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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

2015 EERI Annual Meeting: Registration Now Open

John Hancock Tower By Werner KunzRegistration is now open for the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting from March 31 through April 3, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The theme is "Old Cities, New Earthquakes" and the program will highlight the particular seismic hazards and vulnerability of older structures common to so much of central and eastern North America. There will be unique sessions providing updates on EERI special projects, such as Learning From Earthquakes and the School Earthquake Safety Initiative.

Tours: Several great tours will be offered before and after the meeting. Tour options include: FMGlobal's Natural Hazards Laboratory and other facilities, a wind blade testing facility, a walking tour of Boston bridges, and a walking tour of the historic Freedom Trail.

Training Opportunities: Choose among FEMA National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program trainings covering Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards, Rapid Observation of Vulnerability and Estimation of Risk (ROVER), and Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage; and training on using EERI Earthquake Reconnaissance Tools. Browse the opportunities on the Workshops/Trainings page.

Poster Abstracts: You are invited to participate in the 2015 Annual Meeting poster sessions. Academic posters that target advanced research nearing completion and focusing on technology transfer to practitioners are encouraged. Practitioner posters that target innovative applications of research in practice or identified code-based needs for research are also encouraged. Submit abstracts, not exceeding two pages in length, by January 15, 2015. Presenters will be notified in early February of acceptance.

Public Garden By IngfbrunoTravel Grants: Thanks to support from FEMA, several grants are available to assist EERI student and young professional members to attend the 2015 Annual Meeting. Financial support will be contingent upon participation in one of the poster sessions, either through the applicant's own research project, or as a representative of a student chapter with a poster depicting the chapter's activities. Each grant will be for a fixed amount and can be used toward registration and travel expenses. Apply on the abstract and travel grant page by January 15, 2015.  

Walter Arabasz to Receive the 2014 Alfred E. Alquist Medal

Walter J. Arabasz (M. EERI, 1990), Research Professor Emeritus at the University of Utah, is the 2015 Alfred E. Alquist Special Recognition Medal winner. Arabasz was selected for his contributions to advancing seismic safety in the United States, particularly in the state of Utah, and for bridging the fields of education, seismology and public policy.

Walter ArabaszThe Alquist Medal is awarded to an individual, company, or organization that has made substantial contributions to the field of seismic safety and earthquake risk reduction, having directly affected the seismic safety of the general population. The Alquist Medal recognizes career contributions or notable and/or singular achievements; a significant contribution to the public good is the primary selection criterion.

As a faculty member and Director of the University of Utah Seismic Stations for 25 years, Arabasz was responsible for expanding the network into a modern monitoring network documenting both seismicity and ground motions in the state. At the national level, he was an advocate and promoter of cooperation among regional networks and implementing the Advanced National Seismic Network (ANSS). He was a founding Member of the Utah Seismic Safety Commission and participated in the development of the "Strategic Plan for Earthquake Safety in Utah." He guided the plan's implementation as Chair of the Commission from 1997 to 2001, addressing seismic safety and preparedness in schools, business and institution preparedness, strengthening of existing buildings, and the vulnerability of state structures.

In 2007, Arabasz was appointed to the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Programs Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction (NEHRP-ACHER) that provides guidance to Congress and the Interagency Coordination Committee representing the National Institute of Science and Technology, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States Geological Survey, and the National Science Foundation on scientific, public policy and management issues. He has previously been honored with the Western States Seismic Policy Council Life Time Achievement Award in Earthquake Risk Reduction, and the John Wesley Powell Award from the US Geological Survey for significant contributions in advancing national earthquake monitoring and earthquake safety.

2015 Membership Renewal

If you have not already done so, please renew your EERI membership for 2015. Check for the customized renewal email sent to you or visit the website to renew. If you renew by December 31, 2014 your name will be entered to win one of three $100 VISA gift cards

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News of the Profession

Oregon Governor Proposes $100M for Earthquake Safety

Oregon may soon commit $100M toward improving the state's earthquake resilience. The Governor's recommended budget designates $70M toward improving school safety. The good news was highlighted in a New York Times blog article and Yumei Wang (M. EERI, 1989), Director of Geohazards at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), summarized the good news as follows.

 "I am excited to inform you that the just-released 2015-2017 Oregon Governor's recommended budget includes $100 million for earthquake safety of public schools ($70M) and emergency response facilities ($30M) (page 408 of the proposed budget). If approved by the next Legislature, this would mark a significant increase over the 2013-2015 budget of $30 million for schools and emergency response facilities.

Many more thousands of lives will be protected. Funds would be distributed through Oregon's Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program (SRGP), which was initiated by Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) and now administered by the Oregon Business Development Department (OBDD). This grant program uses DOGAMI's 2007 seismic needs database, available at

To date, this grant program has funded 22 K-12 schools, which has helped to protect over 8,600 school children, 3 higher ed institutions and 18 emergency response facilities in our communities. It is slated to fund additional ~$30 million in grants on February 15, 2015. This critically important progress would not not have happened without many key players, especially Senate President Peter Courtney; Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC); staff from OEM, OBDD, and DOGAMI; Ted Wolf; SRGP committee members; as well as other partners...

In our future, we still have a whole lot of work ahead to meet the state deadlines of seismically safe schools and emergency response facilities. My hope is to make our school children safer and community resilience a reality."

EERI is dedicated to increasing resilience to earthquakes and applauds those who encourage improvements and drive progress. To this effect, EERI is currently launching an EERI School Earthquake Safety Initiative that will kick off in 2015, under chairmanship of Barry Welliver (M. EERI, 2002) and a dedicated committee of members who are passionate about school seismic safety. Members interested in joining this initiative should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., EERI, to learn more, get involved, and participate.

Los Angeles Mayor Releases Earthquake Safety Plan

On December 8, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti released a report detailing his recommendations for increasing the seismic safety of the city. Titled, Resilience By Design, the report focuses on two vulnerable building types: Soft-First-Story Buildings and Non-Ductile Reinforced Concrete Buildings.

The proposed Mandatory Earthquake Hazard Reduction in Existing Wood Frame Buildings with Soft, Weak, or Open Walls would require evaluation of pre-1980 commercial and residential soft-first-story buildings with two or more stories within 1 year and retrofit or demolition within 5 years. Similarly, the proposed Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program: Non-Ductile Concrete Buildings would require evaluation of pre-1980 Concrete buildings, except detached single family dwellings, within 5 years and retrofit or demolition within 30 years.

The report also includes recommendations for fortifying the city's water and telecommunications systems, establishing a Building Occupancy Resumption Program (BORP), and implementing a building rating systems in the city.

The EERI Concrete Coalition Advisory Committee as well as the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee are monitoring in developments in Los Angeles and exploring ways for EERI members to engage in the process.

SSA Special Session on High-Frequency Ground Motion and Attenuation

A special session at the 2015 Seismological Society of America meeting in Pasadena aims to bring together researchers on high frequencies from a seismological point of view (>1 Hz) and high frequencies from an engineering point of view (>5-10 Hz). The special session is titled, Advances in High-Frequency Ground Motion and AttenuationPlease consider submitting an abstract and joining in the discussion at the meeting. The abstract deadline is January 9, 2015.

Ground motion at high frequencies (1-30 Hz) has recently been a core issue in large seismic hazard assessment projects, following the Fukushima accident. While existing critical facilities and concrete dams are being reassessed in view of high-frequency response and attenuation, broadband simulations are attempting to reach unprecedented high frequencies. 

Session Chairs:
Olga-Joan Ktenidou (M. EERI, 2013), Universite Grenoble, CNRS, France
Norman A. Abrahamson (M. EERI, 1984), PG&E, UC Berkeley
Kim Bak Olsen, San Diego State University
Ralph Archuleta (M. EERI, 1986), UC Santa Barbara

Save the Date: Building Seismic Safety Council Hosts NEHRP Colloquium

NIBS logoThe National Institute of Building Sciences Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) will be conducting an event entitled "Seismic Design Technology for New Buildings: ­The 2015 NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions," on February 11, 2015, in Burlingame, California from 8:30 am to 5:45 pm. The colloquium's purpose is to present key outcomes, major updates, and future research needs from the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), 2015 NEHRP Recommended Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures update process. Registration will be available in the near future. 

 Key topics to be addressed include:

  • Intent of the Provisions and performance measurement
  • New U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hazard maps and the NEHRP design maps
  • New site soil factors
  • Site-specific design requirements and parameters
  • Seismic qualification of new systems and components based on FEMA P-695 and P-795 methodologies
  • Diaphragm design
  • Rigid wall/flexible diaphragms
  • Response history analysis
  • Base isolation & damping systems
  • Soil-structure interaction
  • Strength-based foundation design
  • Foundations on liquefiable sites
  • Modal response spectrum analysis
  • Simplified design for Seismic Design Category B

Geared to the BSSC membership and the structural engineering community, the BSSC colloquium will include an awards luncheon to recognize individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to the development of the 2015 NEHRP Provisions.

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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

spectra 150Thus far in December, five preprint manuscripts have been posted on the Earthquake Spectra website prior to their formal publication. The papers to be published are listed below.

  • On the Seismic Response of the Building of the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture at Tohoku University by Ying Wang, Santiago Pujol, Hamood Al-Washali, Kazuki Suzuki, Masaki Maeda (M. EERI, 2014), Susumu Takahashi, and Toshikatsu Ichinose
  • Collapse Risk of Buildings in the Pacific Northwest Region due to Subduction Earthquakes by Meera Raghunandan (M. EERI, 2011), Abbie B. Liel (M. EERI, 2009), and Nicolas Luco (M. EERI, 2001)

  • Prioritizing interventions to reduce seismic vulnerability in school facilities in Colombia by Miguel G. Mora, Jairo A. Valcárcel (M. EERI, 2014), Omar D. Cardona (M. EERI, 1986), Luis G. Pujades (M. EERI, 2000), Alex H. Barbat (M. EERI, 1989), and Gabriel A. Bernal

  • Ground Motion Selection for Seismic Slope Displacement Evaluation Analysis of Earthen Levees by Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos (M. EERI, 2007), Heidi Pence, and Adam Lobbestael

  • Book review: Seismic Design of Reinforced Concrete Buildings by Farzad Naeim (M. EERI, 1983)

To read the preprint manuscripts or browse all articles posted since August 2013, visit Earthquake Spectra preprints.

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NYC's Risk Landscape: A Guide to Hazard Mitigation

NYC Geol MapNew York City Emergency Management recently launched a Reduce Your Risk campaign and released a new guidance document, NYC's Risk Landscape: A Guide to Hazard Mitigation. The Guide discusses hazards to which NYC is exposed; Sissy Nikolaou (M. EERI, 2004) contributed to the earthquake chapter. Several other EERI members have contributed directly or indirectly to the document, and have worked on the projects mentioned, including the JFK Light Rail in New York City and Torre Mayor in Mexico. 

Nikolaou hopes the guidance document will increase awareness to the Eastern U.S.'s risk from earthquakes. "In our journey towards resiliency, we need to continue to educate ourselves and the public. The guide does exactly that: addressing the earthquake and other hazards separately, together with explaining the risk posed to the city from a multi-hazard exposure perspective and the protective measures available. Regional earthquakes can affect NYC without any warning, unlike hurricanes or heat waves. So we must be prepared for potential structural damage, interruption of our daily life and economic losses." 

RFP: Seismic Peer Review Services

The City of Portland, Oregon, Bureau of Development Services (BDS) has issued a Qualifications Based Selection Request for Proposal (Solicitation # BDS022) to provide on-call Seismic Peer Review services for building project proposals having concrete core walls greater than 240 feet in height. Peer Reviews will be required for projects that use Performance Based Design Methodology under the provisions of sections 104.22 of the Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) and section of ASCE 7-10. This RFP will be issued on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. Proposal are due Tuesday, January 6, 2015. Please register at for further information on this solicitation.

RFP: California Earthquake Authority Program Manager

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) will issue a Request for Qualifications and Proposals in January seeking a Program Manager to assemble and manage a multi-disciplinary team to conduct a systematic, combined scientific and engineering study that specifically attempts to quantify the performance effects (dollar reduction in damage and loss) resulting from cripple-wall and sill-anchorage retrofits of homeowner dwellings. Check the CEA website at for more details the first week of January, 2015.

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Job Opportunities

Johns Hopkins: Structures Faculty Opening

The Department of Civil Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University invites applications for an Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor who will strengthen existing departmental efforts in Structures and complement efforts in Systems and Structures. Candidates with significant technical depth in structural engineering and who take a modern view of how to apply that technical depth to solve problems such as creating resilient structures for extreme environments or under multiple hazards; improving the sustainability of buildings and other infrastructure components; creating next-generation structures for energy production; rehabilitating and/or preserving aging civil materials and infrastructure; increasing the take-up of new materials in civil engineering; or other structures-focused problems with national need. Learn more about the Structures faculty opening due January 1, 2015.

Johns Hopkins: Systems Engineering Faculty Opening

The Department of Emergency Medicine in the School of Medicine and the Department of Civil Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University, invites applications for a joint appointment as a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor in Systems Engineering. Candidates will join the Systems Institute at Johns Hopkins University and deepen an ongoing collaboration between Emergency Medicine and Civil Engineering in overlapping areas of Health, Cities, and Systems Science. Existing joint efforts include systems approaches with an emphasis on acute and chronic care delivery, public health, disaster response, disaster resilience, and a host of other collaborative problems at the intersection of medicine and the built environment. Learn more about the Systems Engineering faculty opening due January 1, 2015.

Johns Hopkins: Mechanics of Materials Faculty Position

The Department of Civil Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University invites applications for an Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor who will strengthen existing departmental efforts in Mechanics of Materials and complement efforts in Systems and Structures. Candidates with significant technical depth in large-scale computational mechanics that can enrich efforts in integrated structure-materials modeling and simulations, and structures under extreme environments are of particular interest. Learn more about the Mechanics of Materials faculty opening due January 1, 2015.

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Member Spotlight

Welcome New EERI Members

EERI would like to welcome 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.


Nagi Abo-Shadi, Structural Engineering Center Inc, Structural
Richard Armstrong, CA Division of Safety of Dams, Civil
Scott Breneman, WoodWorks
Kenton Buzbee, Petra Geotechnical Inc
Felipe Carrasco, Structural
Ronald H. Dunn, Dunn Associates Inc, Structural
Jacob Ervin, Holmes Consulting Group, Structural
Lesley Ewing, California Coastal Commission, Civil
Deepansh Kathuria, Miyamoto International, Structural
Hossein Mostafaei, FM Global, Structural
Arif Ozkan, Arup
Deepak Pant, University of Toronto
Walter Quring, Lang Structural Engineering Inc, Structural
Malcolm Stapleton, Babbage Consultants Ltd, Geotechnical
Mark Tobin, KPFF Consulting Engineers
Charles Yiu, Miyamoto International


Amir Fathieh, Stephenson Engineering Inc, Structural
Philip Harvey, University of Oklahoma, Structural
Zhaoshuo Jiang, San Francisco State University, Structural
Grace Lee, Miyamoto International, Structural
Ruifen Liu, URS Corp, Structural
Alex Nothnagel, Brandow & Nastar, Structural
Caroline Sporck, Partner Engineering & Science, Structural
Maryam Tabbakhha, UC Berkeley, Structural


Onur Celik, Optim-Obermeyer, Geotechnical
Emre Demir, Antalya International University, Structural
Serhat Demir, Karadeniz Teknik Universitesi, Structural
Aysegul Durmus, Karadeniz Teknik Universitesi, Civil
Jose Flores-Ruiz, Seis-Mex, Structural
Devrim Ozhendekci, Yildiz Technical University, Civil
Viorel Popa, Technical University of Civil Engineering, Structural


Emmanuel Aguilar, CSU Los Angeles, Civil
Joseph Arehart, University of Colorado, Structural
Malek Atassi, University of Michigan, Structural
July Aye, UC Irvine
Allison Brock, University of NE - Lincoln (Omaha), Civil
Stephanie Catubig, UC Irvine
Sergio Cedano, CSU Los Angeles, Civil
Jacky Cheung, UC San Diego, Structural
Yiu-Chun Cheung, San Jose State University, Civil
Shawn Dalipe, UC Irvine, Structural
Olivia Deterling, University of Texas-Austin, Geotechnical
Adrian Diaz De Rivera, UC Berkeley, Civil
Sam Farsai, UC Irvine, Structural
Kevin Fink, University of Notre Dame, Risk Analysis
Christopher Garcia, CSU Los Angeles, Civil
Zabdiel Garcia, Cal Poly Pomona, Civil
Elena Good, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Structural
Judy Guo, UC Berkeley, Structural
Rachelle Habchi, UC Irvine, Civil
Alexandra Hain, University of Connecticut, Civil
Stella Kim, Cornell University, Civil
Tiffany La, UC San Diego, Structural
Scott Linde, McMaster University, Civil
Michael Lumb, University of British Columbia, Civil
Andrew Lund, UC Irvine, Civil
Morgan Marlow, University of MA - Amherst, Education
Pablo Marti, Cal Poly Pomona, Civil
Kevin McMullen, University of Connecticut, Civil
Alex Mikhailpoor, Cal Poly Pomona, Civil
Farinaz Moayedi, University of British Columbia, Civil
Mairead Montague, UC Berkeley
Jaime Moran, CSU Los Angeles, Civil
Jayro Nieves, CSU Los Angeles, Civil
Rudolf Oplatka, University of Colorado, Civil
Jared Parker, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Structural
Evan Peatt, University of British Columbia, Structural
Simon Pelta, University of British Columbia, Civil
Fraser Peterson, University of British Columbia, Structural
Ioanna Rapti, Ecole Centrale, Geotechnical
Christopher Regan, University of Connecticut, Structural
Gregory Sassaman, Northeastern University, Structural
Saman Shaolian, UC Irvine, Structural
Kyu Chul Shim, University of Colorado, Civil
Lorica Subida, UC Irvine, Civil
Brian (Hyunwoo) Sung, University of British Columbia, Civil
Alexander Talebi, UC Irvine, Structural
Sim Toor, University of British Columbia, Civil
Bryan Truong, Cal Poly Pomona, Civil
Eric Turberg, University of MA - Amherst, Civil
Ogulcan Ugurlas, Cankaya University,Civil
Paul (Zhi) Yan, University of British Columbia, Civil
Andrew Yu, UCLA, Civil

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