research, information resources, and public service programs.

He conducted numerous integrated analytical and experimental studies on seismic behavior of civil engineering facilities. He developed comprehensive methods of seismic design of steel moment frames, steel braced frames, reinforced concrete (RC) frames, RC shear walls, and masonry structures.

Professor Bertero conducted many pioneering research studies including: elastic and inelastic seismic structural response due to near-fault directivity pulses in the early 1970s; classic experimental work on cyclic behavior of beam-column steel and RC sub-assemblages; original experimental work on cyclic versus monotonically deformed behavior of RC moment resisting frames and shear walls; innovative study on the understanding and applications of energy-based methods in earthquake-resistant design and damage evaluation; and the development of conceptual framework and the design- objective matrix for performance-based earthquake engineering.

In 1990, Professor Bertero was awarded the Berkeley Citation, UC’s highest honor.  Among other awards in the US, he received the ASCE Nathan Newmark Award (1991); ACI Arthur Anderson Award (1989); AISC T.R.Higgins Lectureship Award (1990); and EERI Housner Medal (1995). In 1990, Engineering News Record recognized him as the “Construction Man of the Year” for “advancing the science of earthquake engineering,” and described him as the “impassioned professor who advances earthquake engineering through research.”

In 1997, the EERC-CUREe Symposium in Honor of Vitelmo V. Bertero was held at UC Berkeley, where a global assembly of individuals and organizations of researchers and engineering practitioners participated during the two-day event. 

In 2006, Professor Bertero was named one of the “Top 10 Seismic Engineers of the 20th Century” by the Applied Technology Council and Engineering News Record.

For more information—including a video of Professor Bertero, see Vitelmo V. Bertero – October 24, 2016 (PEER, 10/28/16)