3Qs: Assessing the effects of Japan’s earthquake

On Friday, a mas­sive 8.9-magnitude earth­quake struck off Japan’s north­east coast, causing wide­spread destruc­tion and thou­sands of deaths. It was one of the world’s largest quakes of the last cen­tury. Jerome Hajjar, chair of the Depart­ment of Civil and Envi­ron­mental Engi­neering, studies earth­quakes as a struc­tural engi­neer. Here, he assesses the impact of this quake and the field of earth­quake engineering.