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

EERI Launches a New Program for School Earthquake Safety More >

Sonya Hollenbeck Celebrates 25 years with EERI More >

Publications

Solving the Spectra Publication Wait: An Editorial by Jonathan Stewart More >

Program Updates

Friedman Family Program Visits 13 Universities More >

EERI Concrete Coalition Discusses Proposed LA Mandate, and more, at SEI Structures Congress More >

Student Spotlight

EERI Student Chapter Activities More >

Announcements

16th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering: Proposal Deadline July 13 More >

Bill Anderson Fund Disaster Dash 5K on July 22 More >

6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering: Early Registration More >

WMCAUS 2016 in Prague, June 13–17, 2016 More >

25 Ways to Get Involved

Get Involved with EERI More >

Calendar

7th Int'l Conference on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure
July 1–3, 2015
Torino, Italy

www.shmii2015.org

 

11th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering
July 21-24, 2015
Victoria, BC, Canada

www.canadianearthquakeconference.ca

 

XIX INQUA Congress 2015
July 27 - August 2, 2015
Nagoya, Japan

http://inqua2015.jp/

 

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

http://asem.cti3.com/asem15.htm

 

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

www.aegannualmeeting.org

 

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

www.tdmd.org.tr/

 

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

www.6icege.com

 

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

aees.org.au/10pcee

 

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

atc-sei.org

 

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

 

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

www.iabse.org/

 

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

www.wmcaus.org/

 

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

www.iabmas2016.org

 

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

6icragee.com/nw6ic/

 

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

www.ialcce2016.org

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Submit your questions regarding The Pulse of Earthquake Engineering at pulse@eeri.org. You may also submit your content for consideration at pulse@eeri.org.

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.

News of the Institute

EERI Launches a New Program for School Earthquake Safety

sesiJoin us to protect the lives of all who inhabit school buildings. EERI’s new School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI) will leverage the Institute’s extensive expertise and reputation by conducting regionally appropriate actions to increase the seismic safety of school buildings.

EERI members are encouraged to actively participate in one of SESI’s subcommittees listed below.

 • Safety Screening, Inventory, and Evaluation – Chairs: Ken Goettel and Barry Welliver
 • Classroom Education and Outreach – Chairs: Lelli Van Den Einde and Thalia Anagnos
 • Tsunami Mitigation for Schools - Chair pending, Heidi Tremayne is current contact
 • Code Updating and Improvements – Chair: Rob Jackson
 • Safety Advocacy and Messaging – Chair: Lucy Arendt

Utilizing member expertise through these subcommittees, the School Earthquake Safety Initiative can make a tangible, positive difference in communities around the world by advocating for school safety.

For example, the Classroom Education and Outreach Subcommittee plans to use education in the classroom to establish ongoing dialog with parents, teachers, and administrators, creating advocates for school earthquake safety. After developing a pilot education program with well-documented and easy-to-implement lesson plans, the subcommittee will recruit EERI regional and student chapters to deliver the activities and serve as expert resources for stakeholders.

The Safety Screening, Inventory, and Evaluation Subcommittee will facilitate and encourage implementation of risk reduction measures, developing stepwise screening methodologies that can identify school buildings with the highest seismic risk while minimizing the effort and expense for school districts. This summer, the group will document inventory and screening success stories in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Alaska, and Missouri, and review screening tools. The subcommittee will then develop a school screening activity in the fall, intended to be ready for use by EERI members in selected pilot regions in 2016.

To learn more about SESI activities and find contact details for the subcommittee chairs listed above, visit the SESI website: https://www.eeri.org/projects/schools/subcommittees/

Sonya Hollenbeck Celebrates 25 years with EERI

sonya chelseaOn July 9, 2015, EERI Controller and Member Relations manager Sonya Hollenbeck will celebrate 25 years with EERI. Sonya began work as the Institute’s financial manager in 1990, hired by Susan Tubbesing, EERI Executive Director at the time.

“Sonya inherited a system that was cumbersome and struggling with timely production of monthly financial statements,” Tubbesing remembers. “The previous bookkeeper told us to hire Sonya, and that we'd never regret it. And she was right!”

As EERI’s Controller, Sonya works tirelessly and efficiently, managing the books, tracking budgets for countless grants, and enduring extensive annual audits to maintain the Institute’s non-profit status. Over the years she has been a fixture at EERI meetings and conferences, playing a major role in planning 25 Annual Meetings, 6 National Conferences, and countless other workshops and seminars.

Sonya’s daughter, Chelsea, was born after Sonya started working at EERI and just graduated from California State University, Long Beach, with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. “My daughter has grown up with the staff and members of EERI,” Sonya says.

Sonya has a reputation with EERI members for taking special care to accommodate their needs, from providing guest name badges for family and spouses at meetings, to ensuring that Subscribing Members get the visibility they deserve. Sonya’s thoughtfulness and character help foster the close-knit culture that so many EERI members value.

EERI Board President Mary Comerio calls Sonya “the backbone of EERI.” Noting how ably Sonya has managed the Institute's finances, Comerio admits, “Every active member utterly relies on her. As President, I value her knowledge, experience, and even-handed management skills. We salute her and thank her for all her years at EERI.”

EERI Executive Director Jay Berger sums up what Sonya has meant to the Institute: "Sonya is smart, funny, totally committed to EERI, and the heart of our office. EERI hit the jackpot 25 years ago, and we are still earning interest today."

Join us in congratulating Sonya for 25 years of great service to EERI. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., but please don’t suggest anything about retirement—we would be lost without her!

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Publications

Solving the Spectra Publication Wait: An Editorial by Jonathan Stewart

stewartjonEarthquake Spectraexternal link icon Editor Jonathan P. Stewart (M. EERI, 1994) addresses the current long publication queue time for EERI’s technical journal with an editorial that details the background and solution.

“The state of Earthquake Spectra is strong in many respects, especially in regard to the quality of papers submitted and published in the journal, and the excellence of our dedicated Editorial Board Members who manage the manuscript reviews. However, we now face a significant challenge that I want to communicate to the EERI membership and to Earthquake Spectra’s readership, along with what is being done to address the issue.”

Read Professor Stewart’s editorial on the EERI website.external link icon

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Program Updates

Friedman Family Program Visits 13 Universities

The Friedman Family Visiting Professionals program concluded the 2014-2015 academic year with thirteen visits by ten professionals. We are extremely proud of the work of students and professionals in the program to bridge the gap between academia and practice. Together participants have created a dynamic dialogue surrounding earthquake engineering and earthquake risk reduction by:

 • Improving the understanding of students and faculty of the active professional earthquake engineering and risk reduction community;
 • Enhancing the students’ understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of earthquake engineering;
 • Increasing the professional’s understanding of the educational process;
 • Utilizing the unique intellectual resources of EERI to broker useful relationships; and
 • Using the resources of EERI to help students understand and consider professional careers associated with earthquake engineering and earthquake risk reduction.

friedman mcmasterWith generous funding from the Friedman Family endowment, the program sends professionals to universities to provide a lecture and tour the university lab facilities—all while meeting students and discussing the options available to them upon graduation. It’s a learning experience for the professionals as well, who have found it fruitful to glimpse into the educational process experienced by young professionals now entering the field.

Participants in the 2014-2015 program recognized the value of the experience:

"Since many non-members were invited to the event, this served as an excellent recruiting tool for the student chapter."—University of California, Davis, EERI Student Chapter

"I enjoyed meeting the students and trying to help them understand what can really happen in the real world with their careers. They were full of questions, and it’s a real pleasure to 'mentor' them, if just a little bit."—David Cocke

"As a new student chapter, we had no clue how to find speakers for member events. Thanks to the program, we were able to apply and have a high-quality visiting professional."—University of California, Irvine, EERI Student Chapter

We thank the universities and professionals who participated this year:

 • University of Minnesota: James Malley (M. EERI, 1990), Degenkolb Engineers
 • University of California, Irvine: David Cocke (M. EERI, 1992), Structural Focus
 • San Jose State University: Janiele Maffei (M. EERI, 1992), California Earthquake Authority
 • McMaster University: David Friedman (M. EERI, 1988), Forell/Elsesser
 • Georgia Institute of Technology: Annie Kammerer (M. EERI, 1997), Bechtel Corporation
 • University of Kansas: Ronald T. Eguchi (M. EERI, 1976), ImageCat Inc.
 • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Joint request with Purdue University): David Cocke (M. EERI, 1992), Structural Focus
 • Rice University: David Friedman (M. EERI, 1988), Forell/Elsesser
 • Virginia Tech: Faiz Makdisi (M. EERI, 1978), SAGE Engineers
 • University of California, Davis: Ramin Golesorkhi (M. EERI, 1986), Langan Treadwell Rollo
 • University of Colorado, Boulder: Patrick Otellini, City & County of San Francisco
 • North Carolina State University: Nathan C. Gould (M. EERI, 1990), ABS Consulting

To learn more about the 2014-2015 participants and professionals, visit the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals web page and read the 2014-2015 summary report  (PDF).

Student chapters who would like to host a visiting professional in the 2015-2016 academic year will have the opportunity to apply early this autumn. An announcement will be made in an upcoming issue of The Pulse and posted to the program web page when the application period is open.

EERI Concrete Coalition Discusses Proposed LA Mandate, and more, at SEI Structures Congress

India Jaiswal eThe recently proposed mandate by the City of Los Angeles for the retrofit of non-ductile concrete buildings was a featured topic during an EERI Concrete Coalition session at the SEI Structures Congress in Portland, Oregon, April 24, 2015.

Scott M. Adan (M. EERI, 2007), of Adan Engineering and member of the Concrete Coalition Advisory Council, moderated “EERI Concrete Coalition: Assessing Risk, Developing Strategies, and Improving Understanding of Older Concrete Buildings,” which included results of recent committee actions and the latest research, developments, and guidelines available on hazards posed by older concrete buildings.

The session’s first speaker was David Bonowitz (M. EERI, 1994), who summarized the results of “The California Inventory Project: An Estimate of the Number of Pre-1980 Concrete Buildings in the State (California).” In his presentation, Bonowitz opined on the role of the media and its influence on the development of Los Angeles’ proposed non-ductile concrete building retrofit mandate. A robust discussion with session attendees followed.

Peter Somers (M. EERI, 1994) of Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) and member of the ATC-78 Technical Committee, spoke next, summarizing Task Order 22: “Development of a Collapse Indicator Methodology for Existing Reinforced Concrete Buildings.” This technical publication provides a recommended plan for the development of nationally accepted guidelines for assessing and mitigating risks in older concrete buildings.

A roundtable discussion, “Older Concrete Buildings in the City of Los Angeles: First Steps Toward Improved Safety,” concluded the session. David Cocke (M. EERI, 1992), President of Structural Focus, led the discussion. Cocke assisted Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in the creation of Los Angeles’ proposed retrofit mandateexternal link icon and provided his perspective and insights into its development.

The Concrete Coalitionexternal link icon is a network comprised of individuals, governments, institutions, and agencies with an interest in assessing and mitigating the risk associated with dangerous non-ductile concrete buildings. If you are interested in joining the Concrete Coalition, contact Maggie Ortiz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Student Spotlight

EERI Student Chapter Activities

urbana cockeNow that summer is upon us and the 2014–2015 academic year comes to a close, EERI wishes all its student members a happy and relaxing summer vacation.

There was so much to be proud of this year. We had a great turnout for the Seismic Design Competition at our 2015 Annual Meeting in Boston with 38 schools participating from the US, Turkey, Romania, and Canada. EERI student chapters have also been very busy on their local campuses hosting events that benefit their members. Over 25 student chapters have submitted annual reports summarizing their activities. Alums and students are encouraged to check out the reports at: https://www.eeri.org/about-eeri/student-chapters/

EERI would also like to offer special congratulations to our graduating students. We are so proud of all you’ve accomplished, and would like to continue supporting you in your future endeavors. EERI Young Professional Membership is free the first year after graduation, and half the price of regular membership for years 2–5. Like Regular Members, Young Professional Members are entitled to vote in the yearly election of the Board of Directors, to hold office, to serve on committees, and to actively participate in the Institute. Annual dues include electronic access to the online quarterly journal, Earthquake Spectra. To move to Young Professional Member status and receive your first year free, send an email to Juliane Lane at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the date you graduated.

Thanks to Student Chapters who have submitted 2014–2015 Annual Reports:

 • Cornell University
 • Iowa State University
 • Karadeniz University
 • Lehigh University
 • McMaster University
 • New Mexico State University
 • North Carolina State University
 • Northeastern University
 • Purdue University
 • Rice University
 • San Jose State University
 • Stanford University
 • State University of New York, Buffalo
 • University of British Colombia
 • University of California, Davis
 • University of California, Irvine
 • University of California, Los Angeles
 • University of California, San Diego
 • University of Connecticut
 • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
 • University of Kansas
 • University of Michigan
 • University of Minnesota
 • University of Nebraska
 • University of Texas, Austin
 • Virginia Tech

Is your university missing from the list? There’s a new process in place for student chapters to share chapter information, metrics, and activities. You can find the report template and link to the submission form at https://www.eeri.org/about-eeri/student-chapters/annual-report-submission/
Be sure to include the results of your latest election!

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Announcements

16th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering: Proposal Deadline July 13

The 16th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering will take place in Santiago, Chile, January 7–13, 2017. The conference organizing committee is now accepting submission of proposals for special sessions dedicated to topics related to earthquake engineering and research project reports. The deadline for submissions is July 13, 2015. Read more at the conference website: http://16wcee.com/external link icon

Bill Anderson Fund Disaster Dash 5K on July 22

anderson fundAll those attending the 40th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshopexternal link icon at the University of Colorado, Boulder, July 19–22, 2015, are invited to participate in the Bill Anderson Fund Disaster Dash 5Kexternal link icon on July 22, 2015.

Meet other attendees, get fresh air and exercise, and help promote and support hazard and disaster mitigation for communities of color and other vulnerable populations. Registration and more information at the William Averette Anderson Fund website: http://billandersonfund.org/current-new-and-events/bill-anderson-5k-dash/ external link icon

6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering: Early Registration

The discounted early registration rate period has been extended until Monday, August 3, 2015, for the 6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering (6ICEGE) in Christchurch, New Zealand, November 2–4, 2015.

6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering (6ICEGE logo)Technical Tours and Accompanying Person Tour details are also now available on the conference website.  

For more information about the conference, visit: http://www.6icege.com/ external link icon

WMCAUS 2016 in Prague, June 13–17, 2016

WMCAUSThe World Multidisciplinary Civil Engineering-Architecture-Urban Planning Symposium, "WMCAUS 2016,” will be held in in Prague Czech Republic, June 13–17, 2016.

The symposium's goal is to provide a forum for discussion of the latest findings and technologies in different fields of the Civil Engineering, Architecture, and Urban Planning sciences, and to give opportunities for future collaborations.

To learn more about WMCAUS 2016, visit the symposium website at www.wmcaus.org

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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)

#24: Join the School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI)

Make a tangible, positive difference in communities around the world by advocating for school safety. Visit the SESI web page to view upcoming activities, contact a subcommittee to join, and help protect the lives of all who inhabit school buildings.

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