James M. Kelly

James M. Kelly
Professor Emeritus
Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials
Office 782 Davis Hall
Email jmkelly@berkeley.edu
Phone (510) 665-3470
Fax (510) 665-3456

Office Hours:

  • Tues. Thurs. 3.30-5.00pm


James M. Kelly is presently Professor in the Graduate School at the University of California at Berkeley. In recent years he has been primarily concerned with seismic response of structures and new methods of seismic-resistant design. He has carried out numerous large-scale experimental studies of isolation systems, structures with energy-absorbing devices, and structures with piping systems on the large shaking table at the Earthquake Engineering Research Center (EERC) of U.C. Berkeley. He has recently been involved in the development of energy-absorbing devices for the seismic protection of tall structures for which base isolation is not feasible. The energy-absorbing devices explored in this test program have included frictional devices and devices using high-damping viscoelastic materials and shape-memory alloys. Professor Kelly has been the leading proponent in the United States of using multilayer elastomeric bearings for seismic protection of buildings, and through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) he has been instrumental in developing low-cost seismic isolation systems for the protection of housing and other structures in earthquake-prone developing countries. He has just published the second edition of his book based on his many years of research and testing at EERC (Earthquake-Resistant Design with Rubber, 2nd ed.), which applies this research for the design of base isolation systems using natural rubber isolators. Dr. Kelly has published over 300 papers over the course of his career.


Ph.D. - Civil Engineering, Stanford University, 1962
S.M. - Engineering, Brown University, 1959
B.Sc.(First Class Honors) - Civil Engineering, University of Glasgow, 1956