Archives for July 2012

Earthquake Spectra: New Web Site

The EERI journal Earthquake Spectra has a new online home at This website currently accesses the most recent EQS volumes (2010 through 2012). The new online host, Allen Press, is moving older content to this site and expects to finish the transition before July 31st. In the meantime, please visit to access the journal back to Volume 1. All subscribers to the online journal should have received an email with a personalized link to register for the new site. Clicking on the link takes the subscriber through the verification process specific to each user. If you have any problems during this process, contact for assistance.

Call for Spectra Papers on New Zealand Earthquakes

Through a collaboration between EERI and the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE), Earthquake Spectra will be publishing a special issue on the 2010-11 Canterbury, New Zealand, Earthquakes. Papers are invited on the engineering seismology, geotechnical, lifelines, structural engineering, and social and economic sciences aspects of the earthquakes and their effects.

Abstracts must be submitted in advance of the papers. Abstracts will be reviewed for quality and compatibility with the scope of the special issue. The guest editors may recommend the modification or combination of abstracts for the purpose of maintaining the specific focus and length requirements of the issue. Papers must cover material beyond those published elsewhere, including but not limited to the NZSEE Bulletin and SSA Special Issues on the Canterbury earthquakes. Papers on topics such as research using data from the earthquakes, code and guideline development based on observations from the earthquakes, and new emerging lessons for policy and regulation are strongly encouraged.

Abstracts of one page or less must be submitted by September 20, 2012, by email to with the subject indicating Abstract Submission for Canterbury Earthquakes Special Issue. Authors will be notified of decisions by October 20, 2012. Invited papers must be submitted online through the Earthquake Spectra manuscript submission web page by February 15, 2013. The special volume should appear in print in February 2014, the third anniversary of the 22 February 2011 event.

Prospective authors are encouraged to contact guest editors with expressions of interest, opportunities for collaboration with other authors and questions regarding scope. The Special Issue Guest Editors are

Structural Engineering:
           Ken Elwood (
           Stefano Pampanin (
Geotechnical/Lifelines Engineering:
           MiskoCubrinovski (
           Craig Davis (
           Thomas O’Rourke (
Social/Economical Impacts:
Mary Comerio
           David Johnston (

If you have questions about the online manuscript submission process, contact EQS Managing Editor Liz Hogan Stalnaker at

NEES/EERI Research to Practice Webinars

The seven webinars in the NEES-EERI series “Reducing Earthquake Losses: From Research to Practice” are available online free of charge at for anyone who did not have the opportunity to join the webinars live. (Those who participate in the webinars live can earn continuing education PDHs.)

The three most recent additions to the series are “Seismic Design Methodology for Precast Concrete Floor Diaphragms,” “Seismic Performance of Infill Frames,” and “NEEShub Databases and Tools: Resources for Earthquake Engineering Practice.”

To date, more than 1500 practitioners, researchers, and students from around the world have benefitted from these webinars.

EERI August Newsletter Available for Download

NEHRP Graduate Fellowship Awarded to Scott Swenson

Scott SwensonScott Swenson, a Ph.D. candidate in structural engineering & geomechanics at Stanford University, has been selected as the 2012-2013 NEHRP Graduate Fellow in Earthquake Hazard Reduction. Swenson was chosen from a group of 12 well-qualified applicants from the fields of architecture, geology, and structural and geotechnical engineering at universities in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon, South Carolina, and Virginia. The fellowship applications were reviewed by a committee chaired by Scott Olson of the University of Illinois (chair of the EERI Student Activities Committee).

Swenson is conducting research at Stanford’s John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering center on two approaches to improving the seismic performance of low-rise lightweight residential construction made of either wood or cold-formed steel framing. While not a major life-threatening risk, damage to residential housing has been a major contributor to earthquake losses and a disruption to families and community.

The first method involves strengthening and stiffening such structures inexpensively through tying in components that have classically been considered architectural (e.g. gypsum-clad walls and stucco façades) and utilizing more resilient component connections. For more vulnerable locations, a low-cost base isolation system for lightframe structures is being developed.

Swenson’s research envisions a system where all of the wall, ceiling and floor framing work together to resist seismic effects. By mobilizing all of the framing components, the goal is to make residential construction more economical while improving its seismic performance. In the coming months, Swenson’s team will perform physical tests of strengthened and stiffened walls, room enclosures, and a full-scale two-story house.

Swenson’s faculty supervisor, Professor Gregory Deierlein, stated “he has developed an innovative research program and has demonstrated his ability to take the initiative on experimental and computational research. Over the course of his research, he has collaborated with practicing engineers and engaged undergraduate students to assist him with the work. Finally, through his efforts to form the EERI Stanford Student Chapter and participate in other professional activities, Scott has demonstrated a genuine commitment to earthquake engineering research and practice.”

Upon completing his degree, Swenson plans to continue this innovative research on cost-effective seismic engineering methods as a professor. He envisions continued collaboration with industry to ensure that his research benefits practice.

EERI awards the NEHRP Graduate Fellowship each year in a cooperative program with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. The award is given to foster the participation of capable individuals in furthering the goals and practice of earthquake hazard mitigation. The fellowship provides $12,000 for a nine-month stipend and $8,000 for tuition, fees, and research expenses.

Housner Fellows Summer Institute

The enthusiastic inaugural class of eight Housner Fellows from five countries met in June for a successful five-day training session at Asilomar, California. The retreat setting facilitated intense discussions and bonding within the group. The session included training by EERI member Lucy Arendt, associate professor of management and director of the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Several seasoned EERI members met with the Fellows during the session to share their leadership experiences and insights, including EERI president Tom Tobin; Arrietta Chakos, chair of EERI’s Public Policy & Advocacy Committee; Housner Management Committee members Bill Iwan, Svetlana Brzev, and Simin Naaseh; and EERI volunteer David Bonowitz. The Fellows also had opportunities to begin work on both their group and individual projects, and to each meet separately with Lucy to discuss leadership skills. The Fellows will share their progress on their projects with EERI members through the website and updates in the Newsletter. For more information on the program, visit

Housner Fellows
Inaugural class of Housner Fellows: Back row: Hassan Mdala, Geological Survey of Malawi, Zomba; Danielle Hutchings, ABAG, Oakland, California; and Lindsey Maclise, Forell/Elsesser Engineers, San Francisco, California. Front row: Syed Ali, University of Engineering & Technology, Peshawar, Pakistan; Cale Ash, Degenkolb Engineers, Seattle, Washington; Kate Stillwell, EQECAT, Oakland, California; Carlien Bou-Chedid, Ghana Institution of Engineers, Accra; and Vivek Rawal, People-in-Centre Consulting, Ahmedabad, India.

EERI Interns Working on Concrete Coalition, Public Policy

This summer, the EERI office is livelier than ever with the presence of seven interns. From a strong pool of candidates, four talented students were selected as interns for Phase II of EERI’s Concrete Coalition Project. Sarah Bettinger, Edwin Lim, Quinn Peck, and Miguel Robles are scouring literature and reconnaissance photographs, with the guidance of practicing engineers, to assemble a database of concrete structures that collapsed or sustained significant damage in previous earthquakes in order to highlight the critical deficiencies in their design and construction. EERI’s current interns, Maggie Ortiz and Jonathon Tai, are serving as project coordinators for the Phase II work.

Sarah has undergraduate degrees in physics and civil engineering and is currently finishing her M.S. in structural engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Edwin was born and raised in West Borneo, Indonesia, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology under a Fulbright Scholarship. Quinn received a B.S. in civil engineering from Santa Clara University this past June and will return in the fall to complete his M.S. degree with an emphasis in structural engineering. Miguel graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering from PUCMM (Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, Dominican Republic) and received a Fulbright Scholarship in 2011 to pursue an M.S. at Virginia Tech with a structures concentration.

In addition to the Concrete Coalition interns, Sahar Derakhshan will be EERI’s second Public Policy intern. Sahar is a master’s student in UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and is working under the supervision of Arrietta Chakos, chair of EERI’s Public Policy & Advocacy Committee. She is working on clarifying EERI’s public policy priorities, media strategy, and the advocacy portion of the website.

Working on these projects advances EERI’s mission and offers the interns insight into their respective fields and the opportunity to network with many EERI professional members.

Maggie Ortiz, Quinn Peck, Sahar Derakhshan, Jonathon Tai, Sarah Bettinger, Edwin Lim, and Miguel Robles.

Public Policy & Advocacy Committee Meeting

Location:  EERI Headquartes, 499 14th Street Suite 220, Oakland, CA 94612-1934 USA