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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute

Founded in 1948, EERI's mission is to reduce earthquake risk by (1) advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering, (2) improving understanding of the impact of earthquakes on the physical, social, economic, political, and cultural environment, and (3) advocating comprehensive and realistic measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes.

News of the Institute

Leadership Communique: EERI Ethics Policy and Code of Conduct

EERI is committed to creating a safe, productive, and welcoming environment–one that encourages members to freely participate and ensures our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is reflected in our conduct. We aspire for our members to conduct themselves with the highest standards of scientific, professional, and personal integrity and responsibility. With that in mind, as we start the new year, I am writing to share with you some important news about EERI’s new Ethics Policy and Code of Conduct.

Over the last year, EERI has been developing a new Ethics Policy and Code of Conduct. At the December 14, 2021 board meeting, the EERI Board of Directors approved both documents. We ask all members to read them and familiarize yourselves with the contents.

The Ethics Policy outlines expectations for members in a number of areas, including adhering to professional conduct; preventing discrimination, harassment, and bullying; maintaining the integrity of honors, awards, and leadership positions; and upholding ethical standards in publications. EERI’s ethics policy is based on those of the Seismological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union (used with permission), and given the diversity of our membership, we recognize that your work and activities may also be guided by the ethics and professional conduct policies and standards of practice of the credentialing organizations or licensing bodies in your field. These guidelines are intended to complement, not replace, those standards and principles.

The new Code of Conduct builds on previous codes developed for EERI-specific events, including the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering. EERI is committed to fostering the exchange of ideas by providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment at all EERI activities and on all EERI platforms. We value the participation of every member of the community and want all participants to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. To this end, the Board has now expanded this code to apply to all EERI activities and communications channels—including email lists, chapter and committee meetings, and all virtual and in-person events. By participating in EERI, you agree to abide by the Code of Conduct.

Thank you for taking the time to become familiar with these new policies and working with us to ensure that EERI remains a safe and effective space for collaboration and achievement.

David Cocke

President, EERI Board of Directors

2021 Outstanding Paper Award

Rodriguez Marek 2010The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is pleased to announce that the 2021 Outstanding Paper Award has been awarded to "Capturing epistemic uncertainty in site response," Earthquake Spectra, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 921-936, by Adrian Rodriguez-Marek (M.EERI 1999), Julian J. Bommer (M.EERI 1992), and Robert R. Youngs (M.EERI 1983). The Outstanding Paper Award recognizes authors of Earthquake Spectra papers judged to be outstanding contributions to earthquake hazard mitigation. Papers must have made a significant impact on the profession, provided a significant advance in the state-of-the-art or understanding of a particular topic, be of exceptional technical quality with concise and informative illustrations, and be well-written for a broad audience.

Dr. Adrian Rodriguez-Marek obtained his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in Civil Engineering in the year 2000. He then joined the faculty at Washington State University, and since 2010 has been a faculty member in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Virginia Tech. Dr. Rodriguez-Marek's research and teaching is in the area of geotechnical earthquake engineering, with a focus on site response and seismic hazard analysis. He has published extensively on various topics, including site response, ground motion characterization, and the treatment of uncertainty in seismic hazard analysis. Dr. Rodriguez-Marek has also participated as a consultant in various seismic hazard assessment projects for nuclear power plants and critical facilities around the world. He is the current chair of the Center for Geotechnical Practice and Research at Virginia Tech. 

To read the award citation and learn more about the authorship team, view the news post on the EERI website here.

Reminder: EERI COVID-19 Policy

EERI continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and adapt our plans and policies accordingly. As a reminder, beginning December 15, 2021, all EERI in-person events and activities, including chapter and committee meetings, will require participants to sign a liability waiver to attend. Student chapter events will continue to follow the guidelines of their academic institution. All EERI's COVID-19 updates are available on the website here.

We are planning to gather in person for the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering in Salt Lake City this summer. The 12NCEE Organizing Committee and EERI’s staff and volunteers are all working hard to make 12NCEE an effective and enjoyable in-person event while prioritizing your safety. 12NCEE will observe public health guidelines for indoor gatherings as detailed by federal, state, and local health authorities. As the situation continues to evolve, so will our strategy for risk mitigation. Full vaccination or proof of a negative PCR test within 48 hours will be required to attend all 12NCEE events, and we also expect to require masks except when eating, drinking, or delivering a talk. The conference venue is spacious and social distancing and cleaning measures will be in place. Read more about the 12NCEE COVID-19 Policy here.

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Multi-Hazard Parametric Catastrophe Bond Trigger Design for Subduction Earthquakes and Tsunamis

January 25, 2022
2:00-3:00 PM (Eastern)


EERI’s New England Regional Chapter presents a FREE webinar with Dr. Katsuichiro Goda, Associate Professor and a Canada Research Chair in Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, on the topic of his 2021 Earthquake Spectra paper.

Paper abstract: This study presents trigger design methods and performance evaluations of multi-hazard parametric catastrophe bonds for mega-thrust subduction earthquakes and tsunamis. The catastrophe bonds serve as alternative disaster risk financing tools for insurers and reinsurers as well as municipalities and governments. Two types of parametric catastrophe bond trigger are investigated. A scenario-based method utilizes available earthquake source-based information, such as magnitude and location, whereas a station-intensity-based method can be implemented when seismic and tsunami hazard monitoring systems are in place in a region. The case study results, focusing on wooden buildings in Miyagi Prefecture, in Japan indicate that the station-intensity based trigger methods outperform the scenario-based trigger methods significantly. Incorporating seismic and tsunami hazard information from multiple recording stations results in smaller trigger errors. The station-intensity-based methods are applicable to building portfolios at both municipality levels and regional levels.

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New Books from EERI Members

Jack Baker (M.EERI 2004), Brendon Bradley (M.EERI, 2012), and Peter Stafford (M.EERI, 2008) have co-authored a new textbook: Seismic Hazard and Risk Analysis, published by Cambridge University Press. The book describes the principles and procedures behind Probabilistic Seismic Hazard and Risk Analysis, enabling users of these tools to understand best practices, and enabling geology, seismology, geophysics and civil engineering researchers to see the broader implications of their work. With a basic overview that is focused on procedures rather than the validity of detailed scientific models used for inputs, the book is broadly accessible to readers in all of the above fields. Learn more about the book and authors at the book website here.

Dan M. Frangopol (M.EERI, 1987) has co-authored a new book on life-cycle engineering: Bridge Safety, Maintenance and Management in a Life-Cycle Context, forthcoming in February from Routledge. The book is an authoritative resource for “students, researchers, practitioners, infrastructure owners and managers, and transportation officials to build up their knowledge of life-cycle bridge performance and cost management at both project level and network level under various deteriorating mechanisms, hazards, and climate change effects.” Learn more about the book at the publisher's page here.

Build Change Webinar on Vulnerable Housing

Build Change is hosting a webinar on "The Cost of Improving Vulnerable Housing" on January 19th, 2022 from 9:00-10:00 AM MT. By 2030, three billion people—about 40% of the world’s population—will be living without adequate housing, and as disasters increase in frequency and severity, that number is increasing. One of the common barriers to homeowners, governments, funders and others who could invest in improving vulnerable housing is a lack of information or misunderstanding about the associated costs. This 60-minute free webinar will present the key findings of a home improvement cost study undertaken globally by Build Change and based on nearly 1,500 Build Change designs from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific in order to share key information and trends about the costs of improving vulnerable housing to make it more resilient. Register for the webinar here

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Subscribing Member Spotlight


DegenkolbDegenkolb Engineers is a longtime EERI Platinum-Level Subscribing Member and a Sustainer-level donor of the EERI Learning from Earthquakes Endowment Fund. Founded in 1940, Degenkolb's practice reflects more than eight decades of commitment to technical expertise, exceptional client service through close collaboration, and life-long learning. Degenkolb's employees are passionate about working in collaborative environments which help our healthcare, education, advanced technology, construction, and existing building clients achieve outstanding project results. The firm is committed to helping institutions and individuals recover after disaster and build resilient communities. Its innovative award-winning structural designs have saved clients hundreds of millions of dollars. The firm pioneers first-of-its-kind engineering, including the recent first instance of viscous wall dampers in the United States at CPMC Van Ness & Geary Hospital and the first US-based tsunami evacuation center in the state of Washington.

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