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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: Register Now


Register before rates go up
public gardenBegin your planning for "Old Cities, New Earthquakes," the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 31-April 3, 2015.

View program details on the Annual Meeting website. Register today before rates increase on March 2, 2015, and popular tours and trainings fill up. We believe the 67th EERI Annual Meeting is the first to be held in the Northeastern United States, and we're excited to see you in Boston.

Register today for the Annual Meeting.

Lobster Photo Contest
lobstersTake a selfie with a lobster at the Annual Meeting and win a $100 Amazon gift card in the 2nd EERI Annual Meeting Photo Contest.

Registered 2015 EERI Annual Meeting attendees and Seismic Design Competition participants can join in the fun while learning how to use an important post-earthquake reconnaissance tool. Contestants just have to take a photo of themselves in Boston with at least one lobster and submit the image through the Clearinghouse Field Notes Application.external link icon

For more information about the contest and how to enter, visit the Photo Contest Virtual Clearinghouse Website.external link icon

Abbie Liel to Receive 2014 EERI Shah Family Innovation Prize

abbie liel capDr. Abbie Liel (M. EERI, 2009) has been awarded the 2014 EERI Shah Family Innovation Prize. Liel is an associate professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at University of Colorado, Boulder, and an active and influential researcher and consultant in structural engineering and structural mechanics.

With a generous gift from the Shah family, EERI annually awards the Shah Prize to young professionals and academics for creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit in the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management.

Professor Liel is a cross-disciplinary instructor, researcher, and consultant with expertise spanning structural engineering, civil systems engineering, and engineering for developing communities. Since the start of her career, Professor Liel has published more than 50 papers covering multiple topics that range from earthquake performance of housing and schools; nonlinear modeling of structures; life safety risks and economic losses associated with seismic events; and seismic collapse performance prediction of structures and structural systems. Her paper with Gregory G. Deierlein (M. EERI, 1989), “Using Collapse Risk Assessments to Inform Seismic Safety Policy for Older Concrete Buildings,”external link icon was awarded the Outstanding Paper of Earthquake Spectra in 2012.

Liel’s innovations in research include benchmark probabilistic methods for regional seismic loss assessment and investigation of the aftershock risk of structures, including near field effects. Currently, she is developing a multiscale methodology for assessing the reductions in seismic risk possible through building retrofit design and policy.

Professor Liel is a great supporter and role model to the next generation of earthquake engineering researchers. She has won both her department and college awards for outstanding teaching. She has served, or is currently serving, as the primary advisor to 28 Master’s students and doctoral students, and is the faculty advisor for the EERI Student Chapter at University of Colorado, Boulder.

EERI recognizes Abbie Liel’s commitment to visionary research, inspirational mentoring of young earthquake engineers, and professional practice excellence. She will be awarded the 2014 Shah Family Prize at the EERI Annual Meeting in Boston on April 2, 2015.

To learn more about the Shah Family Innovation Prize, visit the EERI website at external link icon

New EERI Post-Graduate Intern: Alianora Walker

interns 2015The Institute is delighted to introduce Alianora Walker, who joins current interns Samy Labbouz (M. EERI, 2014) and Davide Martinelli (M. EERI, 2013) at the EERI office in Oakland, California.

Alianora graduated from Smith College, Northampton MA, with an A.B. in Geology in 2011. Her academic focus in structural geology and tectonics culminated with a senior honors project studying the Big Sky Orogeny, a 1.8 billion year old mountain building event in southwest Montana.

At EERI, she is excited to explore the practical applications of earthquake geology that have such enormous potential to make people’s lives safer. While at EERI, Alianora will be supporting the California Earthquake Clearinghouseexternal link icon and Learning from Earthquakes programs.

EERI also says goodbye to former intern Alex Julius (M. EERI, 2014), who was instrumental in helping EERI respond to the South Napa earthquake on August 24, 2014, and has made significant progress in improving reconnaissance data collection and mapping protocols for EERI. Alex is currently seeking an entry-level position in geotechnical engineering and is strongly recommended by EERI staff. Anyone who would like to reach Alex about employment opportunities should contact Maggie Ortiz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EERI provides interns with multi-disciplinary professional experience and the opportunity to collaborate and network with others within the earthquake engineering profession. Each intern focuses on a specific endeavor of EERI. Their roles, both in tandem and separately, furthers our mission to gather and disseminate information about earthquake risk reduction and advocate for realistic measures to reduce the harmful effects of earthquakes.

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Short Course on Seismic Ground Motion in Utah on March 5, 2015

booreThe EERI Utah Chapter will host a Short Course on Seismic Ground Motion in West Jordan, Utah, on March 5, 2015. This seminar is intended to help bridge the gap of understanding between seismologists, civil, structural, and geotechnical engineers. Attendees will leave the short course with an improved understanding of seismic ground motions and with an understanding of the background used to develop the ground motion values used in the building code.

Guest instructors David Boore and Ivan Wong (M. EERI, 1978) will help demystify and clarify the terms and concepts used in the development of seismic ground motions. Dr. Boore will also deliver his 2014 EERI Joyner Lecture in Salt Lake City the day before the short course. The Joyner Lecture will provide background and context to the short course, but will have a different focus than Dr. Boore’s presentation on March 5, 2015.

Information and registration details for both events can be found on the EERI Utah Chapter website.

UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction - March 14-18, 2015

The Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will take place in Sendai City, Japan, on March 14-18, 2015. Conference objectives include completion of assessment and review of the Hyogo Framework for Actionexternal link icon endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2005, and adoption of a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

Conference registration and reservations for study tours and excursions will close on February 20, 2015. Read more at link icon

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Earthquake Spectra: February 2015 Issue

spectra 02 2015The February 2015 issue of Earthquake Spectra (volume 31, issue 1) is now available online at, external link icon where you may browse the table of contents for your favorite topics.

In addition to traditional research manuscripts, this issue includes the publication of a Data Paper ("Experimental Data Set of Mining-Induced Seismicity for Studies of Full-Scale Topographic Effects"), three Technical Notes, and a review of a new book by Jack Moehle, Seismic Design of Reinforced Concrete Buildings.

Print copies of the new issue of Earthquake Spectra will be mailed in the next few weeks. You may order additional copies at external link icon

If you have questions about this issue, contact Managing Editor Liz Stalnaker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

spectra 150An additional preprint manuscript has been posted on the Earthquake Spectra website prior to formal publication. The paper to be published is:

  • "Multivariate Fragility Models for Earthquake Engineering" by Abbas Javaherian Yazdi (M. EERI, 2013), Terje Haukaas (M. EERI, 2005), Tony Yang (M. EERI, 2005), and Paolo Gardoni.

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

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Chapter Activities

San Diego-Tijuana Earthquake Scenario Workshop

sd scenarioOn January 24, 2015, the EERI San Diego Regional Chapter hosted a one-day workshop at UC San Diego to update and further develop a San Diego-Tijuana Earthquake planning scenario.

In 1990, a planning scenario for a major earthquake in the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan area was developed by area stakeholders, including public and private institutions and officials, utilities, public health professionals, engineers, and community organizations. Significant changes in the last two decades in urban growth and population, built environment, cross-border issues, seismology, and earthquake engineering prompted the need to update this plan.

Over 70 professionals and students from different disciplines participated, bringing together regional experts in seismology, engineering, emergency response, and planning with various stakeholder representatives and individuals who have conducted successful scenarios in other regions. The turnout and enthusiasm of the participants revealed strong awareness in the San Diego-Tijuana community of the criticality of being prepared to face the next earthquake.

The morning session of the workshop featured two presentations, "Comparison of Past Scenarios," by Diane Murbach, and "Seattle Scenario: Stakeholder Interactions," presented by David Swanson. A discussion on stakeholder requirements followed.

The afternoon program featured three technical scenario presentations and panel discussions: Geologic Hazards and Geotechnical Engineering, with a presentation by Tom Rockwell; Buildings, Lifelines & Infrastructure, with Anthony Court presenting on "Building Inventory and Seismic Vulnerability in the San Diego Region"; and a concluding session on Social and Economic Impacts. A summary of the technical sessions and discussion of next steps concluded the workshop.

Members who would like to be involved in the project are encouraged to contact Professor Lelli Van Den Einde for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Details on the January 24 workshop, including presentation videos, are available on the San Diego Regional Chapter website.

UCLA EERI Student Chapter Hosts Reconnaissance Workshop

On January 24, 2015, the UCLA EERI Student Chapter, joined by EERI staff, hosted a one-day Reconnaissance Data Collection Training workshop. Over 50 professionals and students participated in the training aimed at empowering members to be ready to collect and share observations after an earthquake in Southern California.

uclaThe workshop featured three presentations which covered conducting damage assessments in three different disciplines: structural engineering (buildings), presented by David Cocke (M. EERI, 1992); geotechnical engineering, presented by Scott Brandenberg (M. EERI, 2001); and structural engineering (bridges) presented by Ching Chao and Gedion Werrede of Caltrans. An introduction to EERI reconnaissance data collection methods was followed by a field exercise to give participants practice using the data collection tools.

EERI can help members be prepared to actively engage in reconnaissance efforts after an earthquake in their area. Any student or regional chapter representatives who are interested in hosting a workshop for local EERI members can contact Maggie Ortiz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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Professional Opportunities

SCEC Opening for Strategic Partnerships Coordinator

The Southern California Earthquake Centerexternal link icon (SCEC) at the University of Southern California has an opening for a Strategic Partnerships Coordinator in its Communication, Education, and Outreach (CEO) Program. SCEC is the headquarters for California’s Earthquake County Alliance (ECA) and also for Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills worldwide.

This position will support expansion of private sector participation and funding of earthquake education, outreach, and research. An MBA or MS degree with three years of experience (with demonstrated success in corporate development and grant management) is preferred but outstanding individuals with a BS/BA will be considered.

For further details and to apply, go to link icon

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Opportunities for Students

Erasmus+ Masters in Earthquake Engineering and/or Engineering Seismology (MEEES) – Application Now Available

Applications for the European Commission's Erasmus+ Masters in Earthquake Engineering and/or Engineering Seismology (MEEES) are now being accepted with a new deadline of March 30, 2015.

MEEES is approved and financially supported by the European Commission under the framework of the Erasmus+ program, and is organized by a consortium of European university and research institutions led by IUSS Pavia’s UME School,external link icon and including the University of Patras (Greece), the University of Grenoble Joseph Fourier (France), and the Middle East Technical University (Turkey). Scholarships are available to applicants from all nationalities. For details and the online application procedure, visit www.meees.orgexternal link icon

An opportunity to apply for a Masters in Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology without mobility is available through the ROSE Program. Details available at www.roseschool.itexternal link icon

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Follow these steps to add EERI Calendar to your own Google calendar.

  1. Open Google Calendar
  2. On the left, above "My Calendars," click Add + and then From URL.
  3. Enter the EERI calendar's address in the field provided. EERI Calendar ics link
  4. Click Add Calendar. The calendar will appear on the left side under "Other calendars."

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