Distinguished Lecture Award

EERI 2018 Distinguished Lecturer
Reginald DesRoches, PhD, F. ASCE, F. SEI
William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering, Rice University
Title: The Promise of Smart Materials in Earthquake Resistant Design

Damage from recent earthquakes underscores the importance of developing new approaches and technologies to improve the performance of structures during earthquakes. The presentation will highlight applications of one class of smart materials — shape memory alloys — in improving the performance of structures subjected to earthquake loading. Shape memory alloys belong to a class of smart materials that can undergo large deformations while reverting back to their original, undeformed shape. This unique property has led to the development of numerous applications in the biomedical, aerospace, and commercial industries. A multi-scale and multi-disciplinary approach is taken to explore the potential use of these materials for applications in earthquake engineering. Component testing, full-scale testing, and detailed analyses show great potential for shape memory alloys to significantly improve the earthquake performance of nonductile buildings and bridges.

Dr. Reginald DesRoches is the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering at the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University. In this position, he provides leadership to a top ranked engineering school with 9 departments, over 125 faculty, and 2500 students.  His primary research interests are in design of resilient infrastructure systems under extreme loads and the application of smart and auto-adaptive materials. His research is highly interdisciplinary and spans micro- to macro-scale. He has published approximately 300 articles and served as thesis advisor to 30 doctoral students.

Dr. DesRoches served as the key technical leader in the United States’ response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake,taking a team of 28 engineers, architects, city planners, and social scientists to study the impact of the earthquake.  Dr. DesRoches serves on the NIST National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee (NCST), National Academies Resilient America Roundtable (RAR), the Board on Army Science and Technology (BAST), the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Advisory Committee, and the Global Earthquake Modeling Scientific Board. He has chaired the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Seismic Effects Committee as well as the executive committee of the Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering.In recent years, Dr. DesRoches has testified before U.S. House and Senate subcommittees on earthquake resilience and the state of the science, and he has participated in Washington, D.C. roundtables for media and congressional staffers on topics ranging from disaster preparedness to the critical role that university research must play in addressing the country’s failing infrastructure.

About the EERI Distinguished Lecture Award: The annual Distinguished Lecture Award of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute is awarded to members of the Institute to recognize and encourage communication of outstanding professional contributions of major importance for earthquake hazard mitigation. The contributions of the recipient and the topic of the Distinguished Lecture should be of broad interest to the membership and may range from research to public policy development. The award is established to communicate developments on topics of major significance for earthquake hazard mitigation. The recipients will prepare an address on the agreed topic for presentation as the Distinguished Lecture at the upcoming EERI Annual Meeting. This lecture will be subsequently presented as a nationwide series of lectures throughout the year. The lecture may be published in Earthquake Spectra (<20 pages). Each recipient will receive a framed citation and travel costs for presentation of the lecture. Nomination and Selection Procedures

Nomination Protocol
  1. Nominations will be solicited from the membership in the EERI Newsletter and by e-mail. Nominations will be requested before the year’s first meeting of the Honors Committee for the subsequent year’s award.
  2. All nominations will be submitted in written or electronic format, with a brief justification, to the Executive Director and chair of the Honors Committee with the understanding that if nominees are selected for recommendation to the Board, then written citations (~ 1/2 page) will be requested.
  3. Upon receipt of nominations, nominators will receive a letter of appreciation from the Institute, but nominees will remain confidential pending formal selection and award of the honor.

Selection Protocol

  1. Candidates will be reviewed and selected annually by the Honors Committee for recommendation in confidence to the Board of Directors. The Honors Committee will meet in person or by teleconference at least bi-annually, once before the second annual Board Meeting and once in September or October, following the third annual Board Meeting.
  2. Conflict of interest and bias in the selection of awardees will be avoided with the utmost of care. Nominees for any of the awards that are also serving as members of the Board of Directors, the Honors Committee, or the Editorial Board for Spectra, will be precluded from all deliberations concerning the selection of candidates for the award for which they have been nominated. Should preclusion of a Board Member or Committee Chair be required, Board and Committee activities required to nominate and select candidates for the award will be chaired by an ad hoc chairperson selected by other members of the Board or committee. All oral and written deliberations concerning selection of the ad hoc chairperson and candidates for the corresponding award will be kept in the strictest of confidence from award nominees.
  3. Because this award is to be granted each year, a nominee and one alternate will be recommended to the Board each year. Candidates will be selected for recommendation by the Honors Committee at their meeting before the second annual Board Meeting.

Award Protocol

  1. The recipient will be notified by the President of the Institute as soon as possible after their selection.
  2. The award will be announced and presented at the EERI Annual Meeting.
  3. The award together with a photo of the recipient will be announced in the Newsletter.
  4. The recipient will receive
    • a framed citation
    • publication in Earthquake Spectra upon submission of paper
    • travel costs for presentation of the lecture at the EERI Annual Meeting and subsequently at appropriate institutions
    • an honorarium in the amount of $2500 for the presentation of the lecture to a minimum of 5 student chapters, in addition to the initial lecture presented at the EERI Annual Meeting
    • honoraria for lectures given to societies, organizations or other institutions will be arranged with the host institution
  5. Citation materials for the recipient selected by the Board will be reviewed by the Executive Director in order that they might be resubmitted to the original authors, if necessary, for improvement in time for printing, framing, and presentation at the EERI Annual Meeting.