2014 EERI Board Elections: Meet the Candidates

The following candidates were nominated for the 2014 EERI Board. EERI members will vote for their candidates from November 1, 2013 to January 1, 2014. EERI members will be notified via email with voting instructions, including a unique link to an online ballot.

Mary Comerio, Professor, Department of Architecture, UC Berkeley, CA (M. EERI, 1988)

Director A:
Charlie Huyck, Executive Vice President, ImageCat, Inc., Long Beach, CA (M. EERI, 2002)
James Malley, Structural Engineer, Degenkolb Engineers, San Francisco (M. EERI, 1990)

Director B:
David Frost, Professor of Civil Engineering, Georgia Tech, Atlanta (M. EERI, 2007)
David Wald, Seismologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Lakewood, CO (M. EERI, 1988)

Below is a full list of the candidates’ biographies and vision statements (a PDF of the list is also available for downloading and printing).


Mary Comerio: Biography

Professor Mary ComerioMary Comerio is Professor in the Graduate School at UC Berkeley and a faculty member in Architecture since 1978, serving at Chair from 2006 to 2009.

As an architect, she has designed numerous public- and private facilities but her career focus has been on seismic safety for housing and post-disaster recovery. She is the author of numerous publications, bringing together engineering and retrofit technologies, economic impacts and policy guidance.

From 1998 through 2002, Comerio led the Disaster Resistant University Initiative, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and UC Berkeley. Comerio used the UC Berkeley campus as a model for a national program for evaluating hazards and developing plans for strengthening buildings and post-disaster teaching and research resumption.

She conducts interdisciplinary research with colleagues at multiple universities through the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center, and led the Building Systems team with Prof. Helmut Krawinkler of Stanford University. Comerio developed the “downtime” component of loss models used in Performance Based Earthquake Engineering methods. She has recently completed work on a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grand Challenge research project to mitigate the risk of collapse in concrete buildings.

Comerio has been a Visiting Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California (2010) and an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury (2003, 2013). She has worked on post-disaster recovery for the United Nations Environment Program in China and Haiti, and the United Nations Development Program in Chile. In May 2011, she received the Green Star Award from the United Nations for her work in post-disaster reconstruction.  In May 2013, she received the U.C. Berkeley, Chancellor’s Public Service Award for Research in the Public Interest.

Comerio is a past member of the EERI Board of Directors, past member of the Honors Committee, current member of the LFE committee, and a member of the EERI reconnaissance teams to Umbria and L’Aquila and leader of the teams to Christchurch. In addition to her EERI activities, she is currently on the GEER advisory board and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) Engineering Criteria Review Board.

Mary Comerio: Vision Statement

It is an honor to be asked to stand for election as the Institute’s president. I want to thank the nominating committee for expressing its confidence in me, and ask you for your support.

EERI is a unique professional organization—it is a place where people come together from a variety of backgrounds to think and talk about earthquake engineering, disaster loss reduction and resilience. EERI is a true “community of interests” and it provides an opportunity for anyone interested in earthquakes to share ideas and to learn from others. It is also an extended family of colleagues and friends; a place to create an intersection between professional work  and broader community goals. EERI gives members an opportunity to participate in Learning from Earthquakes reconnaissance missions and special projects like the World Housing Encyclopedia, the Concrete Coalition workshops and technical seminars.

My vision for the organization is to maintain our strengths and broaden our audience. We need to reach out to and include more young people—engineers, planners, architects, policy wonks and others—in our membership, to keep the conversation lively and current. We also need to reach out to and collaborate with other professions whose work can influence long-range polices for seismic safety and hazard assessment. Overall, we need to focus on the challenges of “resilient cities” and use our skills to focus on the technical and policy issues required to make our cities robust, sustainable and safe.

In addition, EERI should also continue to grow our international outreach and presence. Our mission—reducing earthquake risk—is a global enterprise and it includes engaging our international members, coordinating with sister organizations and developing meaningful projects on which we can share expertise and support. After so many devastating earthquakes in recent years in China, Haiti, New Zealand, Italy, Chile and Japan, we have much to learn, from these events and from our colleagues around the globe. EERI is already developing a new kind of reconnaissance mission—focused on disaster recovery.  From that, we have opportunities to build databases that are shared among all nations and organizations focused on earthquake safety. This will serve our core mission and ultimately it will serve our members who value EERI for our cross-disciplinary knowledge and access to the best technical data on earthquake safety.

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Charlie Huyck: Biography

Executive VP Charlie HuyckCharles Huyck is the Executive Vice President of ImageCat, Inc. As a founding partner, Mr. Huyck has been instrumental in developing business strategies for integrating spatial technologies and risk assessment. Operationally, he oversees a team of engineers, scientists, and programmers developing CAT modeling and analytic tools for risk assessment. He is an active member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and currently stands as Chair of the IT committee.

Mr. Huyck’s career path started at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services following the Northridge earthquake, where he worked with a small team to support post-event GIS operations. Shortly afterward in 1996, he joined EQE where he began his work with Ronald Eguchi to focus on the challenge of integrating GIS and remote sensing technologies into disaster simulation, loss estimation, and CAT modeling programs- bringing to the forefront such technologies as earthquake damage detection with remotely sensed images, earthquake transportation and lifeline disruption analyzed with GIS network analysis, and development of building exposure databases from satellite images. This early work formed the foundation for launching ImageCat, which has been uniquely positioned in the risk community as a consulting firm specializing in the intersection of engineering and geospatial technologies for risk management.

Mr. Huyck’s recent interests include novel approaches to business interruption, heuristics for data cleaning, inference of global earthquake building exposure from satellite data, and practical approaches to crowd-source interpretation of building damage using remotely-sensed data.

Charlie Huyck: Vision Statement

I am grateful to the nominating committee for this chance to run for Director and express my vision for the future of EERI. My interest in participating in EERI as a Director is driven by the desire to see EERI’s influence grow substantially in the 21st century.  These are the areas where I can make the strongest contribution.

Attract new subscribing and institutional members: There is an opportunity to attract new subscribing and institutional members that current benefit from innovation supported through EERI. Spectra, the LFE program and many other EERI projects contribute to advances in structural engineering and risk assessment that have become the cornerstone of many successful enterprises. We can help assure the sustainability of programs such as LFE through seeking their support.

Attract membership from a wide array of disciplines and industries: EERI as an organization provides a forum for cross-disciplinary communication that nurtures a robust approach to problem solving and greatly improves our ability to influence policy. EERI outreach and recruitment should reflect this core strength.

Extend outreach to online forums: Social networks and technical forums play an important role in professional discourse. Increasingly, we see the exchange of information and ideas regardless of pedigree- presenting an exciting environment for innovation and a dangerous recipe for misinformation. As professionals, we have a responsibility to guide the conversation, and EERI should play a role. This is particularly important for attracting and maintaining younger members who are not only comfortable with online communication, but see it as essential for sustaining professional community.

Make reconnaissance data available through online maps: The IT committee has recently been working with the great team at EERI to assure technology is effectively used to catalog and archive notes and photos collected during reconnaissance missions. This is a great start, but this data should be served online to the membership as rapidly as feasible to enable professionals a venue for discussing, interpreting, clarifying, and in effect cataloging damage evident in digital photos.

As a professional organization EERI has laid the foundation for the emergence of a vibrant community that has changed the course of history. One cannot understate the importance of a healthy culture and community that works together towards common goals when effecting change, and the strength of our community is clearly reflected in the progress of earthquake engineering over the past 65 years. I am interested in working together with the Board to sustain this legacy and pass a healthy institution onto the younger generation.

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James Malley: Biography

Structural Engineer James MalleyJames O. Malley is a Senior Principal with Degenkolb Engineers of San Francisco, California. He received both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Joining Degenkolb after completing his Masters’ degree, Jim now has over 30 years of experience in the seismic design, evaluation and rehabilitation of building structures. His clients are primarily based in the health care sector and in the peer review of large and complex structures that incorporate new technologies and/or performance based earthquake engineering design methodologies.

Jim has specialized in the seismic design of steel frame structures throughout his career. He served as the Project Director for Topical Investigations for the SAC Steel Program. In that position, he was responsible for directing data collection and interpretation of steel frame buildings damaged by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and all of the analytical and testing investigations performed as part of the SAC Steel Project. In 2000, this work was recognized by AISC in presenting Jim with its’ Special Achievement Award. He is a member of the AISC Specifications Committee and the Chair of the AISC Seismic Subcommittee that is responsible for developing the AISC Seismic Provisions that are the basis of the International Building Code. His contributions to the steel industry were recognized by AISC in his receiving the 2010 T.R. Higgins lectureship and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Jim is a member of the ASCE Committee on Steel Buildings and the ASCE Seismic Effects Committee. He is also a member of the AWS D1.l Subcommittee on Seismic Welding Issues that publishes the AWS D1.8 Seismic Supplement to AWS D1.1.Jim was a member of the steel subcommittee of the ATC 33 project that developed FEMA 273/274, “NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings”, and is a member of the Building Seismic Safety Council Provisions Update Committee. He has made numerous presentations on the effects of the Northridge Earthquake on Steel Frame Buildings, as well as the seismic design of steel structures. The author of over fifty technical papers, Jim was the Co-Recipient (with the late Egor Popov) of the 1986 ASCE Raymond C. Reese Research Prize ASCE for the paper “Shear Links in Eccentrically Braced Frames”.

Jim has served as a member of the SEAONC and SEAOC Board of Directors, and was President of SEAONC in 2000-2001. He was President of SEAOC in 2003-2004. He was named a SEAOC Fellow in 2007. He recently completed a term on the Board of Directors of NCSEA, serving as President of NCSEA in 2010-2011.

Jim has been an active member of EERI for over 25 years. In 1992, he was selected to lead the EERI post-earthquake reconnaissance team that investigated the effects of a 6.7M event in Erzincan, Turkey. He led the development of the team’s investigation report and a series of seminars on the effects of the event. For the last five years, Jim has chaired the EERI Technical Seminars committee, focusing on developing programs that would be of interest to the diverse membership of the organization. He has also presented numerous lectures on seismic design to EERI student chapters through the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program.

James Malley: Vision Statement

I am truly honored to be a candidate for the EERI Board of Directors. From the very earliest days of my career, I recognized the important role of EERI in the advancement of earthquake engineering in professional practice and in the advocacy of earthquake risk mitigation in the United States and around the world. I was very fortunate early in my career to participate in an EERI Earthquake Reconnaissance Team; an experience which was very influential in setting the direction of my career. My admiration for the mission of the organization and its’ unique ability to engage the diverse expertise of earthquake professionals has continued to grow as the organization has expanded the breadth of its’ programs and their impact on seismic risk reduction worldwide.

Throughout my career, I have found virtually all of my professional activity to be fully aligned with EERI’s objective toreduce earthquake risk by advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering, improving understanding of the impact of earthquakes, and advocating measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes. My goal as a Director would be to assist EERI with improving existing approaches and finding new mechanisms for advancing this mission while bringing additional value to all of our members.

EERI’s role pursuit of this objective is already multi-faceted and highly effective. A large part of advancing the science and practice and improving the understanding of the impacts of earthquakes is rooted in the ability of the organization to generate outstanding technical information that bring state of the art information to the desks and screens of our members. EERI Spectra and Earthquake Reconnaissance reports through the Learning From Earthquakes program, the Work Housing Encyclopedia, NCEE Conference Proceedings and a host of others are all outstanding contributions to the technical literature. My hope is that we can bring all of this wealth of information more “to life” for our members and the public at large through web based mechanisms such as technical webinars, web based video vignettes on topics of interest, and social media venues for dialogue and interchange of ideas. Providing this type of additional content and access to our members’ expertise has the potential to more effectively engage our large and international membership, to help interest and entice young professionals to become members and to provide a valuable resource to the public.

Advocating for hazard reduction must continue to be done by the organization at the local, state, national and international levels. The key to success in this realm will rely on effectively communicating our message to the stakeholder community. EERI’s diverse membership provides the professional resources necessary to generate the tools required to effectively communicate seismic resiliency and other complex concepts that will help push forward our advocacy of earthquake hazard reduction. I am committed to helping the Board and the rest of the organization in this ongoing pursuit.

In closing, I would again thank EERI for the opportunity to be considered for membership on the Board of Directors. I will consider it a great honor if elected and pledge to wholeheartedly embrace the challenge to serve the membership and the entire earthquake community in our pursuit of EERI’s mission.

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David Frost: Biography

Professor David FrostJ. David Frost is a Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He worked for several years in Canada on a range of natural resource projects before receiving MS (1986) and PhD (1989) degrees in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Canada and US and a Fellow of ASCE. His research focuses on the development and implementation of digital data collection systems for studying subsurface problems related to earthquakes at multiple scales and has received two US patents for multi-sensor subsurface penetrometer systems. He has served on or led NSF supported post-disaster study teams following earthquakes in US, Turkey, India, China, Chile and Japan as well as at the World Trade Center complex following the 9/11 attacks. He has organized numerous workshops and conferences on the applications of spatial analysis tools to study both regional effects and damage patterns from earthquakes and well as the micro-scale response of liquefiable soils under various loading conditions. He has received a number of awards for his research work including an NSF National Young Investigator Award, the ASCE Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize and the ASTM Hogentogler Award. He is an active and engaged member of a number of professional organizations including ASCE, CUREE, GEER and IGS. He currently serves on the EERI LFE Executive Committee.

David Frost: Vision Statement

I was both honored and excited when I received a phone call informing me that I had been nominated to stand for election to the EERI Board of Directors. My first interaction with EERI occurred in the aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake when I had the opportunity to view the damage resulting from that significant event first hand as part of a reconnaissance team and I still recall the energy and focus associated with the EERI coordinated clearinghouse activities every evening when we would all gather to learn what others had “discovered” in those pre smart phone days. As someone who had recently graduated with their PhD based on studies of the monotonic and cyclic behavior of sands, this was also an amazing experience to calibrate my research studies to the real phenomenon. In the ensuing twenty four years, my own involvement with post-earthquake reconnaissance has been intertwined both directly and indirectly with the leadership role that EERI has had for almost half a century in both responding to and learning from earthquakes. As someone who now serves on the Executive Committee of the EERI LFE program, I get to see the passion that both the EERI staff and the highly engaged membership at large approaches this activity with the same emphasis on service to the earthquake community and public as well as a dedicated focus on quality. Without a doubt, it is these two aspects, service and quality, that first attracted me to EERI and motivates me to want to do even more in the future.

Certainly, we now live and work in different times than we did in the almost quarter century since the Loma Prieta event. The new approaches we have developed that allow for enhanced predictions of earthquake hazard, the lessons we have collectively learned through observations following major events at home and abroad, the insights and associated design innovations resulting from fundamental academic as well as practice driven research and the near unfathomable transformation that has occurred in our ability to communicate and “be aware” though social media and other approaches has made us safer. At the same time, the earthquake community faces perhaps the most serious challenges ever to continue on this path of augmented resilience as a result of shifting national priorities and thus competition for resources as well as diminished recognition of the fact that while we have moved far along the enhanced infrastructure path, we still have much to understand and achieve. Our ability to emerge stronger from these challenging times will require a community effort and this is where I see the critical role of EERI as an organization with a rich history based on service and quality. Further, the fact that as an organization, EERI has engaged full time practicing and academic members all over the world and an energized network of student chapters are fundamental assets on which to lead the future. I would be honored to contribute to this effort as a member of the Board of Directors.

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David Wald: Biography

Seismologist David WaldDavid Wald is a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Golden, Colorado and is on the Geophysics Faculty at the Colorado School of Mines. David is involved in research, management, operations, and development for the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) and the Advanced National Seismic System. He developed and manages “ShakeMap” and “Did You Feel it?”, and he is responsible for leading the development of other systems for post-earthquake response, information, and pre-earthquake mitigation, including “ShakeCast” and “PAGER”, among others.

Under the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, David is Coordinator of the Earthquake Effects topical area and manages the NEIC’s Real-time Products Research & Development Team. In these roles he provides guidance to USGS management on diverse topics ranging from basic earthquake research, monitoring, earthquake hazard and risk, and earthquake response. Due to the impact of USGS projects under his leadership, they have been funded externally by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, the Global Earthquake Model, the California Department of Transportation, the American Lifelines Alliance, the Veterans’ Administration, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The earthquake information systems he has developed in the course of his career have presented many opportunities for important long-term interactions with users from educational, engineering, consulting, loss modeling, utility, critical facility, emergency response and management, government, and international arenas, as well as for public outreach and service. He has also lectured at dozens of universities nationally and internationally.

Previously at Caltech, and now at the Colorado School of Mines, Wald has advised dozens of post-doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate student research projects. His own scientific interests include the characterization of rupture processes from complex recent and historic earthquakes using combined geodetic, teleseismic, and strong motion data; waveform modeling and inversion; analysis of ground motion hazards and site effects; earthquake source physics; and modeling earthquake-induced landslides, liquefaction, and losses.  This research has resulted in more than 450 professional publications that David has authored or co-authored, including journal papers, USGS publication series, conference papers, and published abstracts.

Wald has been the Seismological Society of America (SSA) Distinguished Lecturer and Associate Editor, and serves on the Society’s Board of Directors. He is an Associate Editor for Earthquake Spectra. He was awarded SSA’s 2009 Frank Press Public Service Award, and a Department of the Interior Superior Service Award in 2010. He earned his B.S. in Physics & Geology at St. Lawrence University in New York, an M.S. in Geophysics at the University of Arizona, and his Ph.D. in Geophysics at Caltech.

David Wald: Vision Statement

I have been a member of EERI since 1988, as long as I have been a professional seismologist. I’ve been invited to speak at numerous EERI meetings and technical symposiums, and I present annually at EERI’s Strong Motion Forum as a member of the Strong Motion Committee. I am also a member of EERI’s Learning from Earthquakes Committee. In 2012, I was the lone seismologist presenting as part of EERI’s Technical Seminar series. That series, given in four cities over four days, and entitled “Learning From Recent Major Earthquakes: Lessons for Practice”, was an opportunity for me to provide my seismological insights on key earthquake characteristics of importance to the earthquake engineering community.

Conversely, I am convinced that my professional interactions with the earthquake engineering community are a main driving force behind my focus on practical applications and problem solving in my own area of expertise: earthquake seismology. I believe that I’ve solved applied problems much in the manner that most engineers are trained to solve any fundamentally applied problems; in that sense, I’ve learned from watching you.

Why does EERI play such a central role in a seismologist’s career? For successful earthquake response and mitigation, seismologists need to either think like engineers, or, at the very least, develop a good grasp of what engineers intrinsically understand about the built environment. EERI presents numerous key opportunities to connect people and ideas across this vital interface.

As a seismologist steeped in engineering ways, I will bring to the Board a dedication to the continuation of cross-disciplinary interactions, projects, and opportunities for inculcating earthquake seismology on engineers. Most of us are in this for the long run: we focus on solving problems that take years to get started, years to understand, and many more years to accomplish. Being on the EERI BOD will provide an opportunity to further connect these two fields, at a higher level, in ways that will facilitate further collaborations and contribute to the long-term goal of impacting earthquake mitigation and disaster response and recovery.

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