EERI’s Concrete Coalition Looking for Help–
Summer Interns and Senior Experts

EERI’s Concrete Coalition Project has received funding from the U.S. Geological Survey to help further understand the problem associated with older concrete buildings. This USGS-supported project will develop and provide an initial analysis of a database of photographs from past earthquakes that illustrate common deficiencies contributing to the collapse of concrete buildings. Senior experts will develop protocols to determine deficiencies in the photos, and student volunteers will conduct a majority of the analyses.

EERI will hire four interns to work fulltime on this project for 2 ½ months in summer 2012. The students will find and analyze photos and possibly building drawings under the direction of senior volunteers and EERI staff. Some database development work may also be required. The expected timeframe for the work will be approximately June 1st to August 15th. A stipend of $3000 will be provided to each student.

In addition to the internships, EERI is looking for senior experts who would be willing to spend a few hours a week working with the student interns to find and interpret the photos, and possibly to help design the database.

The overarching objective of the USGS project is the development of a more systematic performance database that can help inform modelers, researchers and practitioners. It offers an opportunity for students to be involved in a meaningful and potentially ground-breaking exercise, and will link students with senior experts in the field. The product will be a credible and accessible record of concrete building performance in past earthquakes. This database will provide information on the relative importance of deficiencies with respect to collapse and vulnerability as well as information on actual failure modes for a variety of construction types, which can improve vulnerability relationships and the accuracy of regional loss estimates.

For buildings where the exact location is known, the protocols may include the use of ShakeMaps from the global atlas to identify ground motions to which the building was subjected. Recommendations will be made by the Technical Manager in consultation with the senior advisory panel on how the deficiency factors can be used to modify vulnerability functions for older concrete buildings in various countries in the world.

To apply for one of these internships, please send a cover letter and your resume to Maggie Ortiz at EERI ( by April 16th. Interviews will be scheduled for the week of April 23rd, and decisions made by April 30th. If you have any questions about these internships, please feel free to contact Maggie or Marjorie Greene at

To volunteer as a senior mentor or expert for the project, please contact Craig Comartin, director of the Concrete Coalition ( or EERI staff member Marjorie Greene at Questions? Feel free to contact either Craig or Marjorie.

The Concrete Coalition is a network of individuals, governments, institutions, and agencies with shared interest in assessing the risk associated with dangerous non-ductile concrete buildings and developing strategies for fixing them. It is a program of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center at UC Berkeley, the Applied Technology Council and their partners, including the Structural Engineering Association of California, the American Concrete Institute, BOMA of Greater Los Angeles and the U.S. Geological Survey.