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 Reconnaissance Team to Ecuador More >

Younger Members Step Up Virtual Earthquake Response More >

News of the Institute

Women in Structural Engineering Come Together at EERI Annual Meeting More >

Presentations from 2016 Annual Meeting Now Available More >

EERI Has One Post-Graduation Internship Position Open More >

News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views More >


Council on Tall Buildings Funding and Prize Opportunities More >

NHERI@UTexas Liquefaction Workshop June 23-24 in Portland, OR More >


Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts More >

Member Spotlight

SDC Student Teams Gets Attention More >

Welcome New EERI Members More >


Jogja Earthquake in Reflection
May 24–26, 2016
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

7th China-Japan-US Trilateral Symposium on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering
June 1–4, 2016
Shanghai, China

Short Course on Grouting Fundamentals and Current Practice
June 13–17, 2016
Austin, Texas

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

16th U.S.-Japan-New Zealand Workshop on the Improvement of Structural Engineering and Resiliency
June 27–29, 2016
Nara, Japan

1st International Conference on Natural Hazards and Infrastructure
June 28–30, 2016
Chania, Greece

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

Istanbul Bridge Conference 2016
August 8–10, 2016
Istanbul, Turkey

World Multidisciplinary Earth Sciences Symposium
September 5–9, 2016
Prague, Czech Republic

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists Annual Meeting
September 18–24, 2016
Kona, Hawaii

1st International Workshop on Resilience
September 20–22, 2016
Torino, Italy

2016 SEAOC Conference
October 12–15, 2016
Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

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

4th Int'l Conference on Urban Disaster Reduction
October 17–20, 2016
Wellington and Christchurch, NZ

16WCEE World Conference Earthquake Engineering
January 9–13, 2017
Santiago, Chile

International Conference on Building Envelope Systems and Technologies
May 15–18, 2017
Istanbul, Turkey

GeoMEast 2017
July 15–19, 2017
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

3rd International Conference on Performance-based Design in Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering
July 16–19, 2017
Vancouver, Canada

Social Links

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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.



Learning from Earthquakes

EERI Reconnaissance Team to Ecuador


On May 8, 2016, an EERI team began a reconnaissance mission in Ecuador to investigate damage, response, and recovery in the aftermath of that country’s M7.8 earthquake of April 16, 2016.

The team is led by Forrest Lanning (M. EERI, 2009) from Miyamoto international. Lanning is a current EERI Housner Fellow based in Costa Rica working on a USAID-funded project on earthquake preparedness in Costa Rica and Colombia. Team members include Ana (Gabby) Haro (M. EERI, 2014), PhD student in Civil Engineering at North Carolina State, Mei Kuen Liu, Senior Engineer with Forell/Elsesser, Arturo Schultz (M. EERI, 1986), professor of Civil Engineering at University of Minnesota, and Adrian Tola (M. EERI, 2015), PhD student in Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech. Héctor Monzón Despang (M. EERI, 1988) and Alberto José Monzón Posadas (M. EERI, 2012), two members of the Asociación Guatemalteca de Ingeniería Estructural y Sísmica (AGIES) from Guatemala, are traveling with the team in Ecuador.

The EERI reconnaissance mission is based in Manta, and from there is traveling to affected towns for observations and meetings with government officials and local organizations. The team is coordinating activities with reconnaissance efforts organized by GEER, Degenkolb, Build Change, EEFIT, Technalia, and other teams.

EERI has set up virtual clearinghouse websites for both the Muisne, Ecuador earthquake external link icon and the April 15, 2016 Kumamoto, Japan earthquake, external link icon as central locations for data collected by EERI reconnaissance efforts as well as other colleagues, members, collaborators and contributors. EERI continues to coordinate with organizations in Japan to collect data and to develop next steps for that earthquake.

Questions about EERI’s response to the Ecuador earthquake and the Learning from Earthquakes program may be directed to interim LFE program manager, Marjorie Greene at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Younger Members Step Up Virtual Earthquake Response


EERI created the concept of online virtual earthquake reconnaissance clearinghouses in 2009, with the websites for the recent Kumamoto, Japan and Muisne, Ecuador earthquakes being the nineteenth and twentieth launched by the Learning from Earthquakes program. The 2015 Nepal Earthquake clearinghouse brought the innovation of assigned curators to research, summarize, and post information on a range of topics, deepening and expanding the value of virtual clearinghouses.

EERI's Younger Members Committee has formalized a Virtual Earthquake Response Team (VERT) to have curators ready to respond immediately after the launch of a virtual clearinghouse. Enthusiastic members of VERT scour the Internet and use their contacts to find reports, video, photos, and maps to link to and post. In addition, VERT members are prepared to provide logistical and informational support to in-field members of EERI reconnaissance teams, and two are currently serving on the EERI mission in Ecuador.

Some highlights of the two latest virtual clearinghouses, including work from the VERT:

• Summary report on the Kumamoto Earthquake sequence from EERI member Jim Goltz (M. EERI, 1994), a visiting research professor at DPRI at Kyoto University: (PDF)

• Summary post of a Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) report on damage to reinforced concrete buildings in Japan:

• Before and after images from Portoviejo compiled by Degenkolb team member Gordon Wray: (PDF)

• Video and photos describing road and bridge damage in Ecuador:

• Data map containing reconnaissance photos, situation reports from the Ecuador Office of Risk Management, and remote sensing data showing damage: and

Special thanks to LFE Operations Specialists Cherry Chan (M. EERI, 2016) and Alex Julius (M. EERI, 2014) for their support in setting up and updating the data maps for the Japan and Ecuador Virtual Clearinghouse websites. Check back frequently for new information, particularly as more teams return from field reconnaissance and upload their data.

EERI is very grateful to its team of curators for finding much of the information available on these clearinghouse sites: Diego Aguirre (M. EERI, 2012), Candice Avanes, Patrick Bassal (M. EERI, 2015), Veronica Cedillos (M. EERI, 2008), Sahar Derakhshan (M. EERI, 2012), Erica Fischer (M. EERI, 2010), Manny Hakhamaneshi (M. EERI, 2009), Ana Gabriela Haro (M. EERI, 2014), Ezra Jampole (M. EERI, 2012), Jeena Jayamon (M. EERI, 2013), Cuiyan Kong (M. EERI, 2014), Ammar Motorwala (M. EERI, 2015), <strong (M. EERI, 2016), Nicole Paul (M. EERI, 2016), Bishal Subedi, Emrah Tasdemir (M. EERI, 2014), and Anna Weiser-Woodward.

For more information on participating as a curator for future clearinghouses, contact the co-chairs of the Younger Members Committee, Erica Fischer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Manny Hakhamaneshi (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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News of the Institute

Women in Structural Engineering Come Together at EERI Annual Meeting


On Thursday, April 7, 2016, the Women in Structural Engineering (WiSE) networking hour took place in conjunction with the 2016 EERI Annual Meeting.

WiSE was founded five years ago to connect women working in fields related to structural engineering and earthquakes. Membership now includes structural engineers, seismologists, geotechnical engineers, and other professionals from around the world. Over 35 women and two men attended the networking hour to hear about WiSE events happening in different parts of the country and to meet each other. Seattle, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area have active chapters that host happy hours and lecture events. In addition, two WiSE members made a brief presentation the Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity survey, a project conducted by the Structural Engineering Association of Northern California. The goals of the study are two-fold: to understand the keys to employee engagement/retention, and to identify gender-related obstacles at various stages in a structural engineer's career. The overarching objective is to identify ways in which firms can adapt their practices to retain an engaged and productive workforce.

WiSE primarily exists as a networking group on LinkedIn. There are no membership fees. If you would like to join, please visit the LinkedIn group external link icon or contact Ayse Hortacsu (M. EERI, 2000) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Presentations from 2016 Annual Meeting Now Available

am 2016Slide-set presentations from the 2016 EERI Annual Meeting in San Francisco are now available on the meeting website. external link icon

Presentations are highlighted in the meeting program with "Click here" call-out links. Just scroll to the session of your choice and click on the link for a PDF file. We thank all the Annual Meeting speakers who generously made their presentations available to the public.

EERI Has One Post-Graduation Internship Position Open

internsThe Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) has one internship position available for a recent college graduate interested in gaining valuable professional experience while supporting the Institute’s mission to reduce earthquake risk. This position can begin as early as June 2016. Applications should be submitted by May 20, 2016.

The approximately six-month internship offers engagement in a number of interesting EERI projects and the intern would focus primarily on the EERI’s Earthquake Scenario, Learning from Earthquakes, World Housing Encyclopedia, and Confined Masonry Network projects.

Tasks are varied, although day-to-day work focuses on supporting EERI projects and staff through research, project coordination, and website development and maintenance.

Internship candidates should have:

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering, science, architecture or related field.
  • Familiarity with issues in earthquake risk reduction
  • Proficiency in Excel and Word
  • Basic GIS skills and knowledge of GIS software (ArcMap, ArcGIS Online)
  • Ability to take initiative and independently solve problems
  • Curiosity, strong interpersonal skills, and a flexible attitude towards work

Other desired qualities include:

  • Skills with graphic design programs such as Adobe InDesign or Illustrator
  • Basic HTML skills and some knowledge of website development and maintenance (WordPress and Joomla), or willingness to learn

The intern will need to work in the EERI office, which means living in the San Francisco Bay Area. (No moving or housing support provided). EERI interns are provided a monthly stipend of $2,200.

EERI Post-Graduation internships are a great way to gain valuable professional experience, to be involved in meaningful projects related to seismic safety and risk reduction, and to make connections with EERI’s multi-disciplinary professional community. The EERI office is conveniently located in downtown Oakland, close to BART and the freeway.

You can learn more about the EERI Internship program at

Interested applicants should upload a resume, a one-page cover letter highlighting their qualifications and interest in the EERI internship program, and the names of two references to the secure website here: Preference is given to EERI members. Applications should be submitted by May 20, 2016. New internship positions become available every four to six months.

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

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

oneNew report reveals 'disconcerting' earthquake risk along Wasatch Front (Deseret News) The probability that at least one magnitude 6.75 earthquake could rattle the Wasatch Front in the next 50 years is 43 percent. external link icon

oneSan Andreas fault 'locked, loaded and ready to roll' with big earthquake, expert says (Los Angeles Times) Last major quake on Southern California section was in 1857. external link icon

oneIt could cost $3 billion to prevent disastrous earthquake damage along San Francisco’s Embarcadero. (Los Angeles Times) Massive sea wall could be shoved toward the bay by more than several feet in a massive earthquake. external link icon

oneNew Invention Advances Freshwater Seismology Research (UC San Diego) Technician develops new ocean-bottom seismometer release system. external link icon

oneNew Zealand legislation sets quake strengthening time frames (Newshub) Most residential buildings are excluded in bill that passed by 120 votes to one. external link icon

oneQuakes take extensive toll on cultural assets in Kyushu (Japan Times) A total of 361 nationally and locally designated cultural properties have been damaged in Japan. external link icon

oneSmall magnitude earthquake swarm continues at Mount St. Helens (USGS) Earthquake rates have been steadily increasing since March, reaching nearly 40 located earthquakes per week. external link icon

oneCrowdsourced Seismology (EOS) The seismologists of the world want to turn you into an earthquake detector. external link icon

oneCitizen scientists aid Ecuador earthquake relief (Nature) Effort to identify damaged areas combines crowdsourcing with machine-learning algorithms. external link icon

oneWoman can feel every earthquake around the planet (Daily Mail) "Cyborg artist" had seismograph implanted in her arm. external link icon

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Council on Tall Buildings Funding and Prize Opportunities

CTBUHThe Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is offering over $60,000 in funding and prizes through three annual research and academic programs: the 2016 International Research Seed Funding,external link icon 2016 Student Research Competition,external link icon and 2016 Student Design Competition.external link icon These opportunities are platforms upon which to showcase and explore critical inquiries into the meaning and value of tall buildings in modern society. Submission deadlines occur on a rolling basis throughout the summer, with the first occurring on May 31, 2016.

NHERI@UTexas Liquefaction Workshop June 23-24 in Portland, OR

An experimental facility workshop on in-situ liquefaction testing of Willamette Silt will be held near Portland, Oregon on June 23-24, 2016.

This workshop, hosted by the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure Equipment Facility at the University of Texas at Austin (NHERI@UTexas), will use a large, mobile, hydraulic shaker to load ground surface horizontally, while subsurface response of silty soils are monitored with push-in vibration and pore pressure sensors. Travel support is available for a limited number of participants. Preference will be given to those planning to submit proposals to the Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH) program of the National Science Foundation.

Additional information may be found, and applications can be submitted, at the NHERI DesignSafe-CI learning center: external link icon

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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

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

  • "Pull-Out Behavior of Adhesive Connections in URM Walls" by Dmytro Dizhur (M. EERI, 2014), Arturo Schultz (M. EERI, 1986), and Jason Ingham (M. EERI, 2014)
  • "Out-Of-Plane Behavior of Confined Masonry Walls Subjected to Concentrated Loads (One-Way Bending) by Dante Navarrete-Macias (M. EERI, 2015), Jorge Varela-Rivera (M. EERI, 2015), and Luis Fernandez-Baqueiro (M. EERI, 2015)
  • "Seismic isolation devices based on sliding between surfaces with variable friction coefficient" by Paolo M. Calvi (M. EERI, 2016), Matteo Moratti, and Gian Michele Calvi
  • "Design and Construction of Hybrid Concrete-Masonry Structures Informed by Cyclic Tests" by Laura Redmond (M. EERI, 2009), Lawrence Kahn, and Reginald DesRoches (M. EERI, 1995)

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

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Member Spotlight

SDC Student Teams Gets Attention


The EERI Student Chapter teams at Cornell University and San Francisco State University were recognized by their campus media for their participation at the 13th Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition at the EERI 2016 Annual Meeting. The articles not only recognized the achievement and dedication of both teams (both top ten finishers in the competition), but provided an opportunity to share the relevance and importance of structural design and earthquake engineering. We congratulate all the teams and the Student Leadership Council for producing an excellent competition.


Student Team Designs Earthquake Resistant Buildings for Competition,Wins Third Prizeexternal link icon (Cornell Daily Sun website)

Engineering students shake up international seismic design competition external link icon (SF State News website)

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.

A.D. Roshan, AERB

Noemi Bonessio, University of California Irvine
Fernando Moreu, University of New Mexico
Hamidreza Nouri, Golder Associates Inc, Geotechnical

Sherif Aboubakr, University of New Mexico, Civil
Mohammad Alam, Oregon State University
Edvard Bruun, University of Toronto
Arturo Castillo, California State University Sacramento, Civil
Steven Efe, Morgan State University, Civil
Maggie Exton, Oregon State University, Geotechnical
Jose Gomez, University of New Mexico
Peter Heintz, University of Illinois, Civil
Arjun Jayaprakash, North Carolina State University
Zachary Krish, North Carolina State University
Allan Kuan, University of Toronto
Jose Mena Ortiz, University of New Mexico
Sharoo Shrestha, Oregon State University
Cynthia Suminto, University of Illinois, Civil
Tooraj Yegan, San Francisco State University, Civil
David Zermeno, California State University Sacramento, Civil

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