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

News of the Institute

Call for Nominations for the 2017 Bruce Bolt Medal More >

EERI Endowment Donors More >

News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views More >

Student Spotlight

2016 EERI Student Leadership Council: Retreat and Elections More >


SMIP16 Seminar on Utilization of Strong-Motion Data on Oct 6 More >


Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts More >

Member Spotlight

Welcome New EERI Members More >


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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.



News of the Institute

Call for Nominations for the 2017 Bruce Bolt Medal

Bruce BoltThe Bruce Bolt Medal is awarded jointly by COSMOS, EERI, and SSA to recognize individuals worldwide whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of strong-motion earthquake data and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety.

The COSMOS, EERI, and SSA Joint Nomination Panel is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Bruce Bolt Medalist. Members of EERI, SSA, and COSMOS are encouraged to submit nomination packages for this distinguished award. Nominations will be reviewed in confidence by a six-person Joint Nomination Panel formed by two representatives from each of the three sponsoring organizations. EERI's representatives on the panel are Charles R. Real (M. EERI, 1985) and Robert L. Nigbor (M. EERI, 1984). The recommended nominee will be considered in confidence by each organization’s Board of Directors for their approval and joint selection of the medalist.

If you know of a colleague or peer that you would like to nominate for this prestigious honor, please go to the Bruce Bolt Medal webpage external link icon for nominee criteria and nomination procedure.

The deadline to submit nominations for the 2017 award is October 31, 2016 (incomplete nomination packages will not be considered by the Joint Nomination Panel). Please direct all questions to Woody Savage (M. EERI, 1975) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EERI Endowment Donors

EERI would like to thank donors to the Endowment Fund and acknowledge their recent contributions. EERI’s Endowment supports innovative projects that assure the Institute’s continuing leadership in the earthquake engineering profession.

The list below reflects donations that the Institute received from the end of July to August 11, 2016.

Lloyd S. Cluff
Asadour H. Hadjian

James Goltz

Marcia McLaren

Thank you for your support!

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

Ten recent stories, reports, or opinions from around the Web:

one7 Ways Humans Have Tried to Predict Earthquakes (Nautilus) Our methods have gotten more sophisticated than observing weasels and snakes, but predicting earthquakes ahead of time remains shaky business. external link icon

oneSeismic Slowdowns Could Warn of Impending Earthquakes (Smithsonian) An "earthquake machine" in the lab is helping scientists understand what goes on just before a quake. external link icon

oneAsk Smithsonian: Can Animals Predict Earthquakes? (Smithsonian) Humans cling to the idea that the beasts of the field could help to make earthquakes predictable. external link icon

oneAt-risk B.C. municipalities consider earthquake coverage (The Globe and Mail) Buying insurance to bring some crucial infrastructure back online quickly in the event of an earthquake in Western Canada. external link icon

oneHow a major earthquake could put cracks in Canada’s financial system (CTV News) Preparing for financial fallout in the event of a one-in-500 year earthquake causing more than $35-billion in insured losses. external link icon

oneThe Ten World Ports at Risk of Highest Insurance Loss Due to Catastrophe (Business Wire) RMS analysis shows riskiest two ports are in Japan and China, with six of the top ten in the United States. external link icon

fiveWashington National Cathedral still faces more than a decade of repairs after 2011 earthquake (Washingtonian) Architectural features were cracked, twisted, or destroyed by the 5.8-magnitude quake. external link icon

sixOSU geologist: Building marine science center in tsunami zone is 'completely inexplicable' (The Oregonian) Oregon State University hopes to have as many as 500 students study at the coastal hub by 2025. external link icon

sevenEarthquake-resilient pipeline could shake up future for aging infrastructure on west coast (Science Daily) In testing at Cornell, pipe able to accommodate two feet of rupture without leaking. external link icon

eightPost-Quake Fire Could Mean Double Disaster in East Bay (NBC Bay Area) UC Berkeley research on miles of aging water pipes vulnerable to Hayward Fault quake. external link icon

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Student Spotlight

2016 EERI Student Leadership Council: Retreat and Elections


The EERI Student Leadership Council (SLC) held its annual retreat in the San Francisco Bay Area on July 28-29, 2016. EERI SLC Co-Presidents Diane Moug (M. EERI, 2014) and Cristian Acevedo (M. EERI, 2012) led a meeting at the Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI) external link icon offices in Walnut Creek, California, on Friday afternoon.

SLC members, representing 12 universities, were in attendance. The Council reviewed the past year’s activities, including the successes and challenges of the EERI Seismic Design Competition in San Francisco (April 2016), and charted out activities and improvements for the 2016-2017 term.

Election Results: 2016-2017 SLC Officers

The SLC held its board election for the 2016-2017 academic year. Below are the results of the election.

Kristen Hess, University of Colorado, Boulder (M. EERI, 2014)
Yi Tyan Tsai, UCLA (M. EERI, 2014)

Ryan Whelchel, Purdue University (M. EERI, 2015)

Yolanda Lin, Cornell University (M. EERI, 2013)

SDC Chairs:
Jorge Archbold, UC Berkeley (M. EERI, 2016)
Jennifer Briggs, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (M. EERI, 2014)
Trevor Carey, UC Davis (M. EERI, 2013)
Ángel Pérez-Irizarry, University of Wisconsin-Madison (M. EERI, 2011)

Outreach Committee Chairs: Maha Kenawy, UC Davis (M. EERI, 2015), Daniela Martinez, UC Berkeley (M. EERI, 2015) and Nathan Scharenbrock, Iowa State University (M. EERI, 2016)

Webmaster: Farhad Sedaghati, University of Memphis (M. EERI, 2014)

Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance Worskop Committee Chairs: Camilla Favaretti, UC Irvine (M. EERI, 2014), Christopher Price, North Carolina State University (M. EERI, 2015), and Aishwarya Puranam, Purdue University (M. EERI, 2014)


EERI thanks Computers and Structures, Inc., an EERI Diamond-level Subscribing Member, for its generous support of the annual SLC retreat and year-round activities. In addition to donating a meeting space, CSI also provided a reception for the SLC members, hosted by CSI President and CEO Ashraf Habibullah (M. EERI, 1999).

EERI would like to thank the outgoing SLC Officers for the 2015-2016 academic year: SLC Co-Presidents Cristian Acevedo (M. EERI, 2012), Stanford University, and Diane Moug (M. EERI, 2014), UC Davis; SLC Members Bin Cai (M. EERI, 2014), Iowa State University; Mohammad Farshchin (M. EERI, 2012), University of Memphis; Gabby Haro (M. EERI, 2014), North Carolina State University; Kristen Hess (M. EERI, 2014), University of Colorado, Boulder; Ezra Jampole (M. EERI, 2012), Stanford University; Kendall Johnson (M. EERI, 2015) Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Mitchell Knapp (M. EERI, 2014), University of Illinois; Lucas Laughery (M. EERI, 2013), Purdue University; Carlos McEniry (M. EERI, 2014), Cal Poly Pomona; Alex Mueller (M. EERI, 2014), Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Vince Pericoli (M. EERI, 2011), UC Davis; and Yi Tyan Tsai (M. EERI, 2014), UCLA.

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SMIP16 Seminar on Utilization of Strong-Motion Data on Oct 6

cgs logo 75The California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP) in the California Geological Survey (CGS) will hold its annual seminar to transfer recent research findings on strong-motion data to practicing seismic design professionals, earth scientists and earthquake response personnel. The seminar will take place at the University of California, Davis, on October 6, 2016.

This year’s seminar will include presentations on site response analyses using California downhole array data, improved ground motion intensity measures, ground motions from the 2014 South Napa Earthquake, building periods and damping ratios, building soil-foundation impedance functions, bridge foundation input motions, and fragility curves for rapid post-earthquake safety evaluation of bridges. Dr. C. B. Crouse of AECOM is invited to present the development of new ground motion maps for the Los Angeles area.

Seminar program and registration form are available at the SMIP16 Seminar websiteexternal link icon

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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

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

  • "Full-Scale Dynamic Testing of a Sliding Seismically Isolated Unibody House" by Ezra Jampole (M. EERI, 2012), Gregory Deierlein (M. EERI, 1989), Eduardo Miranda (M. EERI, 1987), Benjamin Fell, Scott Swensen (M. EERI, 2010), and Cristian Acevedo (M. EERI, 2012)
  • "Loading Protocols for ASCE 41 Backbone Curves" by Bruce F. Maison (M. EERI, 1990) and Matthew S. Speicher (M. EERI, 2004)
  • "The Global Earthquake Model Physical Vulnerability Database" by Catalina Yepes (M. EERI, 2016), Vitor Silva (M. EERI, 2014), Tiziana Rossetto (M. EERI, 2010), Dina D’Ayala, Ioanna Ioannou, Abdelghani Meslem (M. EERI, 2015), and Helen Crowley (M. EERI, 2008)


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

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Member Spotlight

Welcome New EERI Members

EERI welcomes the members who have recently joined the Institute. If you wish to connect with your fellow members, you can locate their contact information in the EERI online membership directory, which requires logging in to the Member Resources Area of the EERI website.

Guillermo Ponce, Universidad Catolica de Santiago de Guayaquil (Ecuador)
Jorge Raad, Triconsul/Catholic University at Esmeraldas (Ecuador)
Volodymyr Shadrin, Engineering Innovation (Ukraine)

Miao Han, Beijing University
Michael Tait, McMaster University, Civil

Resat Oyguc, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Civil
Amitkumar Patel, Dow Chemicals, Civil

Jorge Archbold, UC Berkeley
Bernardo Casares, Cornell University, Civil
Aritra Chatterjee, Virginia Tech
Tashly Covington, California State University Sacramento, Civil
Yuguang Fu, University of Illinois
Jeremy Gosselin, University of Victoria, Seismologist
Evrim Guley, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Civil
Setare Hajarolasvadi, University of Illinois, Civil
Ketan Ragalwar, SUNY Buffalo
Nathan Scharenbrock, Iowa State University
Jamie Vickery, University of Colorado, Social Science


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