James Kaklamanos

Academic Title

Associate Professor, Civil Engineering

  • Evaluation and Improvement of Earthquake Site Response Models
  • Earthquake Ground Motion Models
  • Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analyses
  • Geotechnical Engineering Education

Professor Kaklamanos specializes in geotechnical engineering, which concerns the behavior of earth materials and their effects on the built environment. His primary area of research focuses on the prediction of earthquake-induced ground motion, an important component of any seismic hazard analysis. With improved methods of assessing earthquake hazards, engineers will be better able to design earthquake-resistant structures, and ultimately reduce the loss of life and property during earthquakes. Professor Kaklamanos’ projects have involved statistical and theoretical modeling in site response analyses and ground-motion prediction equations, requiring a balance between data-driven statistics and attention to the underlying physics of the models. He served as the lead guest editor for a special section on Advances in Site Response Estimation in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America published in 2021, and is a member of a working group through the U.S. Geological Society tasked with improving the National Seismic Hazard Model in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains. For more information on Professor Kaklamanos’ research projects, please visit his research website.

  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University
  • M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University
  • B.S.C.E., Civil Engineering, Tufts University

  • Earthquake Engineering
  • Engineering Seismology
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Site Response

Journal articles

  • Boore, D. M., R. R. Youngs, A. R. Kottke, J. J. Bommer, R. Darragh, W. J. Silva, P. J. Stafford, L. Al Atik, A. Rodriguez Marek, and J. Kaklamanos (2022). “Construction of a Ground Motion Logic Tree through Host to Target Region Adjustments Applied to an Adaptable Ground Motion Prediction Model,” Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 112, No. 6, in press.
  • Kaklamanos, J., A. Cabas, S. Parolai, and P. Guéguen (2021). “Introduction to the Special Section on Advances in Site Response Estimation,” Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 111, No. 4, pp. 1665–1676.
  • Kaklamanos, J., B. A. Bradley, A. N. Moolacattu, and B. M. Picard (2020). “Physical Hypotheses for Adjusting Coarse Profiles and Improving 1D Site-Response Estimation Assessed at 10 KiK-net Sites,” Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 110, No. 3, pp. 1338–1358.
  • Meite, R., L. Wotherspoon, J. Kaklamanos, C. McGann, and C. Hayden (2020). “Sensitivity of 1-D Ground Motion Predictions to Analysis Codes and Material Models Using KiK-net Vertical Arrays,” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 133, Article 106113.
  • Kaklamanos, J., and B. A. Bradley (2018). “Challenges in Predicting Seismic Site Response with 1D Analyses: Conclusions from 114 KiK-net Vertical Seismometer Arrays,” Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 108, No. 5A, pp. 2816–2838.
  • Baise, L. G., J. Kaklamanos, B. M. Berry, and E. M. Thompson (2016). “Soil Amplification with a Strong Impedance Contrast: Boston, Massachusetts,” Engineering Geology, Vol. 202, pp. 1-13.
  • Kaklamanos, J., L. G. Baise, E. M. Thompson, and L. Dorfmann (2015). “Comparison of 1D Linear, Equivalent-Linear, and Nonlinear Site Response Models at Six KiK-net Validation Sites,” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Vol. 69, pp. 207–219.
  • Kaklamanos, J., L. Dorfmann, and L. G. Baise (2015). “A Simple Approach to Site Response Modeling: The Overlay Concept,” Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 86, No. 2A, pp. 413–423.
  • Kaklamanos, J., B. A. Bradley, E. M. Thompson, and L. G. Baise (2013). “Critical Parameters Affecting Bias and Variability in Site Response Analyses Using KiK-net Downhole Array Data,” Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 103, No. 3, pp. 1733–1749.

Papers in conference proceedings and edited books

  • Kaklamanos, J., S. T. Ghanat, C. M. Shillaber, T. Kunberger, B. Barry, S. Griffiths, C. Walton-Macaulay, S. Immanuel, D. A. Saftner, and C. Swan (2022). “Instruction and Assessment of Mohr’s Circle Concepts in Undergraduate Geotechnical Engineering Courses,” American Society for Engineering Education 2022 Annual Conference and Exposition, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 26–29 June 2022.
  • Kaklamanos, J., N. Chowdhury, A. Cabas, A. R. Kottke, and N. Gregor (2021). “Sensitivity of Site Response Analyses to Input Motion Selection Protocols,” Geo-Extreme 2021: Climatic Extremes and Earthquake Modeling, 7–10 Nov. 2021, Savannah, Ga., American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Geotechnical Special Publication No. 329, C. L. Meehan, M. A. Pando, B. A. Leshchinsky, and N. H. Jafari (eds.), pp. 367–378.
  • Gann, C., I. Chowdhury, A. Cabas, and J. Kaklamanos (2020). “Effects of Input Motions from Different Tectonic Settings on Seismic Slope Stability Analyses,” 17th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Sendai, Japan, 13–18 September 2020.
  • Chowdhury, I. N., A. Cabas, J. Kaklamanos, A. Kottke, N. Gregor, and K. M. Lang (2019). “Ground Motion Selection Using the Conditional Spectrum: Insights for Different Tectonic Environments,” Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering for Protection and Development of Environment and Constructions: Proceedings of the VII ICEGE Seventh International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, Rome, Italy, 17–20 June 2019, CRC Press, F. Silvestri and N. Moraci (eds.), pp. 1803–1811.
  • Mirshekari, M., M. Ghayoomi, and J. Kaklamanos (2019). “Sensitivity of Seismic Site Response to Fluctuations in Water Levels,” Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering for Protection and Development of Environment and Constructions: Proceedings of the VII ICEGE Seventh International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, Rome, Italy, 17–20 June 2019, CRC Press, F. Silvestri and N. Moraci (eds.), pp. 3958–3965.
  • Ghanat, S. T., J. Kaklamanos, T. Kunberger, C. Walton-Macaulay, S. Immanuel, D. A. Saftner, B. E. Barry, S. Griffiths, C. M. Shillaber, and C. Swan (2019). “Bias and Precision in Instructor Grading of Concept Inventories in Geotechnical Engineering Courses,” American Society for Engineering Education 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition, Tampa, Florida, 16-19 June 2019.
  • Ghanat, S. T., J. Kaklamanos, C. Walton-Macaulay, S. I. Selvaraj, D. A. Saftner, C. Swan, and T. Kunberger (2018). “Assessing the Impact of Educational Factors on Conceptual Understanding of Geotechnical Engineering Topics,” American Society for Engineering Education 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition, Salt Lake City, Utah, 24–27 June 2018.
  • Kaklamanos, J., and B. A. Bradley (2018). “Insights from KiK-net Data: What Input Parameters Should be Addressed to Improve Site Response Predictions?” Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics V: Seismic Hazard Analysis, Earthquake Ground Motions, and Regional-Scale Assessment, 10–13 June 2018, Austin, Texas, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Geotechnical Special Publication No. 291, S. J. Brandenberg and M. T. Manzari (eds.), pp. 454–464.
  • Ghanat, S. T., J. Kaklamanos, S. I. Selvaraj, C. Walton-Macaulay, and M. Sleep (2017). “Assessment of Students’ Prior Knowledge and Learning in an Undergraduate Foundation Engineering Course,” American Society for Engineering Education 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition, Columbus, Ohio, 25–28 June 2017.
  • Cross, T. C., and J. Kaklamanos (2016). “Incorporating Natural Disasters into the Undergraduate Civil Engineering Curriculum: A Case Study Using Hurricane Katrina and the Oso Landslide,” Chapter 7 in “Planning for Community-based Disaster Resilience Worldwide: Learning from Case Studies in Six Continents,” A. Awotona (ed.), Routledge, London, 490 p.
  • Ghanat, S. T., J. Kaklamanos, K. Ziotopoulou, S. I. Selvaraj, and D. J. Fallon (2016). “A Multi-Institutional Study of Pre- and Post-Course Knowledge Surveys in Undergraduate Geotechnical Engineering Courses,” American Society for Engineering Education 2016 Annual Conference and Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana, 26–29 June 2016.
  • Kaklamanos, J., and K. T. Elmy (2016). “Development of a Geotechnical Engineering Software Package in R and Its Implementation in the Civil Engineering Curriculum,” Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Congress 2016, Phoenix, Arizona, 14-17 February 2016, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), C. Y. Chandran and M. I. Hoit (eds.), pp. 635–647.
  • Kaklamanos, J., and B. A. Bradley (2015). “Evaluation of 1D Nonlinear Total-Stress Site Response Model Performance at 114 KiK-net Downhole Array Sites,” Sixth International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2–4 November 2015.

  • Named as one of New Hampshire’s 40 Under Forty by the New Hampshire Union Leader, 2022
  • United States Universities Council for Geotechnical Education and Research (USUCGER) Early Career Educator Award, 2022.
  • Recognized as a New Face in Geoengineering by the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Geo-Institute, 2020.
  • Thomas C. Evans Best Paper Award, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Southeastern Section, 2020.
  • BSCES College Educator Award, Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section/ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), 2019.
  • Distinguished Service Award, Tufts University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2019.
  • Inaugural Zampell Family Faculty Fellowship, Merrimack College, 2018-2019.
  • Excellence in Civil Engineering Education New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2017.
  • Selected as one of the Top Ten New Faces of Civil Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2017.
  • Award of Excellence at the Professors’ Driven Pile Institute, Pile Driving Contractors Association, 2015.
  • ExCEEd Teaching Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2013.

Professor Kaklamanos joined the faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering at Merrimack College in fall 2012, after obtaining his degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Tufts University (BSCE 2008, M.S. 2010, Ph.D. 2012). He specializes in geotechnical engineering, and his research focuses in the area of geotechnical earthquake engineering, specifically on the improvement of models for predicting earthquake-induced ground motions.

At Merrimack College, Professor Kaklamanos has taught courses in geotechnical engineering, foundation engineering, earth retaining structures, earthquake engineering, engineering mechanics, and engineering probability and statistics. He serves as the chief faculty advisor to Merrimack’s newly established chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society. At the local and national levels, he has been involved in the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Seismological Society of America, and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. Professor Kaklamanos has provided his expertise in seismic consulting for several high-level infrastructure projects throughout the United States.