In a country like Romania, where about two-thirds of the territory is affected periodically by strong earthquakes, the proper design of buildings to seismic actions is an essential prerequisite for the safety of the population. Structural engineers are responsible for taking appropriate measures in the design of buildings, so that these will not collapse in future earthquakes. This is accomplished by an intricate and laborious process, for which seismic codes provide the necessary rules and procedures. With the accession of Romania to the EU, the country has adopted several European standards and regulations, which have replaced or completed the national regulatory body. At the same time, national codes were harmonized with European standards, in the framework of a countrywide programme that started in the early '90s. The current Romanian code for the design of buildings for earthquake resistance, P100-1/2013, represents an improved version of the first European harmonized seismic code, P100-1/2006. Due to their increased complexity and novelty, the application of these codes in the design of buildings represents a significant challenge for the professional community. Practically all structural engineers more than 32 years old in the country were taught seismic design according to older codes. Several initiatives were taken for their professional upgrading, in which universities and professional associations were involved. However, the impact of these initiatives is still very low. An online platform for the instruction of structural design engineers in the use of the new seismic design code, based on the Moodle platform, is presently developed by the authors, in the framework of a complex research project, involving a consortium of three institutions: a university, a research institute and an IT organization. The platform will consist of a body of knowledge, supplemented with related wiki sections. Exercises, tests and quizzes will be included, to facilitate learning. A collection of multimedia resources, with video presentations of renowned specialists will be also available to users. Feedback from the professional community and from prospective users will be collected by questionnaires available on the platform. A forum will be also configured, to allow user interaction.
life-long learning, e-learning, seismic codes, building design, engineering education