Dr John Douglas


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Personal statement

Welcome to my university webpages.

I am a Chancellor’s Fellow (Lecturer) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. My principal research interests are improving hazard and risk evaluations for natural perils, in particular earthquakes. Through various knowledge exchange activities (including consultancies) I seek to apply my skills in practice, e.g. within seismic hazard assessments for high-value infrastructure. My teaching and administrative responsibilities include being departmental exchange coordinator.

Please visit the Expertise tab for a summary of my professional experience (including a list of recent activities), the Research tab, the Teaching tab and the Publications tab to obtain more details. A recent presentation on my research is available for view here. My contribution to a panel discussion on the impact of induced seismicity for the insurance industry can be viewed here.

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in research or knowledge exchange (e.g. consultancy) collaborations. I am particularly interested to hear from fully-funded students interested in doing a PhD under my supervision.



Has expertise in:

    I completed my PhD in engineering seismology in 2001 at Imperial College London. Following two years as a post-doctoral researcher at Imperial, I was a senior engineering seismologist at BRGM (French Geological Survey) from 2004 until 2015 during which time I was involved in research, public service and commercial projects in many aspects of risk evaluation for various natural perils. From 2009 to 2014 I was a visiting professor at the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre, University of Iceland.

Prizes and awards

Young Researcher Prize (Prix du Jeune Chercheur)

more prizes and awards


Stress accumulation in the Marmara Sea estimated through ground-motion simulations from dynamic rupture scenarios
Aochi Hideo, Douglas John, Ulrich Thomas
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, (2017)
Recent and future developments in earthquake ground motion estimation
Douglas John, Edwards Benjamin
Earth-Science Reviews Vol 160, pp. 203–219, (2016)
FRACAS: a capacity spectrum approach for seismic fragility assessment including record-to-record variability
Rossetto Tiziana, Gehl Pierre, Minas Stylianos, Galasso Carmine, Duffour Philippe, Douglas John, Cook Oliver
Engineering Structures Vol 125, pp. 337-348, (2016)
An updated probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for Romania and comparison with the approach and outcomes of the SHARE project
Pavel Florin, Vacareanu Radu, Douglas John, Radulian Mircea, Cioflan Carmen, Barbat Alex
Pure and Applied Geophysics Vol 173, pp. 1881-1905, (2016)
Assessing components of ground-motion variability from simulations for the Marmara Sea region (Turkey)
Douglas John, Aochi Hideo
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America Vol 106, pp. 300-306, (2016)
Earthquake early warning and operational earthquake forecasting as real-time hazard information to mitigate seismic risk at nuclear facilities
Cauzzi Carlo, Behr Yannik, Le Guenan Thomas, Douglas John, Auclair Samuel, Woessner Jochen, Clinton John, Wiemar Stefan
Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering Vol 14, pp. 2495–2512, (2016)

more publications


Departmental exchange (Erasmus and international) advisor

CL329/CL332 Engineering Mathematics (Statistics), Year 3, 10 credits/5 ECTS, Semester 2 (sole lecturer)

CL931/CL957 Qualitative And Quantitative Research Methods, MSc., 10 credits/5 ECTS, Semester 1 (contributing lecturer)

CL434 Individual Project, Year 4, 20 credits/10 ECTS, Semesters 1 and 2 (project advisor)

Research interests

To evaluate the potential impact of a natural peril (e.g. an earthquake) it is necessary to consider the following three aspects:

  • hazard (e.g. how the ground shakes during an earthquake);
  • vulnerability (e.g. how a building responds to this shaking); and
  • exposure (e.g. how many of these buildings are in the zone of interest).

The combination of these three factors provides an estimate of the risk, which expresses the chance that a certain undesirable event (e.g. building collapse) may occur.

It is important to distinguish between the hazard, which cannot be altered, and the risk, which can be reduced (mitigated) by lower the vulnerability and exposure of the building stock. My research aims to improve earthquake risk evaluation for engineering purposes, in particular through the reduction of uncertainties in seismic hazard assessments. It is important that the hazard is neither over- nor under-estimated. Examples of the latter are dramatically displayed by damage to buildings that were constructed in accordance with the expected ground motion in the region. An over-estimated hazard leads to higher construction costs for seismic resistance, which consumes resources that could be better spent tackling other problems.

At Strathclyde I am particularly interested in problems related to hazard and risk assessments for the power and energy sector. For example, high-importance power facilities such as nuclear power plants must consider the impact of earthquakes. Another research focus is induced seismicity from projects in the geothermal and shale gas sectors.

One of my main interests is improving ground-motion prediction, i.e. providing better models of the shaking to expect at a site given a particular earthquake at a certain distance. Such models are a basis of seismic hazard assessment. I maintain a compendium of published models, which now number many hundreds.

Professional activities

16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Member of programme committee
16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Invited speaker
COMET Annual Meeting 2017
Using targeted risk in seismic design codes: A summary of the state of the art and some recent work
6th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering and 2nd National Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology
Member of programme committee
External examiner (rapporteur) for the PhD viva of Boumediene Derras
External Examiner

more professional activities


Consultancy for Fircroft
Douglas, John (Principal Investigator)
Reviewer of the ground-motion prediction part of the Groningen induced seismicity risk assessment
Period 06-Jul-2015 - 28-Oct-2015

more projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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