2020 Housner Fellows

Guillermo Diaz-Fanas, P.E.

Guillermo serves as a Senior Technical Principal in Multi-Hazard Resilience in the Geotechnical and Tunneling Technical Excellence Center of WSP USA in New York City. He received his diploma in civil engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra and his masters in structural engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a Fulbright Fellow. 

Guillermo specializes in disaster risk management, community resilience, performance- and risk-based design, and seismic hazard analysis, bringing over 10 years of experience on infrastructure, transportation and building projects in the US, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He has participated in reconnaissance and recovery missions after extreme events around the world, working with multilateral organizations, NGOs and governmental institutions in preparedness, response and recovery efforts.



Nuraini Rahma Hanifa, S.T., M.T., D.Sc.

Rahma is currently working in the Center for Earthquake Science and Technology, Research Center for Disaster Mitigation ITB, and is actively involved in the National Center for Earthquake Studies of the Ministry of Public Work and Housing, The University Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (UF-DRR) and DRR Forum of West Java. Rahma founded a youth and young professional platform U-INSPIRE Indonesia and international U-Inspire Alliance in 2018 and 2019, respectively. She’s appointed as a young scientist representative in the Asia Pacific Science, Technology, Academia Advisory Group (APSTAAG) UNDRR since October 2019. Joining the EERI survey team for the Palu 2018 Earthquake with Lessons from Earthquake (LFE) Framework has widened her perspective and willingness to learn more about earthquake risk reduction and disaster management on a global level.

Rahma graduated from Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) Indonesia and received a Doctor of Science from Nagoya University, Japan, with a dissertation on Megathrust Earthquake Potential off Western Java, Indonesia. She started to study earthquake science after the sequence of Sumatra-Andaman 2004 earthquake and Java 2006 tsunami earthquake and experienced the Japan 2011 earthquake that gave her insight that earthquake risk reduction is possible, and strong motivation to contribute to building Earthquake Resilience.


Chiara McKenney, PE.

Chiara is an Associate Director of Projects at the Applied Technology Council in Redwood City, California. In that role, she manages projects that enhance the ability for practicing structural engineers to reduce earthquake risk. Previously, Chiara was a Project Engineer at Estructure, a structural engineering firm specializing in hospital renovations and seismic protection of nonstructural components. Her technical experience also includes seismic evaluations, retrofit design, repairs, and new building design. Chiara participated in post-earthquake reconnaissance following the 2014 South Napa and 2019 Albania earthquakes. As a volunteer with Build Change’s Nepal and Haiti offices, she has supported their engineering teams in the development of earthquake-resistant masonry housing design.

Chiara holds an M.S. in Civil Engineering from University of California, Davis and a B.A. in Architecture from Barnard College. In 2009, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Kazakhstan. Since interning at EERI in 2011, Chiara has served on the Board of Directors of the Northern California Chapter of EERI and the Editorial Board of the World Housing Encyclopedia. Chiara looks forward to improving her leadership skills through the Housner Fellows Program, and she is excited for the opportunity to work closely with her Housner classmates.


Tadesse Meskele, PhD, PE.

Tadesse is a geotechnical engineer with over six years of consulting experience with a broad range of geotechnical and earthquake engineering projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. Currently, he is a Project Engineer at GRI in Beaverton, Oregon working on a wide range of projects that involve advanced geotechnical and seismic analyses.   

Tadesse holds a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from Oregon State University, MSc in Water Resources Engineering from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), and BSc in Civil Engineering from Arba Minch University (Ethiopia). Tadesse is thrilled to be part of this year’s Housner Fellows Program which will provide an exceptional opportunity to expand his professional interactions and learn from EERI leaders and participants with a wide array of professional backgrounds.



Maria Mohammed, SE

Maria is a licensed Structural Engineer in California and has extensive experience working on the retrofit and renovation of historic structures and existing buildings, as well as the design of new buildings. Maria worked on significant projects at Structural Focus, including Google LA HQ, the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, CBRE Masonic Temple, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and several projects on the Paramount Studios lot, among others. 

Maria won the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) Young Engineer of the Year and the Nabih Youssef Younger Member Poster Award; she also received the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Grant given to selected students and young professionals. Moreover, Maria co-wrote A World-Class Makeover: Renovating a Hidden Treasure – an in-depth look into the renovation of the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre and the project’s unique structural challenges.

Maria is an active member of the structural engineering community. She is the chair of the SEAOSC Communications Committee and has been a team leader at Centennial High School for the ACE Mentor Program. She is also involved with the SEAOSC Education Committee and Young Members Committee. Maria Mohammed graduated from the Univer­sity of Southern California with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 2012 and an M.S. in Structur­al Engineering in 2013. 


Siamak Sattar, Ph.D.

Siamak is a Research Structural Engineer and the Associate Program Manager in the Earthquake Engineering Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His research is focused on seismic performance assessment of concrete and masonry buildings, uncertainty quantification, seismic assessment of retrofitted structures, and performance-based seismic design of reinforced concrete structures.

Siamak has experience leading and working with researchers from multiple disciplines, including structural engineers, social scientists, economists, chemists, and physicists. Siamak is involved in developing codes and standards. He is the secretary and a voting member of the ACI-369 committee, Seismic Repair and Rehabilitation, and a voting member of the ACI 374 committee, Performance-based Seismic Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures. Siamak is passionate about reducing earthquake risk and improving the functional recovery of the built environment after earthquakes.

Prior to joining NIST, he worked for four years in practice as a structural engineer specializing in the design of concrete and steel structures. Siamak was a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he pursued his Masters and Ph.D.