Baker Research Group

Our group develops and uses probabilistic and statistical tools for managing risk due to extreme loads on the built environment. We have investigated seismic loads on spatially distributed systems, characterization of earthquake ground motions, performance of damaged infrastructure systems, and probabilistic risk assessments for a number of types of structures.

Professor Baker joined the Stanford faculty in 2006 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), where he was a visiting researcher in the Department of Structural Engineering. He has degrees in Structural Engineering (Stanford, M.S. 2002, Ph.D. 2005), Statistics (Stanford, M.S. 2004) and Mathematics/Physics (Whitman College, B.A. 2000). He has industry experience in seismic hazard assessment, ground motion selection, probabilistic risk assessment, and modeling of catastrophe losses for insurance and reinsurance companies. His awards include the Shah Family Innovation Prize from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the Early Achievement Research Award from the International Association for Structural Safety and Reliability, the Walter L. Huber Prize from ASCE, the Helmut Krawinkler Award from the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, and the Eugene L. Grant Award for excellence in teaching from Stanford.

Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative

Much of our research falls under the Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative (SURI), a group focused on research to improve the resilience of communities to natural disasters.

Book project

Jack Baker, Brendon Bradley and Peter Stafford are writing a book on seismic hazard and risk analysis. Sign up at to receive updates.

Recent news

9/14/2020: Jack Baker and Ganyu Teng presented "Selection of CyberShake Simulated Ground Motion Time Series for Engineering Analysis," and Jack presented "Guidelines on Utilization of Simulated Ground Motions for Engineering Building Response Applications," at the 2020 SCEC Annual Meeting

8/31/2020: Congratulations to Anne Hulsey, for completing her Ph.D. dissertation  "The community impact of post-earthquake safety decisions based on damage to tall buildings and elevated hazard due to aftershocks." She will next continue her work as a postdoctoral scholar at University of Auckland. 

8/17/2020: Are you checking these 38 formatting items when you write your academic papers? Check out the new Paper Formatting Advice document on the Advice page for some ideas.

8/7/2020: Jack Baker is a Co-PI on the Stanford Impact Labs accelerator focused on climate change resilience and equitable adaptation strategies.

7/15/2020: Sabine Loos Co-Chaired the Natural Hazards Center Researchers Meeting and presented on "Building Transparent, Human-Centric Tools to Rapidly Assess Post-Disaster Impacts and Needs." Rodrigo Costa presented "An Integrated Approach for Predicting Post-earthquake Household Displacement" at the meeting. Sabine and Rodrigo also moderated sessions on "The development of metrics, models, and big data in disaster research" and "Novel data and models to predict recovery," respectively.

6/16/2020: Not all students have access to guidance on how to navigate the unique world of academia. Importantly, equity and diversity in academia are hurt by this uneven playing field. To help address the situation, I have developed an Advice section to explain some aspects of academic research.

6/5/2020: Jack Baker is one of more than 80 signatories of a Statement on Systemic Racism and Disasters from the North American Alliance of Hazards and Disaster Research Institutes .

5/5/2020: Anne Hulsey is presenting on "Opportunities in Rebuilding the Built Environment," as part of an upcoming EERI webinar on Reconnaissance Lessons Learned During the 2019 EERI New Zealand Travel Study Program.

4/27/2020: Jack Baker was quoted in a Stanford News article, regarding a new paper he co-authored as part of his work with the Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity.

4/20/2020: Maryia Markhvida's recent paper on well-being losses in disasters was featured in Stanford News.

3/30/2020: Congratulations to Corinne Bowers for being selected as a 2020 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow!

3/30/2020: Congratulations to Maryia Markhvida for the publication of her paper, "Quantification of disaster impacts through household well-being losses" in Nature Sustainability. The paper was written in collaboration with Brian Walsh and Stephane Hallegatte of the World Bank.

3/6/2020: Anne Hulsey presented "Assessing the Safety of Tall Pre-Northridge Steel Frame Buildings and Implications on Post-Earthquake Cordoning and Recovery," Jack Baker presented "Selection of simulated CyberShake time series for engineering building code analyses," and Ganyu Teng received the Graduate Student Paper Award at the 2020 National Earthquake Conference in San Diego.

2/24/2020: Jack Baker produced two new videos, describing processes for developing presentations and graphic elements. The videos are available here: Part I and Part II.

2/11/2020: Jack Baker gave a presentation, "Advances in simulation of post-earthquake recovery for performance based engineering and resilience" at UCLA, as part of the EERI-SEAOSC Distinguished Speaker Series.

2/2/2020: Corinne Bowers and Gitanjali Bhattacharjee are presenting on their research at the Stanford Hard Earth speaker series.

1/30/2020: Jack Baker, Rodrigo Costa, Maryia Markhvida and Adam Zsarnóczay participated in the NHERI SimCenter workshop on Simulation and Data Needs to Support Disaster Recovery Planning in Berkeley, CA.

1/17/2020: Jack Baker gave a plenary presentation, "Performance-based Engineering for Simulation of Regional Post-Earthquake Recovery and Resilience," and Anna Hulsey and Rodrigo Costa presented posters, at the 2020 PEER Annual Meeting in Berkeley, CA.

1/2/2020: Congratulations to Ganyu Teng for receiving the EERI 2019 Student Paper Award for her Earthquake Spectra paper, "Evaluation of SCEC CyberShake Ground Motions for Engineering Practice."

click here for older news...

Jack Baker