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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

Board of Directors announce Heidi Tremayne the next Executive Director of EERI

The Board of Directors is extremely pleased to announce, following a rigorous 4 month search process, that we have unanimously selected Heidi Tremayne as the next Executive Director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

heidi IMG 2944 Many of our members know Heidi in her current role as Program Manager for EERI, a role she has held since 2014.   Previous to joining EERI, Heidi served in the role of Outreach Director at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center at UC Berkeley from 2008 to 2014.  And overlapping that time frame, from 2009 to 2014, Heidi held every leadership position, from Director to Treasurer to President, of the Northern California Chapter of EERI.

Heidi is a dynamic, articulate and passionate leader and we are thrilled to have her as the next Executive Director of EERI.

The search for a new Executive Director began in November, 2016, after Jay Berger announced his intention to step down after 7+ years of stellar leadership and stewardship. A search committee, as a sub-committee of the Board, was formed with David Friedman (incoming President) as the chair, and included President Mary Comerio, and Directors Jim Malley, Danielle Mieler and Janiele Maffei. 

The search committee developed a meticulous position description and honed in on the attributes and skill sets needed to lead EERI.  The selection criteria included: knowledge of the earthquake professions, knowledge of non-profit governance, management experience, passion and concern for earthquake safety, writing and communication skills, fund-raising and member development and people skills.

Considerable outreach was done to source as many qualified applicants as possible.  And there were many, including local, national and international applicants. The quality level of the applicants was very high.

The committee reviewed the pool of applicants and selectively went from short-list to semi-finalists to finalists. Though our applicants did not complain, at least out loud, there were several interviews, writing assignments, “think pieces” on the Strategic Alignment initiatives, and thorough reference checking. We had two absolutely fantastic finalists, but the committee’s recommendation to the Board was unanimous and the full board vote was unanimous: Heidi Tremayne!

For those joining attending the Annual Meeting in Portland next month, you will be able to join the Board in welcoming Heidi as the next Executive Director as well as to thank Jay for his superb tenure as Executive Director. Heidi will officially take over as Executive Director on March 20, 2017. Jay has been generous with his availability through March for ample transition time, and he will be available as a resource for Heidi and many of the standing committees throughout April.

EERI Outstanding Student Paper Awardees: Barbara Simpson and Viviana Vela

The following students were awarded 2016 EERI Outstanding Graduate and Undergraduate Papers. Winners will receive recognition at the 2017 EERI Annual Meeting.

Graduate Student Paper Award
"Reducing Concentrations of Inelastic Demand with a Strongback”
Barbara Simpson, University of California, Berkeley

Barbara SimpsonBarbara Simpson (M. EERI, 2016) is presently a doctoral candidate at UC Berkeley. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Kansas and Master of Science from UC Berkeley. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, she worked for nearly a year at Thornton Tomasetti in both the Kansas City and Los Angeles design offices. Her research with Professor Steve Mahin (M. EERI, 1975) focuses on the performance and retrofit of existing steel braced frames funded by an NSF research grant. As a part of this research, she has designed, built, and tested three nearly full-scale steel braced frames, including one strongback, or "mast" retrofit designed to improve braced frame performance.

Undergraduate Student Paper Award
“Effectiveness of Rubber Bumpers as a Mitigation Measure for Pounding in Base Isolated Structures”
Viviana Vela, University of California, San Diego

Viviana Vela Viviana Vela is currently a graduating senior pursuing an undergraduate degree in Structural Engineering with a civil focus at the University of California, San Diego. She is a McNair Scholar working as a research assistant with Professor Gilberto Mosqueda (M. EERI, 2001) focusing on seismic isolation and examining the behavior of this system under extreme earthquake motions. Specifically, Viviana has been analyzing the effectiveness of rubber bumpers as a mitigation measure for pounding on moat walls in base isolated structures. Upon graduation, she plans to continue in higher education and attain a PhD in Civil Engineering with a concentration in structural engineering. Viviana intends to conduct research focused on earthquake engineering and pursue a career in academia in hopes that her leadership role in academia and research will empower and inspire other women and minorities to continue pursuing careers in engineering.

The purpose of the EERI Outstanding Student Papers Competition is to promote active involvement of students in earthquake engineering and the earthquake hazards community. Graduate and undergraduate students compete by submitting papers that are original work. The papers are judged based on their contribution to the field and their overall quality.

Each paper is ranked on technical merit, clarity of expression, and relevance for the earthquake.

EERI 69th Annual Meeting is One Week Away!

69 annual meeting banner.pulse

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute's 69th Annual Meeting is next week, March 7-10, 2017, in Portland, Oregon. Full program details are available on the 2017 Annual Meeting website, and with only one week to go, there is still time to register!

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The 33 teams competing in the 2017 Seismic Design Competition promise to bring excitement and action to the very heart of the Annual Meeting, and you can be a part of it by volunteering to be a judge! If you are interested in becoming a SDC judge, please complete the online form or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2017 Housner Fellows Program Applications due March 31, 2017

What makes you a leader?

Housner The Housner Fellows Program is seeking six exemplary young professionals from among our members who are dedicated public policy advocates committed to earthquake risk mitigation. Fellows will participate in a Leadership Institute and develop a group project that makes a real impact in the field. Members from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. EERI is accepting applications for the 2017 Housner Fellows class through March 31, 2017. Apply Online.

11NCEE Call for Papers

Eleventh U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Integrating Science, Engineering, and Policy
June 25-29, 2018
Los Angeles, California

11NCEE logo Purpose: The Eleventh U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (11NCEE), on the 70th Anniversary of the forming of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), will provide an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to share the latest knowledge and techniques to better understand and mitigate the damaging effects of earthquakes and tsunamis. With the theme “Integrating Science, Engineering, and Policy,” the conference will bring together professionals from the full spectrum of the earthquake community to discuss and debate a multitude of issues related to seismic hazard, risk, mitigation and public policy. EERI is organizing this conference in collaboration with the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

Paper Formats: The 11NCEE is accepting two paper types for the proceedings. The full paper option has a limit of ten pages, and the extended abstract paper option has a limit of four pages with a maximum title length of 80 characters and maximum text length of 400 words. Paper body text will be Times Roman 12-point and single spaced.

Call for Papers: The deadline for submission of abstracts is May 31, 2017. The abstract collection system is open. Authors must submit abstracts and papers online.Authors will receive notification of provisional acceptance of their abstracts by August 15, 2017. Final papers, both full and extended abstracts, must be received by October 31, 2017. Additional detailed instructions are available on the conference website.

Special Sessions: The conference will include a small number of special sessions. Attractive special session proposals cross disciplinary and general topic boundaries, and raise challenging issues. The program committee is particularly interested in special session proposals that relate to the conference theme of integrating earthquake science, engineering, and policy, and those that address the hazards, risks and policies related to Southern California, the setting for the conference. Special sessions can be mini-workshops,panels, debates or other unique and engaging formats. Those interested in proposing a special session can find directions on the conference website. The deadline for submitting special session requests is March 31, 2017. Special session proposers will be notified of acceptance by April 30, 2017.

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Learning from Earthquakes

New Report Summarizing Impacts from the M7.8 Earthquake in Kaikoura, New Zealand Available Soon

This content will appear soon in an upcoming issue of The Pulse.

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Member Spotlight March 1, 2017

Three Longtime Members of EERI Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Ross Boulanger (M. EERI, 1992), Bill Holmes (M. EERI, 1975), and Sergio Alcocer (M. EERI, 1987), three longtime members of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, have been elected as new members of the National Academy of Engineering. The EERI Board of Directors congratulates these outstanding engineers, all of whom currently serve or have served on the EERI Board.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.  Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/ implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

ross-boulangerW-225x300Ross Boulanger is Director of the University of California, Davis Center for Geotechnical Modeling. Ross has received NAE recognition for contributions to geotechnical earthquake engineering and the development of procedures for evaluating seismic behavior of soil-structure systems.  Professor Boulanger joined the EERI Board of Directors in 2016.   

Wm T HolmesWilliam T. (Bill) Holmes, Senior Consultant, Rutherford & Chekene Consulting Structural Engineers, San Francisco. Bill has been recognized by the NAE for excellence in structural design and leadership in improving the seismic safety of buildings. In 2016, he was awarded with an EERI Honorary Membership for his many outstanding contributions to the Institute.

Sergio Alcocer Sergio Manuel Alcocer, Research Professor, Institute of Engineering, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City.  Sergio has received NAE recognition for improvements to the seismic safety of buildings in developing countries through improved design standards and government policies.  Professor Alcocer was a member of the EERI Board from 2001 to 2003.   

Individuals in the newly elected class will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8, 2017. For more information, see the NAE press release.

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

Eight recent stories, reports, or opinions from around the web

1oneNew USGS Maps Identify Potential Ground-Shaking Hazards in 2017 From Both Human-Induced and Natural Earthquakes in the Central and Eastern U.S. (USGS) March 1: New USGS maps identify potential ground-shaking hazards in 2017 from both human-induced and natural earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S., known as the CEUS. Read more

2twoPortland Prepares for Cascadia (Temblor) In a report released February 14, the City Club of Portland outlined various steps that should be taken to ensure that the city can quickly bounce back following a large earthquake. Read more

3threeStudy Reveals Thousands of Buildings in Victoria at Risk of Earthquake Destruction (Vancouver Sun) A new study shows nearly 4,000 buildings in Victoria are at risk of complete damage from a major earthquake. Read more

4fourCould Artificial Intelligence Hold the Key to Predicting Earthquakes? (CBS News) Can artificial intelligence, or machine learning, be deployed to predict earthquakes, potentially saving thousands of lives around the world? Read more

5fiveDefining Success for Post-Disaster Recovery is Harder Than it Seems (The Mandarin) Recovery efforts are huge resource drains, but are they the right approach? We don’t know, say researchers. Read more

6sixEarthquake Caused 'Catastrophic' Underwater Mudslides (Radio New Zealand) Huge underwater mudslides triggered by the Kaikōura earthquakes have wiped out all seabed organisms in a previously flourishing area. Read more

7sevenDetailed Las Vegas Earthquake Site Classifications Could Lower Constructioncosts (Phys.Org) How much a building might be damaged by an earthquake depends in part on the stiffness (strength) of the ground on which it is built. Read more

8eightDamage from Earthquakes in Central Italy Seen Costing €23.5 Billion (ItalyEurope24) The total monetary amount of damages caused by the tremors that shook Central Italy has cost more than €23 billion. Read more

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EERI San Diego Chapter Presents the Second Workshop on Geotechnical Engineering and a One-Day Short Course on Liquefaction

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) San Diego Chapter, University of California San Diego Extension, and Geo-Institute San Diego Chapter present:

“Dealing with the Consequences of Liquefaction”

Honoring the Lifetime Achievements and Contributions of Professor Kenji Ishihara

March 29-30, 2017, 8am to 5pm, at the University of California, San Diego

Sponsored by:

RMA     hayward baker

“Liquefaction: From Site Characterization to User-Friendly Computer Programs”

March 28, 2017, 8am to 5pm, at the University of California, San Diego, Price Center

View program details and register on the EERI San Diego Chapter website

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Earthquake Spectra: February Issue and Preprints

Feb Spectra coverThe February 2017 issue of Earthquake Spectra (volume 33, number 1) is now available in print and online where you may browse the table of contents for your favorite topics, such as:

  • Empirical Terrain-Based Topographic Modification Factors for Use in Ground Motion Prediction
    Manisha Rai, Adrian Rodriguez-Marek (M.EERI,1999), and Brian S. Chiou
  • Quantifying the Reduction in Collapse Safety of Main Shock–Damaged Reinforced Concrete Frames with Infills
    Henry V. Burton (M.EERI,2011) and Mayank Sharma (M.EERI,2015)
  • Using Open-Access Data in the Development of Exposure Data Sets of Industrial Buildings for Earthquake Risk Modeling
    Luis Sousa (M.EERI,2016), Vitor Silva (M.EERI,2014), and Paolo Bazzurro (M.EERI,2000)


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

  • Response History Analysis for the Design of New Buildings in the NEHRP Provisions and ASCE/SEI 7 Standard: Part I - Overview and Specification of Ground Motions by Curt B. Haselton (M.EERI,2014), Jack W. Baker (M.EERI,2004), Jonathan P. Stewart (M.EERI,1994), Andrew S. Whittaker, Nicolas Luco (M.EERI,2001), Andy Fry, Ronald O. Hamburger (M.EERI,1988), Reid B. Zimmerman (M.EERI,2013), John D. Hooper (M.EERI,1987), Finley A. Charney (M.EERI,1983), and Robert G. Pekelnicky (M.EERI,2000)
  • A Framework and Case Study for Earthquake Vulnerability Assessment of Incrementally Expanding Buildings by David Lallemant, Henry Burton (M.EERI,2011), Luis Ceferino, Zach Bullock, and Anne Kiremidjian (M.EERI,1976)
  • A Set-Based Approach to Support Decision- Making on the Restoration of Infrastructure Networks by Mehmet Unal (M.EERI,2012) and Gordon P. Warn
  • Conditional Mean Spectra Given a Vector of Spectral Accelerations at Multiple Periods by Tadahiro Kishida (M.EERI,2005)
  • Hazard Disaggregation and Record Selection for Fragility Analysis and Earthquake Loss Estimationby Luis Sousa (M.EERI,2016), Mário Marques, Vitor Silva (M.EERI,2014), and Humberto Varum

Compiled Index of EERI Oral Histories Now Available

Compiled Index of Oral Histories CoverThe valuable history collected in the first twenty-four EERI Oral Histories has now been made more accessible and useful by having the individual indexes of these volumes compiled into one master index.

The index provides an easy way to find information on a given earthquake, piece of legislation, engineering innovation, type of construction, or other topic that appears in the first twenty-four publications, which now comprise nearly 5,000 pages. The compiled index is searchable as a pdf document.

This aid should be of benefit to researchers, instructors and students, and the general reader. 

Opportunity to serve on the Oral History Committee

The Oral History Committee is responsible for the production of the oral history volumes (most recently on Edward Wilson and Ray Clough). The Committee meets to propose candidates (then approved by the Board of Directors), conducts interviews, and works on what turns out to be the more labor-intensive post-interview phase that involves tasks such as editing, researching footnotes, obtaining photographs, and copyreading final versions.

EERI members interesting in applying to join the Committee and take on work related to its activities should contact Rita Wilds, EERI Membership & Communications Manager (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), with a brief statement of interest.

Members with suggestions for future oral history candidates can also contact her, describing how suggested individuals (1) have made an outstanding career-long contribution to earthquake engineering; (2) have valuable first-person accounts to offer concerning the history of earthquake engineering; and (3) have backgrounds, considering the Series as a whole, that appropriately span the various disciplines that are included in the field of earthquake engineering.

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Welcome New Members

Welcome New Members

EERI welcomes 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.

Jaime Cerros, Geotechnical Exploration Inc, Geotechnical
Kirk Ellison, Arup
David Finn, David Finn Architects, Architect
Corina Forson, Washington Dept. of Natural Resources
Chris Garris, Geotechnical
Warren George, Perryman Co.
Adam Greco, AMG Structural Engineers
Richard Grigsby, AEI Consultants
Caroline Haatveit, ENGEO Inc.
Carla Hansen, Structural
Du Hongkai
Yili Huo, Bentley Systems

Young Professional
Qiushi Chen, Clemson University, Geotechnical
Michael Perkins, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Civil
Sam Zabb-Parmley, Walter P. Moore

Archanaa Dongre, Vidya Jyothi Institute of Technology
Jaya KP, Anna University

Nitesh Ahir, N.I.T. Silchar, Civil
Carlos Ceja-Morales, Securinfra, Risk Analysis
Manuel Lopez-Menjivar, Universidad de El Salvador
Dev Maharjan, Earthquake Safety Solutions
Patricio Paredes, Planprocons

Zach Kortum, Rice University, Civil
JunYu Lei, UC Berkeley, Civil
Miriam Leon, UC Berkeley, Civil
Hugo Lepe, University of So California, Civil
Weijia Liao, Purdue University
Brooke Lipsey, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Michael Little, University of Texas - Austin, Geotechnical
Jerry Luong, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Ethan Marks, Rice University, Civil
Katherine Mayer, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Haoxiang Miao, UCLA
Luis Monterroza Paredes, , Civil
Pedram Mortazavi, University of Toronto
Daniel Pekar, University of Toronto, Civil
Olivia Pepe-Phelps, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Aisling Pigott, University of Colorado
Steve Pokwo Tchoumelou Yemeli, University of So California, Civil
Angelica Preciado, Portland State University, Geotechnical
Eleena Rieger, UC Berkeley, Civil
Casey Rodgers, Purdue University, Civil
Madison Scheessele, Purdue University, Civil
Sage Shamsai, UC Berkeley, Civil
Joyelaine Sherman-Lewis, Portland State University, Civil
Danielle Sidi, University of Colorado, Civil
Daniel Skupniewicz, California State University Sacramento, Civil
Aiden Slawich, McMaster University, Civil
Gregory Smilski, McMaster University, Civil
Jonathan Snow, University of Illinois
Anastasia Soukhov, McMaster University, Civil
Georgina Talbot, University of Connecticut
Rami Tarazi, University of So California, Civil
Audrey Turcotte, University of Connecticut, Civil
Luz Urena, Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra, Architect
Mabe Villar Vega, UME School - IUSS Pavia, Risk Analysis
Michael Wehrmeyer, UC Berkeley, Civil
Jordan Wheeler, Rice University, Civil
Peter White, University of MA - Amherst, Civil
Jenna Williams, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Tanya Wohlfarth, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Ben Wolendowski, University of Illinois, Civil
Bitanoosh Woods, UC Berkeley, Civil
Jianxuan Yin, UC Berkeley, Civil
Anas Yosefani, Portland State University
Steven Young, Portland State University, Civil
Eddie Yu, UC Berkeley, Civil
Angelica Zarate, CSU Sacramento, Civil
Yizhi Zhou, UC Berkeley, Civil

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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 recent donations to the Institute.

$100 - $250
James Goltz
Phillip Gould
Cynthia Perry
Solveig Thorvaldsdottir
Stan Zagajeski

Other Amounts
Archanaa Dongre
Cindy Hoover
Nilesh Shome
Kenneth Topping

Thank you for your support!

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