IISEE Training

Outline of History

The International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (IISEE), at the Building Research Institute (BRI), was originally established in January 1962 as an organization dedicated to training to researchers and engineers in develoing countries and to carrying out researchers to contribute to earthquake disaster mitigation. Currently, IISEE carries out training courses with the Japan Internationla Cooperation Agency (JICA) and offers following three training programs. A total of 1,357 participants from 95 countries have completed the training courses, and these courses have received high praises in Japan and around the world. The IISEE-net (information network of earthquake disaster prevention technologies for buildings), which is accessible via the IISEE website,is effectively used by participants for their follow-up studies.

International Training on Seismology and Earthquake Engineering

Annual Training on Seismology and Earthquake Engineering


1960 Seismology Course


1960 Earthquake Engineering Course


Tsunami Disaster Mitigation Course



Global Seismological Observation Course





Individual Course




Number of Ex-participants of IISEE Training Courses (Distribution Map)

Annual Training on Seismology and Earthquake Engineering

Seismology Course and Earthquake Engineering Course

Participants at the Second World Conference on Earthquake Engineering in Tokyo in 1960 discussed and confirmed the need for training of young researchers in other countries in seismology and earthquake engineering. As a result, the first courses were given at Universith of Tokyo in the same year. The results of courses were widely acclaimed by the international community. Therefore, the Japanese Govenment established the International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (IISEE) in the Building Research Institute (BRI) to provide the training courses continuously. The second courses were given in the following year at Waseda University, and the IISEE took over the latter half of the course.

The 2nd Annual Training courses on Seismology and
Earthquake Engineering Participants (1961-1962)

Tsunami Desaster Mitigation Course

Gigantic tsunami generated by a major earthquake off Sumatra in 2004 wreaked havoc in the coastal areas of the Indian Ocean. In response, the Tsunami Disaster Mitigation Course was established in October 2006 to provide advanced education in earthquakes and tsunami, with the aim of training tsunami specialists whl can apply and diffuse their acquired knowledge and techniques in tsunami disaster mitigation in their home countries.

Height of tsunami along the coastlines devastated following the earthquake off Sumatra in 2004 (simulation result)

Master's Degree

Since October 2005, a part of the training course in partnership with the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) was certified as GRIOS's lecture course. Today, each trainee can get "Master of Disaster management" (former name is "Master of Disaster Mitigation") certified by GRIPS and BRI if he/she acquires required credits. On September 2006, 19 participants became the first graduates under new system. With diplomas, participants secure their complete background as specialists in seismology and earthquake engineering back in their home countries.
Awarding of master's degree by Chidf Executibve of BRI (GRIPS, 2006)

Support of UNESCO

In cooperation with UNESCO, the Japanese Government offered annual training courses from 1963 to 1972. Since 1972, the Japanese Govenment has continued to offer these courses independently. UNESCO sent experts to IISEE from 1985 to 1995. The outcome of these courses were reappraised later, and UNESCO dispatches experts again in 2007.
Logo whose use is granted by UNESCO

Courtesy visit to Minister of Land,
Infrastructure and Transports (2006)

Visit by President of JICA to the training course (2005)

Lecture at the training course (2006)

Visit to a construction site
(Sapporo, 2005)

Global Seismological Observation Course

The international community is making effors to put the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) into effect and to provide the International Monitoring System (IMS) to verify compliance with the CTBT. Seismological observation technology plays an important role in the IMS, because it can be used to detect nuclear explosions. At a request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IISEE started a training course on global seismological observation in 1995. This course is part of Japan's contribution to nuclear disarmament and is organized with the Japan Metrological Agency and JICA.

Participants' presentation (2005)

Study trip (Hiroshima, 2005)

Individual Course

IISEE accepts individual researchers from developing countries as part of our technical cooperation on earthquake damage mitigation. Under the Individual Course, subjects are selected that need urgent attention in each trainee's country or that are up-to-minute and essential. Individual Training programs are prepared to match the needs of each participant and are provided under the guidance of IISEE staff and lecturers from universities, reserach institutes, and private companies.

Outline of Training Courses

Training Facilities

Seismological Training Laboratory

The need for practical training in the techniques of observing seismic motions is rapidly increasing in every part of the world along with the need to understand the nature of earthquakes. To meet this need our Seismological Training Laboratory is equipped with strong and ultra-sensitive seismographs, and a data analyzer which helps participants to master techniques of seismological observation.


IISEE is conducting the library for researchers and participants. The collection contains 4,500 books and 150 kinds of periodicals related to seismology and earthquake engineering. Materials for training courses are also stored in the library.

Computer Room

Personal computers are essential for studies on seismology and earthquake engineering. IISEE has equipped enough personal computers to provide participants. Computer systems are connected to the computer network and are used in the lectures.


Staff Members and Lecturers

IISEE has 12 full-time staff members and many lecturers from universities, national research institutes and private companies. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) used to dispatch overseas experts until 1995.