Earthquake engineering is a discipline which deals with the effects of earthquakes on buildings and other kinds of structures, including their equipment, and involves studies of the resistance of these structures to seismic loads. If problems in the field of earthquake engineering are to be adequately solved, then an interdisciplinary approach is needed. Most important is knowledge from the fields of the theory of structures and structural design, and the link with engineering seismology is a particularly strong one. Earthquakes produce non-linear cyclic deformations of structures, so good knowledge of the behaviour of materials and structures up to their limits of load-bearing capacity and deformability forms one of the most important elements of earthquake engineering. As a result, earthquake engineering is at the forefront among those disciplines which lead to further progress in the field of building structures.
Research in the field of earthquake engineering has been going on ever since IKPIR was first established. At first this research was limited to the elastic analysis of high-rise buildings. The result of this research was the development of the well-known computer program EAVEK, which is still today, in its updated and somewhat more sophisticated version, an irreplaceable tool when designing building structures. Later, research was extended to include the non-linear analysis of building structures, inelastic response spectra, the determination of seismic loads, energy-based methods, aseismic regulations, methodologies for aseismic design, the analysis and design of bridge structures, and computer tools for the support of aseismic design of structures.
Through their achievements, the researchers of IKPIR have become well-known in Slovenia, and have at the same time become involved in world-wide developments in earthquake engineering, so that the results of their research work are internationally recognized. This is proved by the numerous articles that have been published in international journals of high standing, by invitations to the position of visiting professor and lectures given at well-known foreign universities (including Stanford University, McMaster University at Hamilton, ETH of Zrich, Technion of Haifa, Tsinghua University of Peking), by membership of the editorial boards of a number of international journals (including Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, the Journal of Earthquake Engineering, Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering) and in the scientific committees of international conferences, by membership of the working committees of international professional organizations and of international committees for standardization, by cooperation over many years in international research projects, including those financed by the U.S. - Slovenian Joint Board for Scientific and Technological Cooperation (joint projects with the University of California, Berkeley, with Stanford University, and with NIST) and by the European Union (projects within the framework of the INCO-COPERNICUS, COST and TEMPUS programs), as well as by numerous Slovenian and foreign awards (including the most important national award for research work). The international workshop entitled "Non-linear seismic analysis and design of reinforced-concrete buildings", which was organized by IKPIR together with Stanford University and took place at Bled in Slovenia in 1992, was a particularly resounding success. Members of the research group also carry out, apart from their fundamental research, applicative and developmental studies, and the results of this work are transferred into practice through the updating of technical regulations, seminars, and developmental projects, as well as through the work of young researchers and students.