Housner Fellows Program

EERI’s leadership program for early to mid-career professionals.

Application period is now closed.
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About the Housner Fellows Program

The Housner Fellows Program was developed by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute to recognize promising and motivated young to mid-career professionals with the confidence, skills and sense of responsibility needed to exercise leadership by developing Fellows’ capacity for advocacy and leading efforts to reduce earthquake risk. Earthquake engineering and seismic mitigation have advanced dramatically over the past 70 years in part due to the advocacy and persistence of industry thought leaders. Many of EERI’s members over that time have served in such leadership roles and the Institute is dedicated to development of future generations. None have made a more significant contribution to the advancement of earthquake safety than George Housner.

Professor George W. Housner (1910—2008) left a substantial gift to EERI “to advance the objectives of EERI.” Professor Housner was an educator, a leader of the profession, and an advisor on public policy. He was a founding member of EERI and served as its President for 11 years. He advanced earthquake safety through his research and writing, by training students, and as an advisor to government agencies. He served on the Newmark-Stever panel that laid the foundation for the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, counseled Senator Alan Cranston on program necessities, and served on panels investigating the Sylmar (1971), Loma Prieta (1989), and Northridge (1994) earthquakes. He was a founder of the International Association for Earthquake Engineering and sought to increase our understanding of earthquakes, and to develop engineers of the highest caliber to use their knowledge to improve earthquake safety worldwide.

At EERI, the Board of Directors decided to use his gift to train future earthquake engineering policy advocates and thought leaders, and established the Housner Fellows Program in the fall of 2011. The Program requires a two-year commitment and consists of the following:

Housner Institute

A group of six Fellows will participate in the Housner Institute—a week-long program of classroom training, homework, group work, exercises under the direction of Housner Fellows Management Committee member and dedicated trainer, Dr. Lucy Arendt. The 2017 Fellows will meet at Asilomar in California’s beautiful Monterey Peninsula from 8/9 – 8/15, 2017.

Group Project and Final Report

A portion of the time spent at the Housner Institute will be dedicated to developing the semi-structured group project within a general theme supporting public policy and seismic risk reduction. Each Fellow will then be responsible for working with the other Fellows to collaboratively develop and implement the project’s specific elements within the two-year timeframe. No later than August 31, 2019, the 2017 class will produce (at a minimum) a final report and at least one webinar, the audience for which will be the EERI membership.

Other Activities

In addition to a semi-structured group project, other activities include community policy development and regular meetings during the 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, where Fellows could potentially present their group project to attendees in a special session. Regular conference calls, at least monthly, are expected. Each Fellow is expected to fully engage in the group project and process.

The inaugural class of Fellows was selected in early 2012, followed by a second class of Fellows in 2014. Information on these previous classes is available here: 2012 and 2014. The class of 2017 includes 6 Fellows, and is limited to residents of North America (US, Canada, and Mexico). More on the new 2017 class is available here: 2017 Housner Fellows</>