New course now available on-demand – register now!

If you are not currently logged into ASCE, you will be asked to log in or create an ASCE account.

Certificate programs     

Save up to $275 when you purchase this course through the Port Engineering Certificate Program

Sponsored by COPRI and the COPRI Ports and Harbors Committee Certificate in Port Engineering Task Committee


2.4 CEUs / 24 PDHs


Member $1045 | Non-member $1345 —new lower pricing


Gayle Johnson, P.E., M.ASCE 
Marc Percher, P.E., M.S., M.ASCE 

Purpose & background

Piers and wharves present design challenges that differ considerably from buildings and similar structures. Conventional Building Codes, Section 11 specifically, excludes piers and wharves with no public access. To standardize industry practice for piers and wharves, the port/marine industry developed a seismic design standard, ASCE 61-14, to describe the interactions and performance between pile-supported structures and geotechnical load considerations to mitigate seismic risk. This Standard uses displacement-based design methods to establish guidelines for the design of piers and wharves to withstand the effects of earthquakes.

This course will help engineers and other practitioners understand the history of codes and standards, the fundamentals of seismic design, the background of ASCE 61-14 provisions, and the practical implementation of seismic design for piers and wharves with illustrative examples.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the provisions of ASCE 61-14.
  • Explain the development history and conflicts in the latest codes, standards, and resources for piers and wharves.
  • Identify and design for the types of piers and wharf structures supported on concrete or steel piles.
  • Describe the types of seismic design classification, performance requirements, and seismic hazard levels.
  • Describe the required process and applicable federal, state, and local design criteria for designing a pier and wharf.
  • Apply understanding of geotechnical/structural interaction on design.
  • Describe force-based design, displacement-based design, and performance-based design.
  • Understand the process, procedures, and requirements of design and detailing.
  • Identify the ancillary and nonstructural components of piers and wharves.

Who should attend?

  • Terminal owners and operators
  • Public and private port engineering community
  • Civil, structural, geotechnical, and mechanical engineers
  • Academia and researchers working on marine and waterfront facilities
  • Building officials

Policies & system requirements