In short, my research interests include:

  • Liquefaction evaluation
  • Geotechnical earthquake engineering
  • Site response analyses
  • Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA)
  • Performance-based earthquake engineering

If you are still interested in learning more, read on…

I have spent several years as a graduate research assistant focused mainly in liquefaction evaluation.  My master’s thesis was focused on developing a simplified performance-based procedure to assess liquefaction triggering.  The simplified method that I developed centered around the use of reference parameter maps to simplify the process of performing a probabilistic liquefaction evaluation on routine projects that normally would not use a probabilistic method due to time and/or resource constraints.

My current research is in energy-based liquefaction evaluation, building off past work done by Samuel Lasley.  So far I have done some laboratory work (cyclic simple shear testing of dry sands) and a lot of analysis work (regressing relationships using data from past earthquakes and scrutinizing the current database of liquefaction case histories).  I have also done some work in site response analyses as part of PSHAs.


Journal Papers

Ulmer, K. and Franke, K. (2016). “Modified Performance-Based Liquefaction Triggering Procedure using Liquefaction Loading Parameter Maps.” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 142(3):1-11.

Franke, K., Ulmer, K., Ekstrom, L., and Meneses, J. (2016). “Clarifying the Differences between Traditional Liquefaction Hazard Maps and Probabilistic Liquefaction Reference Parameter Maps.”  Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 90:240-249.

Conference Papers

Ulmer, K., Franke, K., and Peterson, B. (2015). “Seismic Hazard Curves for the Probability of Liquefaction,” IFCEE 2015: International Foundations Congress and Equipment EXPO, pp. 1308-1317.

Ulmer, K., Ekstrom, L., and Franke, K. (2015). “Optimum Grid Spacing for Simplified Performance-based Liquefaction and Lateral Spread Displacement Parameter Maps.”  6ICEGE: 6th International Conference of Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering.  Christchurch, New Zealand.


“Performance-based Assessment of Liquefaction Triggering and Lateral Spread: A Simplified Approach,” Utah Liquefaction Advisory Group (ULAG) meeting, February 9th 2015.

“Energy-based Liquefaction Evaluation Procedure,” Center for Geotechnical Practice and Research (CGPR) Annual Meeting, March 30th 2017.

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