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Steven L. Kramer

Faculty Photo

Professor Emeritus
Civil & Environmental Engineering

  • (206) 685-2642
  • MOR 132E
  • CV


Steve Kramer received his BS, M.Eng., and PhD degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in 1977, 1979, and 1985, respectively. Kramer joined the geotechnical group in the University of Washington Department of Civil Engineering in 1984. He taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in geotechnical engineering, and advised numerous graduate students on Masters and Ph.D. research projects. His primary research interests included soil liquefaction, site response analysis, seismic slope stability, and hazard analysis. He continues to conduct research work in the area of performance-based earthquake engineering, specifically the integration of probabilistic response analyses with probabilistic seismic hazard analyses.

Kramer is the author of the book Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and of numerous technical papers and reports. He has been the recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, the Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award from ASCE, a Walter Huber Research Prize from ASCE, the 2009 and 2017 Norman Medals from ASCE, the 2018 H. Bolton Seed Medal from ASCE, and the 2018 Nabor Carillo Lecture Award from the Mexican Society of Geotechnical Engineering. He was named as a Distinguished Member of ASCE and elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2020. Kramer was a Senior Research Scientist in the International Centre for Geohazards at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) in 2003, and is also a member of the faculty of the European School for Advanced Studies in the Reduction of Seismic Risk (the ROSE School) at the University of Pavia in Italy.

Kramer has served as a consultant to private firms and government agencies on projects including high-rise structures, bridges, dams, seawalls, levees, underground structures, offshore structures/facilities, and nuclear facilities in the U.S. and abroad. 


  • Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1985
  • M.Eng. in Geotechnical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1979
  • B.S. in Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1977

Honors & awards

  • National Academy of Engineering, 2020
  • Distinguished Member, ASCE, 2020
  • U.C. Berkeley Academy of Distinguished Alumni, 2020
  • Washington State Academy of Science, 2020
  • Nabor Carrillo Lecture Award, Mexican Society of Geotechnical Engineering, 2018
  • H. Bolton Seed Medal, ASCE, 2018
  • Norman Medal, ASCE, 2017
  • Nigel Priestley International Prize, European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering (EUCENTRE), 2016
  • Puget Sound Academic Engineer of the Year, Puget Sound Engineering Council, 2012
  • Norman Medal, ASCE, 2009
  • John R. Kiely Professorship, University of Washington, 1997
  • Walter Huber Research Prize, ASCE, 1996
  • Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award, ASCE, 1991
  • Presidential Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation, 1988
  • Research Initiation Award, National Science Foundation, 1985
  • Honor Students Society, University of California at Berkeley, 1976
  • Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society, 1976