Erica Fischer

Term: 2019 – 2022


Erica Fischer, Ph.D., P.E. is an assistant professor of structural engineering at Oregon State University. She received a B.S. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University. Prior to Oregon State, she worked as a structural engineer in New York and Seattle where she focused mainly on renovations and retrofits of existing buildings.

Her technical capabilities revolve around innovative approaches to improve the resilience and robustness of structural systems affected by natural and man-made hazards. This includes performance-based design approaches of structural systems to decrease the environmental impact of the built environment on the natural environment. Erica’s focus is on steel, composite systems, mass timber construction, and connections. These research interests are implemented through both large-scale experimental testing and numerical modeling approaches. She has been a member of a number of post-earthquake reconnaissance team missions including Haiti (2010), Napa (2014), and Italy (2016), and Mexico City (2017) in addition to post-wildland fire investigations after the California Camp Fire.

Erica has served in a number of positions throughout EERI. As a graduate student, she was president of the Purdue EERI student chapter and co-chair of the Student Leadership Council. Erica is one of the founding members of the EERI Younger Members Committee and Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team. She is a member of the LFE Executive Committee and she is currently the academic advisor for the Oregon State University EERI student chapter.


EERI provides a space for collaboration and conversations among the many disciplines that work in and research seismic resilience of communities. This collaboration is introduced to undergraduate students through the Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition, and continues through all of the EERI committees. These associations and multi-disciplinary efforts are unique to EERI, and provides opportunities to people at all levels of their careers. These collaborations also connect high-quality scientific research with real-life applications.

My vision for EERI is to continue to provide opportunities for younger members of the organization to form collaborative research and relationships within all aspects of the institute. The results of these relationships will advance research in seismic safety, which will benefit the EERI community. It is through this mechanism that technical information will be converted into resilience policies and used to inform actions of those working in the field of seismic community resilience.
There are so many opportunities for all members within EERI. I advocate for EERI Younger Members to have a voice within the organization so they can take an active role in all committees. My vision is that we expand the awareness of our committee and participation opportunities to engage more younger members within EERI.