List of Visiting Professionals

Geotechnical Engineers

Ramin Golesorkhi Ramin Golesorkhi, Treadwell & Rollo, San Francisco, CA
Registered civil and geotechnical engineer in California, principal at a 90-person geotechnical and environmental engineering firm with more than 20 years of experience in seismic analysis and foundation engineering. Developed seismic and geotechnical design criteria appropriate for industrial, residential, private and government office buildings, hospitals and healthcare facilities, bridges, elevated freeways and viaducts, base isolated structures, tunnels, and seismic strengthening of existing structures, including the new Asian Art Museum, Yerba Buena Tower, Pac Bell Park, and State office building in San Francisco. Significant experience with the development of ground motion design criteria in building codes.
Faiz Makdisi Faiz Makdisi, Geomatrix Consultants, Oakland, CA
Principal Engineer and Vice President with AMEC in Oakland, California. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He has over 35 years of specialized experience in geotechnical and earthquake engineering. Dr. Makdisi has been actively involved in studies of the seismic behavior of earth and rock fill dams and embankments. He developed and published (with the late Professor H.B. Seed) widely used simplified procedures for estimating the dynamic response and permanent deformations in earth and rock fill dams. Recently, Dr. Makdisi has been involved in the development of seismic design criteria, evaluation of seismic stability, and design of alternative remedial measures for more than 25 embankment dams.He has authored and co-authored many papers dealing with the seismic stability of dams and with various aspects of earthquake ground motions and seismic design criteria for critical facilities. He is a recipient of the 1977 Norman Medal award of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for the paper (co-authored with Seed, Lee and Idriss) on the analyses of the slides in the San Fernando Dams during the 1971 San Fernando earthquake.

  1. Evaluation of the seismic performance and stability of embankment dams (earth and rockfill dams)
  2. Assessment of earthquake ground motions for the design or evaluation of critical structures
  3. Potential failure modes evaluations for risk assessments of dams

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Risk Analysis, Lifelines, and Industrial Facilities

Ronald Eguchi Ronald T. Eguchi, ImageCat Inc., Long Beach, CA
President and Chief Executive Officer, consulting firm. Over 25 years of experience in risk analysis and risk management studies, lifeline earthquake engineering, loss estimation. Directed major research and application studies in these areas for government agencies and private industry. Previously co-Director of Center for Advance Planning and Research in a 500-person engineering consulting firm. Chaired a FEMA and NIST panel to develop plan for adopting seismic design standards for public and private lifelines in the United States.
Annie Kammerer - color - Reduced (400x400) Annie Kammerer, Bechtel Corporation, San Francisco
Principal seismologist and seismic engineer in Bechtel’s San Francisco office focusing on probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA) and seismic probabilistic risk analysis (SPRA) for nuclear and other critical facilities. Prior to joining Bechtel in November 2013, she was in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, where she managed and performed research in the US NRC’s Seismic and Tsunami Research Program. Her Research topics included incorporating expert judgment into PSHA, seismic hazard in the central and eastern US, probabilistic soil-structure-interaction (SSI), impact of very high-frequency seismic motions on nuclear plants, correlated fragility of similar components, seismic isolation of nuclear plants, probabilistic techniques applied to tsunami, and determination of tsunami hazard on US East and Gulf coasts. Annie was also part of the NRC’s post-Fukushima seismic team and was the technical lead for the NRC’s seismic walkdown project. Prior to her time at the NRC, Annie spent 5 years as a seismic hazard and risk specialist and geotechnical engineer in Arup’s San Francisco and London offices.  Annie is active in the international nuclear community and is a contributor to guidance for the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, in addition to authoring guidance for the NRC. She holds a BS, MS and PhD in geotechnical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.


  1. Probabilistic seismic hazard assessment
  2. Seismic probabilistic risk assessment
  3. Seismic nuclear regulations in the US and IAEA
  4. Tsunami hazard and risk assessment for nuclear plants
  5. Performance-based design of nuclear and LNG facilities
Douglas Nyman Douglas Nyman, D. J. Nyman & Associates, Houston, TX
Independent consulting engineer, seismic hazard mitigation for pipelines. Principal seismic engineering consultant to Trans-Alaska Pipeline System for 20 years; seismic consultant for major oil and gas pipeline projects on Sakhalin Island, Russia, and through Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Currently conducting fault crossing and landslide evaluations and designs for several oil and gas pipelines in the USA and South America. Served on various government panels addressing seismic design standards and research needs for lifeline systems.

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Structural Engineers

David Cocke David Cocke, Structural Focus, Gardena, CA
Founder and President of Structural Focus in Los Angeles. He started Structural Focus in 2001 after 15 years in San Francisco with Degenkolb Engineers, and another five years founding and managing the Degenkolb Los Angeles office. While at Degenkolb, David worked on notable historic projects such as the EQ repairs to the SF Ferry Building, several quad buildings at Stanford and the Hotel del Coronado. He also participated in the study of all of the Bay Area Hewlett-Packard buildings, a survey of the City of Berkeley buildings, and designed retrofits of numerous buildings on several major college campuses.At Structural Focus, David has worked on the design of new buildings, and the evaluation and retrofits of hundreds of buildings including film studio facilities, university buildings, the Red Bull Headquarters, Google LA Headquarters and historic buildings ranging from some historic barns at Rancho Los Alamitos, an adobe ranch house on Santa Cruz Island, Fresno’s Santa Fe Depot, to the adaptive reuse of a 1930’s concrete sound stage at Sony. Some other significant current projects include the restoration of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and the new Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, which includes the renovations of a historic Post Office building.David is also co-founder and Managing Director of SAFEq Institute which serves as a resource for post-disaster inspections information and providing direct services to government entities and business owners. David believes that preplanning and partnerships with Cities can greatly reduce business interruption after an earthquake or other disaster. That belief was the driving idea behind co-founding SAFEq Institute,In addition to his work in preservation, David has served on the Board of Directors of the Structural Engineers Association of both SEAONC and SEAOSC, as well as SEAOC. He also served on the California Preservation Foundation Board for seven years, was President of the USC Architectural Guild in 2007, and was Treasurer of Pasadena Heritage until stepping down last year. David is currently the SEAOC appointed Alternate Member on the State Historical Building Safety Board.

  1. Retrofit of Historic Buildings
  2. Sustainability and Existing Buildings
  3. Lessons learned from some specific projects
  4. Private/Public partnerships in support of community resilience
Sigmund Freeman Sigmund A. Freeman, Wiss, Janney, Elstner; Emeryville, CA
Principal, consulting engineering firm. Over 40 years of experience in structural design, analysis, research, and building code development, including seismic evaluations of existing buildings, testing full-scale model structures in the field, and testing building components in the laboratory. Known for introducing the Capacity Spectrum Method and the ADRS-format for response spectra. Active participant in developing guidelines for seismic design and evaluation, and the interpretation of recorded earthquake building motion.
David Friedman David Friedman, Forell/Elsesser, San Francisco, CA
Senior Principal, Chair of the Board of Directors, and immediate past President and CEO with more than 30 years at Forell/Elsesser and almost 40 years in the industry, David’s strength is a holistic approach to a project’s planning, design and construction, and the collaborative integration of creative structural solutions with architects, engineers, and builders. With a specialty in designated historic structures, David has creatively solved numerous engineering challenges. Principle examples of his solutions include the base isolation retrofits for both the San Francisco City Hall and Asian Art Museum, the adaptive reuse and retrofit for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the seismic safety corrections and remodel of UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium.The practicing structural engineer today must have a broad understanding of not just structural engineering, but must be knowledgeable about architecture, M/E/P systems, construction delivery methodologies, and the construction process. All projects come with their own litany of challenges and constraints, and the structural engineer is one of the key players in achieving the optimal solution: The project’s budget, the selected performance and design criteria, the architectural form, and the operating systems all affect the selection of the appropriate structural materials and lateral force resisting system. Then the analysis must get translated into a design, and the design must clearly and carefully be delineated into construction documents including plans, details, sections and technical specifications, with appropriate attention to sequencing, phasing and constructibility. This all gives rise to the notion of today’s structural engineer as a “Master Builder”, one who can articulate their way through a complex labyrinth of form finding, criteria setting, risk evaluation, design and documentation, and construction.
Some current projects that highlight these issues

  1. UC Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
  2. UCSF Institute for Regeneration Medicine Building
  3. California Memorial Stadium, University of California, Berkeley
Nathan Gould Nathan C. Gould, ABS Consulting, St. Louis, MO
Chief of Technology for the ABS Consulting Extreme Loads and Structural Risk Division, also serves as the General Manager of the St. Louis office of ABS Consulting. He is a practicing structural engineer with over 20 years of experience in the design, construction and rehabilitation of major structures in all regions of the United States. Dr. Gould is active in the utilization of performance based seismic design criteria and methodology for the design of new buildings, and the retrofit of existing structures and nonstructural elements. He is the technical leader for ABS Consulting in the implementation of state-of-the art seismic analysis and design criteria for both buildings and equipment.Dr. Gould is the author of numerous technical papers including articles on Performance Based Seismic Design, Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Non-Structural Elements, Progressive Collapse of Structures, Managing Extreme Wind Losses, and Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection design. He has been a member of several post earthquake reconnaissance groups, including teams that investigated damage following the 2010 Haitian and 2011 Christchurch events. Dr. Gould currently serves on serves on numerous technical committees and he is a licensed Professional and Structural Engineer in several states.

  1. Seismic hazard mitigation
  2. Performance based seismic design
  3. Nonstructural seismic analysis, design and retrofit
  4. Lessons learned from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake
  5. Midwest and East Coast seismic evaluation and retrofit
William Holmes William T. Holmes, Rutherford & Chekene, San Francisco
Executive Principal at Rutherford & Chekene. Over 40 years of experience in the design of structures. Principal-in-Charge of a broad range of engineering projects for business, public and institutional clients. Member of numerous professional committees and engineering organizations, actively participates in the development of new approaches to seismic design. Served as Chair of the California Building Safety Board (consults on seismic protection of hospitals in CA), Chair of the Provisions Update Committee (develops the NEHRP Provisions that serves as a resource document for US seismic codes), and was Senior Technical Advisor for development of FEMA 273, “NEHRP Guidelines for Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings”.
John Hooper John Hooper, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Seattle, WA
John Hooper, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Seattle, WA Principal and Director of earthquake engineering, 160-person structural engineering and civil engineering firm. Over 26 years experience in seismic renovation, seismic design of new buildings, structural analysis, building code development. Active on numerous research, standards and code committees. Recent projects include major healthcare facilities, high-rise buildings, emergency operations centers, and structures with unique architecture.
Ronald Mayes Ronald Mayes, Simpson, Gumpertz, Heger, San Francisco, CA
Staff Consultant of 250 + person consulting firm. Prior to joining SGH he was a pioneer, designer and supplier of seismic isolation systems; applications in over 30 buildings and 90 bridges, including USC Hospital, Oakland and San Francisco City Halls. He leads SGH work in areas of base isolation and energy dissipation systems, testing programs and research and development activities. He has lead most of FHWA’s efforts over the past 25 years in developing seismic design provisions for highway bridges. Early in his career he was heavily involved in major test programs of masonry construction and their implication on design codes.
Farzad Naeim Farzad Naeim, John A. Martin and Associates, Los Angeles, CA
Vice President and Director of Research and Development. Leads a team of experts in research and development activities, special seismic studies, and design of specialized computer applications. His department has a national reputation for cutting edge engineering and computer technology. Editor of Seismic Design Handbook. Performed static and dynamic nonlinear analysis for several landmarks, including Los Angeles City Hall, UCLA’s Royce Hall and Knudsen Hall.
Thomas Sabol Thomas A. Sabol, Englekirk Institutional, Los Angeles, CA
Principal, consulting structural engineering firm. Licensed as architect and structural engineer. Member of AISC Seismic Provisions and Specifications Committees and Chair, AISC Research Committee. Actively involved in structural steel research and development of steel design provisions. Structural engineer for large institutional and high-rise projects and seismic upgrade work. At UCLA, teaches graduate level classes in structural steel design and undergraduate classes in tall building design.Topics:

  1. Practical design challenges using AISC Seismic Provisions
  2. Application of performance-based seismic design to high-rise structures
  3. New seismic connections for steel moment frames

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Emergency Management

Richard Eisner Richard Eisner, the Fritz Institute, San Francisco, CA
Recently retired as Administrator of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) Coastal Region, and now works for the Fritz Institute on a Bay Area earthquake preparedness initiative. Managed the California Integrated Seismic Network. Served as founding Director of the Bay Area Regional Earthquake Preparedness Project. An architect, urban planner, and urban designer, a key element of his work is integration of knowledge from the earth and social science communities into mitigation and preparedness programs. Member of EERI’s Board of Directors, member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, and currently serves on the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Advisory Board.

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