Message from the President

mary comerio 2015Welcome to The Pulse of Earthquake Engineering, the bi-weekly email newsletter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.
— Mary C. Comerio, EERI President


Search The Pulse

Learning from Earthquakes

EERI Briefing Videos About Nepal Earthquake Now Online More >

Live Briefing on Nepal Earthquake on August 13 More >

News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views More >


USGS Awards $4 Million to Support Earthquake Early Warning System in California and Pacific Northwest More >

2nd World Congress on Disaster Management in November More >

Save the Date: ATC/USGS Seismic Hazard User-Needs Workshop More >

PEER Receives Funding for Lifelines, Nepal Research More >

Chapter Spotlight

Regional Chapters at 11CCEE More >

Student Spotlight: UCLA More >


Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts More >

Leading in Disaster Recovery: A Companion Through the Chaos More >

25 Ways to Get Involved

Get Involved with EERI More >


DFI Seminar: Practical Deep Foundation Design and Construction for Seismic and Lateral Loads
August 5–6, 2015
Los Angeles, California, USA


2015 International Conference on Earthquakes and Structures
August 16–20, 2015
Daejeon, Korea


Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists 2015 Annual Meeting
September 19–26, 2015
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA


DFI 40th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations
October 12–15, 2015
Oakland, California, USA


3rd Turkish Earthquake Engineering and Seismology Conference
October 14–16, 2015
Izmir, Turkey


6th Int'l Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering
November 1–4, 2015
Christchurch, New Zealand


10th Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering
November 6–8, 2015
Sydney, Australia


2nd World Conference on Disaster Management
November 19–22, 2015
Visakhapatnam, India


ATC & SEI 2nd Conference on Improving Seismic Performance of Existing Buildings
December 10–12, 2015
San Francisco, California, USA


68th EERI Annual Meeting
April 5–8, 2016
San Francisco, California, USA


IABSE Conference Guangzhou: Bridges and Structures Sustainability
May 8–11, 2016
Guangzhou, China


World Multidisciplinary Civil Engineering-Architecture-Urban Planning Symposium
June 13–17, 2016
Prague, Czech Republic


8th Int'l Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety, and Management
June 26–30, 2016
Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil


6th Int'l Conference on Recent Advances in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics
August 1–6, 2016
Roorkee, India


5th Int'l Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering
October 16–19, 2016
Delft, The Netherlands

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The Pulse is sent on the first and fifteenth day of each month (or the first business day after). Please contact us if you don't receive these issues.



Photos in top banner (left to right) by Martin Hammer (M. EERI, 2010), Honglei Wang, and EERI Concrete Coalition.

Learning from Earthquakes

EERI Briefing Videos About Nepal Earthquake Now Online

Nepal Videos Link imageAn EERI Briefing video series about the April 25, 2015, Nepal Earthquake is now available online at the Nepal Earthquake Virtual Clearinghouse website. The video playlist features an introduction on EERI's response to the event, presentations in different topic areas by each member of the reconnaissance team that visited Nepal in June, and a summary of the mission's findings. Briefing videos range in duration from 10 to 35 minutes, and can be watched individually or in a series.

Learn more and watch the EERI Briefing Videosexternal link icon

As part of EERI's Learning from Earthquakes program, a 13-member international team of experts visited urban and rural sites in Nepal following the M7.8 earthquake on April 25, 2015. Working in partnership with Nepal's National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), and coordinating with nearly 30 other reconnaissance efforts, EERI's multidisciplinary team examined topic areas that included seismology and ground motion; building performance; healthcare facility performance; societal, psychological, and cultural factors; geotechnical engineering and geosciences; emergency response; performance of cultural heritage structures; building codes; lifelines; and community resilience. The briefing videos represent the first published findings from the EERI team.

"These briefing videos from the Nepal reconnaissance team mark the beginning of a new chapter in the long history of EERI's Learning from Earthquakes program," said EERI Board president Mary Comerio (M. EERI, 1988). "I believe the accessibility, scale, and scope of these presentations—nearly five hours of findings from the trip—represent a terrific benefit to EERI members."

EERI's reconnaissance team welcomes questions regarding any of the briefing videos or the mission as a whole, with answers to be posted on a page of the Nepal Earthquake Virtual Clearinghouse. Submit your questions to the team before Wednesday, August 19, 2015, by emailing EERI Program Manager Heidi Tremayne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Live Briefing on Nepal Earthquake on August 13

briefingEERI, the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) and the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association will cohost a live briefing and webinar on the Nepal Earthquake on Thursday, August 13, 2015, 11:45 a.m.–1:45 p.m. (Pacific time).

EERI reconnaissance team co-leader Bret Lizundia (M. EERI, 1992) and team members Judy Mitrani-Reiser (M. EERI, 2011) and Courtney Welton-Mitchell (M. EERI, 2015) will present findings from the June EERI mission to Nepal. Read more about how to attend or watch online on the PEER website.external link icon

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

Recent stories and opinions from around the Web:

The Really Big One (The New Yorker)
An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when. link icon

How to Stay Safe When the Big One Comes (The New Yorker)
Addressing the alarm incited by the last article, with advice on preparation. link icon

"Engineering Missions" May Save Lives (Manila Times)
Director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) challenges professional groups to be proactive. link icon

10 Billion Japanese Yen Fund for Public, Private Building Retrofitting (The Financial Express)
A new fund of 10 billion Japanese Yen (Tk 6.20 billion) will be opened under the Bangladesh Bank as Japanese support for retrofitting public and private buildings for a disaster-resilient city. link icon

This Personal Seismic Gadget Will Warn You Before The Big One Hits (Fast Company)
A team of seismologists has designed a low-cost sensor called the "Brinco" that can send personalized warnings through an app up to 30 seconds before an earthquake hits. link icon

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USGS Awards $4 Million to Support Earthquake Early Warning System in California and Pacific Northwest

On July 30, 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey announced it had awarded approximately $4 million (US) to four universities – California Institute of Technology, University of California, Berkeley, University of Washington, and University of Oregon – to support transitioning the “ShakeAlert”external link icon earthquake early warning system toward a production stage.

Read more on the USGS website.external link icon

2nd World Congress on Disaster Management in November

The 2nd World Congress on Disaster Management (WCDM) will be held at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India, November 19-22, 2015.

The 2nd WCDM will address the interconnected, complex, and emerging risks in today's societies, and explore various dimensions of natural and manmade hazards, vulnerabilities and exposures, their impacts across sectors, and the various efforts and initiatives for building resilience at all levels.

Information, call for papers, and registration can be found at: external link icon

Save the Date: ATC/USGS Seismic Hazard User-Needs Workshop

The Applied Technology Council (ATC) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will convene the ATC/USGS Seismic Hazard User-Needs Workshop, co-sponsored by EERI, at Rambo Auditorium, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California, on September 21-22, 2015.

Like the ATC-35/USGS National Earthquake Ground Motion Mapping Workshops, which were held in 1995, 2001, and 2006, this User-Needs Workshop will provide an opportunity for groups that use the National Seismic Hazard Maps to describe their needs for hazard information and products from the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project.

The workshop agenda and registration information will be announced on the ATC website soon: link icon

PEER Receives Funding for Lifelines, Nepal Research

peer logo 75The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) recently announced renewed support for its research work on lifelines, and new funding for increasing resilience in Nepalese critical care facilities.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) signed a three-year contract with the ten-university research consortium to investigate the seismic performance of lifelines components and systems, while RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation, following the April 25, 2015 earthquake in Nepal, funded PEER's engineering investigations on the effects on medical care facilities to identify and reduce vulnerability and risk associated with seismic hazards.

To read about these projects and other PEER activities, visit link icon

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Chapter Spotlight

Regional Chapters at 11CCEE

11cceeThe British Columbia and Washington State Regional Chapters of EERI came together at the 11th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering (11CCEE) from July 21–24, 2015 in Victoria, BC, Canada. The chapters shared an EERI booth featuring information on chapter activities, recent missions responding to the Nepal earthquake of April 25, 2015, and the Seattle Scenario (M6.7 Earthquake on the Seattle Fault). Chapter members also found time to share a meal to get acquainted and explore future opportunities to collaborate.

We thank both chapters for the great job done in sharing the mission and activities of EERI at the conference.

Student Spotlight: UCLA

Before the 2015-2016 school year gets started we would like to focus on some of the terrific ideas and activities of EERI Student Chapters from last year.

ucla talkIn its final meeting of the year on April 23, the EERI Student Chapter at University of California, Los Angeles, combined its 2015-2016 office elections with its first "Seismic Research Showcase."

Three civil engineering graduate students currently conducting seismic research spoke about the “big picture” context of their projects and what it’s like to be a graduate student doing earthquake-related research. The speakers were chapter members Sunai Kim (M. EERI, 2013) and Yazhou Xie (M. EERI, 2014) (structural) and Samuel Yniesta (M. EERI, 2015) (geotechnical). Topics discussed included tall building design, performance-based bridge design, and the perilous California Delta levee system. The presentations were well-received by the meeting attendees, especially by undergraduate students considering their options after graduation. The UCLA chapter will continue to host this even each year and plans to grow it to include more speakers and attendees.

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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

spectra 150Five preprint manuscripts have been posted to the Earthquake Spectra website prior to formal publication. The papers to be published are:

"A Database for the Experimental Study of Earthquake-Induced Liquefaction and Lateral Spreading in Sands" by Tarek Abdoun (M. EERI, 2005), Waleed El-Sekelly (M. EERI, 2015), Ricardo Dobry (M. EERI, 1974), Sabanayagam Thevanayagam, and Marcelo Gonzalez

"Seismic Hazard and Loss Analysis for Spatially Distributed Infrastructure in Christchurch, New Zealand" by Hasan Manzour (M. EERI, 2015), Rachel A. Davidson (M. EERI, 1995), Nick Horspool, and Linda K. Nozick

"Seismic Performance of WUF-W Moment Connections According to Access Hole Geometries" by Sang Whan Han (M. EERI, 1994), Jin Jung, and Sung Jin Ha

"Research Engagement after Disasters: Research Coordination Before, During, and after the 2010–2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, New Zealand" by Sarah Beaven, Thomas Wilson, Lucy Johnston, David Johnston (M. EERI, 2013), and Richard Smith

"2014 Update of the Pacific Northwest Portion of the U.S. National Seismic Hazard Maps" by Arthur Frankel (M. EERI, 1994), Rui Chen (M. EERI, 2011), Mark Petersen (M. EERI, 2002), Morgan Moschetti (M. EERI, 2015), and Brian Sherrod

To read all current preprint manuscripts posted, visit Earthquake Spectra preprints. external link icon

Leading in Disaster Recovery: A Companion Through the Chaos

leading in disaster recovery imageThe new publication Leading in Disaster Recovery: A Companion through the Chaos, shares recovery leaders’ wisdom, practical strategies, and tools for people who find themselves in any sort of leadership role following a disaster.

The co-authors, Elizabeth McNaughton, Jolie Wills, and David Lallemant (M. EERI, 2012), interviewed more than 100 recovery leaders from around the world, including leaders from the Haiti earthquake, Tohoku tsunami, Kobe earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, Christchurch earthquake, Super Storm Sandy, and the Australian Black Saturday bushfires.

“The people who have used the book say they feel relief when they are connected to other leaders who really ‘get it,’" said co-author Elizabeth McNaughton. "It is what we wished for when starting out on the recovery of Christchurch.”

The book, which is free to download, is already in use by teams in Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Pam, and in Nepal after the latest devastating earthquake.

More information and download link at: external link icon

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25 Ways to Get Involved

Get Involved with EERI

25 waysLooking to be more involved with EERI? We've come up with a list of opportunities for members. Each edition of The Pulse will highlight a way to do more.
Download the 25 Ways flyerexternal link icon (PDF)

#11: Watch an EERI webinar.

Nearly five hours of material on the Nepal Earthquake is now online. Watch the whole playlist or pace yourself by viewing a presentation at a time. View the EERI Briefing Videos on the Nepal Earthquake Virtual Clearinghouse website.external link icon

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