Archives for May 2014

Seismic Observatory for Community Resilience – A Program to Learn from Earthquakes

In March 2014, EERI sent an interdisciplinary research team to New Zealand to study issues related to Canterbury’s recovery from the 2010-2011 earthquake sequence. The study is part of a National Science Foundation grant entitled “Seismic Observatory for Community Resilience – A Program to Learn from Earthquakes.” EERI’s internal goal for the NSF project is to evolve EERI’s Learning from Earthquakes program beyond immediate post-disaster investigations toward learning about community recovery from earthquakes. Outcomes of the project will include guidance for conducting long-term recovery reconnaissance, as well as methods for systematic data collection, archiving, and dissemination of reconnaissance findings.

Nick Hedley (M. EERI, 2014), Chris Poland (M. EERI, 1998), Scott Miles (M. EERI, 2009), Liesel Ritchie (M. EERI, 2012), and Yu Xiao (M. EERI, 2011)The aim of the New Zealand case study was to observe and understand how stakeholders in New Zealand are measuring, monitoring, and acting upon data-driven indicators of recovery after the Canterbury earthquakes. The team found that a large variety of data are being collected as part of the recovery, for example a province-wide survey of well-being, but it does not appear the available data was significantly contributing to ongoing decision making. The large volume of data is making it challenging for organizations to analyze and interpret it for decision-making. The public health sector, however, seems to be an exemplar for using data for recovery decision-making. Data describing social vulnerability, homelessness, out-migration, business recovery, and the rental market were found to be less well documented.  And while the disaster motivated unprecedented levels of data sharing within and between public and private organizations, privacy concerns and silo-ism still presented challenges. A possible role for the EERI Learning from Earthquakes program for long-term recovery reconnaissance could be the facilitation of analysis of existing data, promoting access to data that can be compared across disasters, and specific guidance on what data should be collected by researchers to be archived in the Seismic Observatory for Community Resilience.

The five-member team interviewed a wide range of decision-makers and researchers. A broad cross-section of organizations were represented, including University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, Massey University, Victoria University, University of Otago, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, Christchurch City Council, Strong Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team, Canterbury Development Corporation, Canterbury Public Health Board, GNS, Ministry of Education, Statistics New Zealand, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Land Information New Zealand, Building Officials Institute of New Zealand, New Zealand Reserve Bank, Human Rights Commission, ResOrgs, Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism Board, and New Zealand Historical Places Trust New Zealand.

The five-member team led by Scott Miles (M. EERI, 2009), Western Washington University, included Nick Hedley (M. EERI, 2014), Simon Fraser University; Chris Poland (M. EERI, 1998), consulting engineer; Liesel Ritchie (M. EERI, 2012), Natural Hazards Center; and Yu Xiao (M. EERI, 2011), Texas A&M University. Combined expertise of the team includes sociology, geography, urban planning, information systems, and engineering.

10NCEE Updates for Participants, Authors, and Moderators

Register today for the Tenth U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (10NCEE) held this July in Anchorage, Alaska at

10NCEE websiteTravel and Lodging
If you haven’t booked your travel yet, don’t forget that EERI has arranged discounts for conference participants with Alaska and United Airlines. For details, visit:

Hotel rooms in Anchorage are selling out fast. The Marriott Downtown and Hilton Anchorage are both sold out at the conference rate. There are rooms available at a discounted rate at the Sheraton Anchorage. For information on booking a room at the Sheraton and to see a list of other hotels in Anchorage, visit:

Thursday Evening at the Alaska Native Heritage Center
There is still space available for the Evening at the Alaska Native Heritage Center event on Thursday, July 24. Learn more about this event at and remember to purchase tickets for this event when you register for the conference. If you have already registered and would like to add tickets to this event, please contact Juliane Lane at to update your registration.

Pre-Conference Event: Direct Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Buildings LATBSDC Seminar

Date: Monday, July 21, 2014
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Hilton Anchorage
Presenters: Dr. Nigel Priestley, Dr. Michele Calvi (M. EERI, 1990), and Dr. Mervyn Kowalsky (M. EERI, 1994)

Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council (LATBSDC)This seminar will introduce participants to displacement-based seismic design (DDBD) and demonstrate how it can be implemented in the design office as a simple and rational alternative to current prescriptive methods of seismic design. The course will show that serious conceptual problems exist with current force-based seismic design and will demonstrate how these deficiencies are resolved when a simple displacement-based design approach is adopted. The DDBD approach results in structures with uniform seismic risk for a given performance level, which is compatible with uniform risk spectra. This is not achieved with current force-based design procedures. To read the seminar program, visit:

Cost: Early-bird registration is $295. A companion textbook, if ordered as a part of early-bird registration for the seminar, can be obtained for the price of $120, including shipping, and will be available for pickup at the seminar. Note that current prices for the textbook on Amazon are $206. Registration increases to $365 on June 15th, at which point companion textbooks are no longer available.

Register for the event now at

New Sponsors
State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (logo)The State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management is a new sponsor of 10NCEE. Alaska’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management provides critical services to the State of Alaska to protect lives and property from terrorism and all other hazards, as well as to provide rapid recovery from all disasters. Visit the Division’s website at external link icon.

PDC Inc. Engineers (logo)PDC Inc. Engineers (PDC) is a new Silver Sponsor of 10NCEE. PDC is a full-service engineering company. PDC retains established clients and attracts new ones because the company visualizes and makes the “whole” project real: from project management to detailed design and into construction. PDC has 80 employees evenly split between two main offices in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, with satellite offices in Washington and Hawaii. Beyond Alaska, PDC’s project experience has taken the company to Antarctica, Asia, the Pacific, Europe, and the western United States. Visit the PDC website at external link icon.

New Exhibitors
Simpson Strong-Tie is a new exhibitor at 10NCEE in Anchorage this summer. For the full list of 10NCEE exhibitors, visit:

Author and Moderator Instructions
Author and moderator instructions for the 10th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (10NCEE) are now available at This page lists all requirements and procedures for conference speakers and moderators. Information about poster requirements and 5-in-5 presentation guidelines is also listed on this page. Questions regarding these instructions should be sent to

Authors who have not yet registered for the conference are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Papers without a registered presenting author will not be included in the conference program or in the conference proceedings.

Online Program
The full program for 10NCEE is available on the conference website at From this page you will be able to browse the entire program by session type or search all presentations by paper ID, name, or keyword. Please note that the session schedule on Friday, July 25 has been updated. If you have any concerns about the program or need to request any changes, please contact

Curt Haselton to Receive 2013 EERI Shah Family Innovation Prize

Dr. Curt Haselton (M.EERI, 2010) has been awarded the 2013 EERI Shah Family Innovation Prize. Haselton is an associate professor in the department of civil engineering at the California State University at Chico and an active contributor to research and development in earthquake engineering.

Curt HaseltonWith a generous gift from the Shah family, EERI annually awards the Shah Prize to young professionals and academics for creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit in the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management.

Professor Haselton has quickly gained a national reputation for his tremendous contributions towards advancing understanding of the collapse safety of buildings and the use of nonlinear dynamic analysis to improve seismic design methods and building code requirements. Haselton has been instrumental in studies by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center, the Applied Technology Council, and the USGS on ways to properly select and scale strong ground motions.

Most recently, the Building Seismic Safety Council’s (BSSC) Provisions Update Committee appointed Haselton to chair a new committee to develop provisions for the use of nonlinear dynamic analysis for the design of new buildings. Beyond his own specific research and professional contributions, Haselton is a very community-minded individual. He has freely shared his ideas and expertise, including making designs, models, and data from his archetype building studies available to other researchers — all with the goal of improving earthquake engineering research and practice.

While a graduate student at Stanford and continuing now at Cal State Chico, Haselton has worked tirelessly on education outreach, including hands-on learning activities for middle- and high-school students and research experience for undergraduate students. Hasleton has been particularly effective at involving undergraduate students in his research and professional activities, which has provided students with great learning opportunities.

To learn more about the Shah Family Innovation Prize, visit the EERI website at

Note: See the full list of 2014 EERI Award Recipients at In the next issue of The Pulse, we will feature the Outstanding Graduate and Undergraduate Student Paper Award winners.

Call for Nominations: 2015 EERI Distinguished Lecture Award

The EERI Honors Committee will meet soon to consider candidates for the Distinguished Lecture Award for 2015. The Committee welcomes nominations from EERI members. All nominations must be sent to EERI at by Friday, May 30, 2014, accompanied by a brief justification.

EERI (logo)Since 1992, EERI has honored leaders in the earthquake profession through this annual award. The lecture is generally presented for the first time at the EERI Annual Meeting and then at a series of student and regional chapter meetings nationwide.

Past awardees are listed at

For a complete description of the award, visit:

Earthquake Spectra Preprints

In early May, two preprint manuscripts were posted on the Earthquake Spectra website prior to their formal publication. The list of new preprint manuscripts, including authors, follows:

  • Earthquake Spectra“Evacuation Behavior and Fatality Rate of Residents during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami” by Nam-Yi Yun (M. EERI, 2013) and Masanori Hamada
  • “Data from a NEES /E-Defense Collaborative Test Program on Innovative Isolation Systems and Nonstructural Components” by Jean Guzman (M. EERI, 2010) and Keri L. Ryan (M. EERI, 1999)

To read preprint manuscripts or browse the complete list of preprint manuscripts, visit the Earthquake Spectra website at external link icon.

In addition, the Spectra editors also posted a Special Collection of Preprints of the papers that will be published in the NGA-West2 special issue (forthcoming, August 2014) external link icon.

WHE Request for Manuals and Guidelines on Seismic Resistant Design and Construction

The World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE), a joint EERI and IAEE initiative, wants to increase its seismic resistant design and construction resources for design professionals and builders involved in housing projects.

World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE), a joint EERI and IAEE initiative (logo)The WHE has already published a number of such publications and these are available for free on its website at However, there are certainly many other valuable resources on seismic resistant design that are particularly applicable to developing countries. They may have been prepared by individuals, consultants, NGOs, government departments and other agencies, such as aid programmes.

Please inform the WHE Editorial Board if you are aware of any such materials that deserve to be more widely disseminated for the sake of improved seismic resilience worldwide. Provided the material is appropriate and up-to-date; it could be linked to from the WHE website or could be placed on the website directly. Publications in any language are welcome.

Contact Andrew Charleson (M. EERI, 2008), Editor-in-Chief, World Housing Encyclopedia, at

Register for 10NCEE Today: Rates Increase after May 15, Travel Grant Recipients, and SDC Info

Register now for 10NCEE in Anchorage, Alaska, July 21–25, 2014. Registration rates will increase after May 15, 2014 ($100 increase for full conference rate and $50 increase for one-day rates). Information about Travel and Lodging, Airline Discounts, Pre-Conference Events, and Thursday Evening at the Alaska Native Heritage Center is available at

10NCEE website10NCEE Program Online
The full program for the Tenth U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (10NCEE) is now available online at The program includes over 750 presentations in 130 sessions, including 27 invited presentations by distinguished speakers in the plenary and theme sessions. The online program is completely searchable and can be used to search for presentations by colleagues or to find presentations by keyword. Questions or concerns about the online program should be sent to

Travel Grant Recipients
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Pankow Foundation, and EERI have made funds available to award travel grants to graduate students and early career professionals to defray travel costs for attending 10NCEE. To view the list of 75 10NCEE Travel Grant Recipients, visit:

New 10NCEE Sponsors

BBFM Engineers Inc. (logo)BBFM Engineers Inc. is a new Bronze Sponsor of 10NCEE. Established in 1996, BBFM Engineers Inc. is headed by five principals with a commitment to reliable structural engineering solutions. The firm is dedicated to providing quality, effective, and cost-conscious design that meets the needs of the client. For the past 15 years, BBFM Engineers Inc. has been a leading provider of structural engineering services to design professionals, building owners, and government agencies on projects throughout the state of Alaska and Antarctica. For more information, visit the BBFM Engineers Inc. website at external link icon .

Northern Geotechnical Engineering – Terra Firma Testing, Inc. (NGE-TFT) (logo)Northern Geotechnical Engineering – Terra Firma Testing, Inc. (NGE-TFT) is a new Friend of 10NCEE. NGE-TFT provides expert engineering services throughout the state of Alaska. The services are provided to civil/design engineering firms, general contractors, and local, state, tribal, and federal agencies. The NGE-TFT core staff is comprised of accomplished engineers, geologists, and technicians with over 100 years of combined experience. For more details, visit the NGE-TFT website at external link icon .

For the full list of 10NCEE sponsors, visit:

New 10NCEE Exhibitors
The Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE) is a new exhibitor at 10NCEE in Anchorage this summer. For the full list of 10NCEE exhibitors, visit:

SDC Registration
Registration for the 11th Annual EERI Seismic Design Competition (SDC) is open at This registration is required for all teams and students traveling to the SDC in Anchorage, Alaska this summer. Registration will close at midnight May 16, 2014 PDT. Additional team members may be added after May 16th; however, there will be an increase in price. For any questions or concerns about registration, contact EERI Membership Coordinator Juliane Lane at 510-451-0905 or

For EERI members who may be interested in observing, the SDC will test their models on shake tables on Thursday and a live auction will take place on Wednesday evening.

Career Fair and Panel Discussion for Students at 10NCEE
The Student Leadership Council (SLC) is organizing a special session for the afternoon of Tuesday, July 22nd, tailored specifically for undergraduate students attending the Seismic Design Competition or 10NCEE. This event will consist of presentations by prominent members of EERI and NSF followed by a panel discussion in which practicing professionals, faculty members, and graduate students will share their experiences and answer questions about career options and life after graduation. At the end of the session, the SLC will host a Career/Grad School Fair where students can meet a variety of companies and graduate school representatives interested in recruiting students to the work force or their respective universities. All students are encouraged to attend the free Tuesday afternoon programming.

There is still room to exhibit at the Career/Grad School Fair. Companies, universities, and organizations that are interested in exhibiting at the Career Fair should contact the SLC Co-Presidents David Grilli (M. EERI, 2012) and Manny Hakhamaneshi (M. EERI, 2009) at

Earthquake Spectra Issue on the 2010–2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence Now Available Online

The February 2014 special issue of Earthquake Spectra on the 2010–2011 Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquake sequence is available online at Printed copies will begin arriving over the next few weeks. You may order additional copies at

 February 2014 special issue of Earthquake Spectra on the 2010–2011 Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquake sequence (cover)This special issue of Earthquake Spectra represents the collaborative effort of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE); guest editors from both organizations coordinated the review of 26 papers exploring all aspects of the earthquake sequence.

The widespread damage to buildings and lifelines from relatively low-magnitude earthquakes raises important questions about the risk to urban centers around the world from unmapped faults. The similarity of historical and modern construction practices with other developed countries means the damage to the built environment in Christchurch is relevant to potential infrastructure damage in many parts of the world, including the United States, given similar earthquake shaking.

If you have questions about this Spectra issue, you may contact Managing Editor Liz Stalnaker at

2014 Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami Exercise

EERI members are invited to participate in the California Earthquake Clearinghouse exercise on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. (PDT). This exercise will provide an opportunity for members to learn how to use EERI-supported tools for reconnaissance data collection and also to contribute data that will be visible on the California Earthquake Clearinghouse website map.

California Earthquake Clearinghouse (EERI)The May 14 Clearinghouse exercise is being held in tandem with the California state-level 2014 Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami Exercise Series. This exercise uses a large earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone as the backdrop. During the 11 a.m.–1 p.m. timeline, EERI members will simulate reconnaissance observations that will include notes and photos depicting building, lifelines, geotechnical, and tsunami damage or good performance. This will be a completely virtual exercise and members can participate from any location. A smartphone is not required to participate, but it will maximize the number of applications that a user can test.

Tools that EERI members are encouraged to use include Clearinghouse Fieldnotes and the EERI Photo Upload map. For user guides and tutorials on each of these tools, visit:

EERI members wishing to participate in the exercise should contact EERI Program Associate Maggie Ortiz (M. EERI, 2012) at to receive the latest updates and receive notifications before and during the exercise. More detailed instructions for exercise participation will be sent to those who RSVP to participate by Friday, May 9.

Introducing EERI Housner Fellows Class of 2014

EERI’s Housner Fellows Management Committee selected eight Fellows out of many competitive applications for the second class of Housner Fellows, a leadership training program EERI inaugurated with a bequest from George Housner. Additional support for the program is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) of the World Bank. GFDRR is supporting the participation of three Fellows.

George Housner (1910-2008)The eight 2014 Housner Fellows are:

  • John Bevington (M. EERI, 2011), ImageCat Inc., London, U.K.
  • Ayse Hortacsu (M. EERI, 2000), Applied Technology Council, Redwood City, CA, USA
  • Kishor Jaiswal (M. EERI, 2007), Synergetics Inc. / U.S. Geological Survey, Golden, CO, USA
  • Forrest Lanning (M. EERI, 2009), Aurecon New Zealand, Limited, Christchurch, N.Z.
  • Garmalia Mentor-William (GFDRR Housner Fellow; M. EERI, 2014), Emergency and Disaster Management Specialist, Cap-Haitien, Haiti
  • Ghazala Naeem (GFDRR Housner Fellow, M. EERI, 2014), Disaster Risk Reduction Consultant, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Surya Narayan Shrestha (GFDRR Housner Fellow, M. EERI, 2014), National Society for Earthquake Technology, Nepal
  • Katherine Thibert (M. EERI, 2005), Ausenco, Vancouver, BC, Canada

This second class of Housner fellows will meet with the program leadership trainer, EERI member Lucy Arendt (M. EERI, 2008) of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, along with Board members and members of the Housner Management Committee during 10NCEE and the EERI Annual Meeting in July in Anchorage. They will participate in a weeklong leadership training program. During their two years of active participation in the program, the class will develop a group project and individual projects with the support of mentors.

For additional information about the program, visit: