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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

Roger D. Borcherdt Awarded 2016 Bruce A. Bolt Medal

Borcherdt PhotoRoger D. Borcherdt (M. EERI, 1973), scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey and past Shimizu Visiting Professor and consulting professor at Stanford University, is the 2016 recipient of the Bruce A. Bolt Medal. The annual award is presented jointly by the Seismological Society of America (SSA), the Consortium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS), and EERI.

The Bolt medal recognizes individuals worldwide whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of strong-motion earthquake data and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety.

Dr. Borcherdt's career is marked with "exceptional scientific contributions in the fields of seismology and engineering seismology, extraordinarily broad in scope" as noted on the Presidential Distinguished Service Award he received in 2010 as the highest honor of the U.S. Department of Interior. His contributions, evident in 200 publications, include pioneering site-response studies resulting in Vs30 site-response characterization procedures adopted worldwide in building codes and seismic-hazard mitigation maps; theoretical solutions of fundamental wave propagation problems in seismology that extend the mathematical framework for seismology to all linear anelastic media as presented in his graduate level textbook; "scientific leadership in engineering seismology" as noted on his US Department of Interior Meritorious Service award (1993), and participation on several building code committees and advisory panels.

Borcherdt is an honorary member of EERI and has served as editor of Earthquake Spectra, EERI Vice President, and Honors committee chair. He is an active member of SSA and charter founding member of COSMOS. He currently chairs the Engineering Criteria Review Board for the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and is a past member of several advisory committees, including Federal Emergency Management Agency's Working Group for Development of HAZUS, its Provision Update Committee for NEHRP Recommended Building Code Provisions, and its ATC-58 committee for development of provisions to include advancements in performance based design.

Read more about Dr. Borcherdt and the Bolt Medal on the SSA website. external link icon

Register for the 2016 EERI Annual Meeting Before Tours Fill Up


The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute will hold its 68th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, April 5–8, 2016.

Registration and full program details are now available on the 2016 Annual Meeting website. Tour spots on the Napa Earthquake and Winery field trip, Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge boat tour, and city walking tours are already filling up with early registrants. Secure your spot and save money with the early bird rate by registering now.

For program, logistic, and registration details, visit the 2016 Annual Meeting website.

Contribute Knowledge about Global Building Code Compliance Practices

The 2014-16 class of EERI Housner Fellows are conducting a survey to better understand existing mechanisms for building code compliance, especially in developing countries. The Fellows invite the EERI membership and broad earthquake risk reduction community to share their knowledge through this survey. The survey can be taken online here: The completion of the survey will take about 15 minutes. The results of this survey will be used to make appropriate recommendations for a case study project in Nepal where the Fellows will be traveling in early February. Please direct any questions about the survey to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EERI Endowment Donors

EERI would like to thank donors to the Endowment Fund and acknowledge their recent contributions. EERI’s Endowment supports innovative projects that assure the Institute’s continuing leadership in the earthquake engineering profession.

The list below reflects donations that the Institute received through the end of December 2015.

Thomas D. O'Rourke

John Aho
John M. Coil
Craig D. Comartin

G. Rodolfo Saragoni

Robert E. Bachman
James O. Jirsa
James K. Mitchell
Sissy Nikolaou
Anshel J. Schiff
Kenneth H. Stokoe
L. Thomas Tobin

Stephen Perloff

Paul C. Jennings
R. Jay Love
Susan K. Tubbesing
Beverly & Loring Wyllie

Ricardo Dobry
Donald L. Wells

Ronald T. Eguchi

Ian Aiken
Donald G. Anderson
John G. Anderson
Charles Eadie
David Frost
Julio Kuroiwa
Geoffrey R. Martin
Sharon L. Wood

Other Amounts
Kelly E. Cobeen
Jamison Curry
Huseyin Darama
John A. Egan
Lesley Ewing
James Kaklamanos
Timothy McCrink
Victor M. Pavon
Carlos E. Rodriguez
Adrian Rodriguez-Marek
Luis Romero
Peter Somers

Thank you for your support!

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

Ten recent stories, reports, or opinions from around the Web:

oneRecent, moderate B.C. earthquake stirred up big worries (National Post) "It was an earthquake, moderate in power but impossible to ignore." external link icon

twoEarthquake authority offers new insurance options, rebates (San Francisco Chronicle) Less than 10 percent of homes in California have earthquake insurance. external link icon

threeHaiti earthquake victims still homeless (ABC News Australia) Pausing to mourn six years after disaster, while struggling to rebuild with 60,000 still in camps. external link icon

fourAnger in Haiti over misspent aid (PRI) "I really think that we missed an opportunity to transform Haiti, and to transform the way that disaster responses are done." external link icon

fiveCrossing the Rubicon for disaster response ( Improving overseas disaster response and finding new ways to bring military veterans into humanitarian operations. external link icon

sixOur Big One (Kitsap Sun) A Seattle Fault earthquake could bring death and destruction far greater than anything ever seen in the Puget Sound region. external link icon

sevenNew Geological Evidence Aids Tsunami Hazard Assessments from Alaska to Hawaii (USGS Newsroom) New evidence provides geological data to aid tsunami hazard preparedness efforts around the Pacific Rim. external link icon

eightFracking shakes the American west (The Guardian) Seismologists’ warnings divide residents, politicians and companies, while temblors increase around the region. external link icon

nineSatellites dissect Nepal quake (BBC News) Deep anatomy of last year's devastating quake in Nepal is revealed in a new analysis by scientists. external link icon

tenThere is no reliable method for predicting earthquakes (The Oregonian) Short-term earthquake prediction remains elusive, but modern earthquake science can improve the resilience of communities to earthquakes. external link icon

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Oregon Students Raising Money to Relocate School Before Tsunami

0Students in the Seaside School District of Clatsop County, Oregon, have started a Go Fund Me campaign external link icon to relocate all campuses to locations safe from a tsunami generated by a major earthquake.

The effort comes after media coverage of a future Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake highlighted the vulnerability of the schools to tsunami, and a $128 million bond measure to relocate the schools failed to pass in 2013.

The campaign notes: "Our evacuation route for the high school is 1.6 miles and we have to cross the highway and a bridge that has not been earthquake retrofitted; Broadway Middle School has a mile route and they also have to cross a bridge that we hope will still be standing; Gearhart Elementary School only has to go about a quarter mile to get to their Tsunami evacuation destination, but they go towards the ocean. Their only option is evacuate to a ridge that is only 45 feet in elevation; far under the 80-100 feet scientists recommend."

The campaign has raised $2,850 of the $200 million target.

Seaside students want to relocate schools before big quake external link icon (KGW-Portand)

Go Fund Me page for "Don't Catch This Wave" campaign external link icon

Open Positions at FEMA

fema logo 50The Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Risk Reduction Division, Building Science Branch, has vacant positions available, with these announcements to close January 25, 2016.

The Risk Reduction Division works to reduce risk to life and property through the use of land use controls, building practices, and other tools. These activities address risk in both the existing built environment and in future development, and they occur in both pre- and post-disaster environments. More about the Building Science Branch external link icon

Architect MP - external link icon
Architect DE - external link icon

Physical Scientist MP - external link icon
Physical Scientist DE - external link icon

Civil Engineer MP - external link icon
Civil Engineer DE - external link icon

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Opportunities for Students

Liu Huixian Earthquake Engineering Scholarship Awards for Graduate Students

In honor of the late Professor Liu Huixian, who is considered to be the founder of earthquake engineering in China, the Huixian Earthquake Engineering Foundation (China) and the US-China Earthquake Engineering Foundation (USA) are pleased to announce that approximately ten (10) Liu Huixian Earthquake Engineering Scholarship Awards are available in 2016.

Applicants must be students pursuing a master's or doctor's degree in earthquake engineering or closely related fields, who are enrolled in universities and research institutes in China, the USA, or Singapore, or are enrolled in member-organizations of the Asian-Pacific Network of Centers for Earthquake Engineering Research (ANCER).

Application materials should be submitted in electronic version to the Secretariat of the Huixian Earthquake Engineering Foundation by June 30, 2016: external link icon – Huixian Earthquake Engineering Foundation, and external link icon – Institute of Engineering Mechanics of China Earthquake Administration (IEM, CEA).

The Huixian Earthquake Engineering Foundation, China
President: Professor Qi Xiaozhai

The US-China Earthquake Engineering Foundation, USA
President: Professor George C. Lee (M. EERI, 1983)

Contact information:
Ning Xiaoquing
Tel.: +86-18745153617
Zhang Guixin
Secretariat of Huixian Earthquake Engineering Foundation
Tel.: +86-18686745312
Add: 9 Xuefu Road, Harbin 150080, China
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: external link icon

Liu Huixian Earthquake Engineering Scholarship Award: Description and Guidelines (PDF)
Application Form for the Liu Huixian Earthquake Engineering Scholarship Award (Word document)

Erasmus+ Master in Earthquake Engineering and/or Engineering Seismology (MEEES)

Applications for the Erasmus Masters in Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology (MEEES) are being accepted, with a deadline of March 30, 2016. MEEES is organized by a consortium of European university and research institutions, led by IUSS Pavia’s UME School and featuring the participation of 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

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Chapter Spotlight

Nor-Cal Chapter Presents Awards for Innovation and Exemplary Practice

PUC2The Northern California Chapter of EERI presented its 2015 Awards for Innovation and Exemplary Practice in Earthquake Risk Reduction at its December meeting. Craig Comartin (M. EERI, 1987) was selected for the individual award for his leadership and dedication in creating the Concrete Coalition and advancing the practice of performance-based engineering. Comartin was recognized as "a guiding light on innovative approaches to earthquake risk mitigation – providing focus and direction, while selflessly dedicating himself to his profession and the public." He will also receive EERI's 2016 Alfred E. Alquist Medal at the Annual Meeting in April.

The Water System Improvement Program by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) was also selected for a 2015 award. Part of the multi-year capital improvement program included designing and building seismic resilient facilities that deliver water reliably in the event of a major earthquake within the Bay Area region, including earthquakes on any one of the three major faults (Calaveras, Hayward, and San Andreas that the regional system crosses. The SFPUC performance criteria were critical for the implementation of hydraulic network modeling to assist system planning, and the integration of project designs and construction management to deliver specific water supply targets. The criteria serve as an important model of the type of system-wide lifeline system performance goals needed to support community resilience.

Read more on the Nor-Cal Chapter website external link icon

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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

spectra 150Seven preprint manuscripts have been posted to the Earthquake Spectra website prior to formal publication. The papers to be published are:

  • "Out-of-Plane Dynamic Stability of Unreinforced Masonry Walls in One-Way Bending: Shake Table Testing" by Osmar Penner (M. EERI, 2016) and Kenneth J. Elwood (M. EERI, 1994)
  • "Out-of-Plane Dynamic Stability of Unreinforced Masonry Walls in One-Way Bending: Parametric Study and Assessment Guidelines" by Osmar Penner (M. EERI, 2016) and Kenneth J. Elwood (M. EERI, 1994)
  • "Quintuple Friction Pendulum Isolator-Behavior, Modeling and Validation" by Donghun Lee (M. EERI, 2015) and Michael C. Constantinou
  • "Responses of a tall building in Los Angeles, California as inferred from local and distant earthquakes" by Mehmet Çelebi (M. EERI, 1980), Hasan S. Ulusoy and Nori Nakata
  • "On uncertainties in PSHA" by Mario Ordaz and Danny Arroyo
  • "The Public's Role in Seismic Design Provisions" by Michael Davis and Keith Porter (M. EERI, 1998)
  • "Ground Motion Model for the Vertical-to-Horizontal (V/H) Ratios of PGA, PGV, and Response Spectra" by Yousef Bozorgnia (M. EERI, 1986) and Kenneth W. Campbell (M. EERI, 1975)
  • To read all current preprint manuscripts posted, visit Earthquake Spectra preprints.external link icon

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Member Spotlight

Welcome New EERI Members

EERI welcomes 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.

Miguel Bernabe, UC Berkeley, Civil
Alexander Chen, UC San Diego
Jacob Darlington, Univ of WI - Madison
Andreas G. Gavras, UC Davis, Geotechnical
Marta Giaretton, University of Padova
Ellen Key, UCLA, Civil
Emre Kizilarslan, Univ of WI - Madison
Richard Lu, UCLA, Civil
Kevin Mahoney, UC Berkeley, Civil
Sunil Nataraj, Visvesvaraya Tech University
Le Pham, Univ of WI - Madison
Guillermo Riveros, University of Western Ontario, Civil
Stephen Shelnutt, UC Berkeley, Civil
Stella Te, UC Berkeley, Civil
Shuo Wang, Univ of WI - Madison Peter Weatherer, Univ of WI - Madison Loyd West, University of NV - Reno, Geophysicist
Jennifer Yasui, UC Davis
Cumhur Yilmaz, Gebze Institute of Technology (GIT)
Jin Yu, Univ of WI - Madison
Alan Yuan, University of British Columbia, Civil

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