Distinguished Lecture Award

The nomination period for the 2020 Distinguished Lecture Award is now closed. Check back next spring to nominate someone for the 2021 award!

EERI 2019 Distinguished Lecturer
Ross Boulanger

Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of California, Davis
Title: Liquefaction: Lessons, challenges and opportunities

Liquefaction during earthquakes has been the subject of extensive study for over half a century and is now routinely addressed in engineering practice using a wide range of technical approaches that depend on the project size and importance. These past studies have produced major advances in our scientific understanding of liquefaction phenomena and the engineering practices used to address liquefaction hazards, but there remain numerous situations where knowledge gaps and engineering practice limitations hinder the efficient mitigation of earthquake-induced liquefaction damages to our infrastructure and communities. This presentation examines a number of lessons, challenges, and opportunities regarding the evaluation and mitigation of liquefaction hazards, including aspects of site characterization, engineering analysis methods, challenging soil types, remediation methods, performance-based engineering procedures, and risk management approaches.

Professor Boulanger is a world leader in the assessment of liquefaction triggering and effects. He is the Director of the Center for Geotechnical Modeling, and his research focuses on liquefaction and its remediation, seismic soil-pile-structure interaction, and seismic performance of dams and levees. Over the last 25 years, he has produced over 250 publications and has served as a technical specialist for private, state, and federal seismic remediation and dam safety projects.

Ross is a member of the EERI Board of Directors and serves on several committees. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the United States Society on Dams from 2009-2015. He has been a member of the Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics Committee of ASCE since 1996, serving as chair from 2004-2009. He served as vice-chair from 2009-2016 and chair from 2016 to the present of the Technical Committee on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering for the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. He was co-leader of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance team for the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, and was a member of the Research Committee for the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center from 2003-2010. Ross has been a member of EERI since 1992 and was a speaker at EERI’s seminar series in 2010 and 2012.

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, using an online form 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.