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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

Housner Institute: Just the Beginning for 2017 Fellows

Housner Institute 2017The 2017 class of Housner Fellows participated in an intensive and rewarding retreat the week of August 7, 2017, in beautiful oceanside Monterey, California.

The Housner Institute, a five-day leadership retreat that facilitates in-depth discussion, mentorship guidance, and the Fellows' initial group project proposal is guided by training leader Lucy Arendt (M. EERI, 2008) every two years. This year, EERI staff accompanied Housner Fellows Management Committee Co-Chairs, Lindsey Maclise (M. EERI, 2011, Housner Class of 2012) and Tom Tobin (M. EERI, 1986), who met with the 2017 class of Fellows on the first day of the Housner Institute to share their leadership experiences and insights.

The Fellows will share their group project progress with EERI members through updates in the Pulse and hope to seek feedback on their work at 11NCEE. For more information on the program, visit

Photo top (l-r): Erik Bishop (M. EERI, 2015), Karl Telleen (M. EERI, 2017), Rebecca Laberenne (M. EERI, 2007), Dana Brechwald (M. EERI, 2013), Veronica Cedillos (M. EERI, 2008), Debra Murphy (Trainer), (M. EERI, 2007), and Lucy Arendt (M. EERI, 2008). 

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In Memoriam

Steven B. Tipping (1947 - 2017)

Steven B TippingWith great sadness, EERI shares with our members that Steven B. Tipping (M. EERI, 1989) passed away suddenly on August 11, 2017. He would have turned 70 this November. Tipping founded Tipping Structural Engineers (TSE) in 1983 and has served as the firm's President for more than 35 years.

Under his stewardship, TSE has come to be a widely regarded industry leader in seismic retrofit design, advancing the science and art of structural engineering. Steven pioneered the use of vertical post-tensioning and idiosyncratic seismic isolation systems. He was twice recognized in Engineering News Record's Top 25 news makers and received two Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards from SEAONC (Structural Engineering Association of Northern California) of which he is a past board member and President.

To learn more about Steven's accomplishments, innovations, and legacy, please read the TSE press release dated August 21, 2017: Tipping Structural Engineers Announces Death of Steven B. Tipping, Founder and Industry Innovator, and obituary: San Francisco Chronicle.

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Student Spotlight

Student Leadership Council Holds Annual Retreat and Elections

SLC 2017 group with EERI staffThe EERI Student Leadership Council (SLC) held its annual retreat in the San Francisco Bay Area on August 17-19, 2017. EERI SLC Co-Presidents Kristen Hess, University of Colorado, Boulder (M. EERI, 2014) and Yi Tyan Tsai, UCLA (M. EERI, 2014), led meetings at the EERI office in Oakland, California. On Friday, a reception for the group was hosted at the office of Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI) in Walnut Creek, California.

SLC members and alumni representing 13 universities, and members of the EERI staff, were in attendance (pictured above). The Council reviewed the past year’s activities, including the successes and challenges of the EERI Seismic Design Competition in Portland, Oregon (March 2017), and charted out activities and improvements for the 2017-2018 term. A key point of the discussion is focused on sustainably increasing the scale of the competition, so that more students can be invited to the competition and be exposed to earthquake engineering.

The SLC thanks Computers and Structures, Inc., (CSI) an EERI Diamond-level Subscribing Member, for its generous support of the annual SLC retreat and year-round activities. CSI also held a fabulous reception for the SLC members, hosted by CSI President and CEO, Ashraf Habibullah (M. EERI, 1999).

 SLC Election Results for the 2017-2018 Academic Year:

  • Co-Presidents: Yolanda Lin, Cornell University (M. EERI, 2013) and Daniela Martinez, UC Berkeley (M. EERI, 2015)
  • Treasurer: Ryan Whelchel, Purdue University (M. EERI, 2015)
  • Secretary: Maha Kenawy, UC Davis (M. EERI, 2015)
  • SDC Chairs:Trevor Carey (lead), UC Davis (M. EERI, 2013); Jorge Archbold, UC Berkeley (M. EERI, 2016); Ángel Pérez-Irizarry, University of Wisconsin-Madison (M. EERI, 2011); Cristina Iordache, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (M. EERI, 2015), and Shannon Spiers, Cornell University (M. EERI, 2013)
  • Outreach Chairs: Jake Eull and Samantha Grey
  • PERW Chairs: Kristen Hess, University of Colorado, Boulder (M. EERI, 2014) and Yi Tyan Tsai, UCLA (M. EERI, 2014)
  • Webmasters: Nima Nazemi, University of Memphis (M. EERI, 2015) and Mohsen Maniat, University of Memphis (M. EERI, 2014)

EERI extends appreciation to the outgoing SLC Officers for the 2016-2017 academic year: Co-Presidents Kristen Hess and Yi Tyan Tsai; and SLC officers Ryan Whelchel, Yolanda Lin, Jorge Archbold, Jennifer Briggs, Trevor Carey, Ángel Pérez-Irizarry, Maha Kenawy, Daniela Martinez, Nathan Scharenbrock, Farhad Sedaghati, Camilla Favaretti, Christopher Price, Aishwarya Puranam, and Polly Murray.

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EERI Resources from the Vault - Photos

Remembering the Mw 6.9 Sikkim, India Earthquake of September 18, 2011

Sikkim 2011 29-1644-800-600-80Photo: Sikkim, India Earthquake, September 18, 2011, Rockslide in Lachung. Rockslide and mudslides originating from mountain springs led to damage to buildings in Lachung. Poor building performance was prevalent in towns sited on soft soil layers of relatively flat river terraces and gradually sloping mountain meadows, probably due to sustained amplification of ground shaking. Photo by Durgesh C. Rai (M. EERI, 1995).

An earthquake Mw 6.9 occurred at 6:11 pm local time on September 18, 2011, with an epicenter at the India-Nepal border region; the focal depth has been estimated as 19.7 km. The earthquake caused strong shaking in many areas adjacent to its epicenter reportedly lasting 30 – 40 seconds. The earthquake triggered a large number of landslides and caused significant damage to buildings and infrastructure. The total loss has been estimated at around US $500 million. For more information, read the EERI Sikkim Report and view the EERI Sikkim Photo Gallery

Did you know that EERI members have exclusive access to thousands of photos from more than 30 earthquakes? Preview our photo galleries here.

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The Role of Advanced Technologies in Structural Engineering for More Resilient Communities

workshop save the dateThe Role of Advanced Technologies in Structural Engineering for More Resilient Communities is a workshop hosted by the ResilientAmerica Roundtable and the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment (NAS) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in collaboration with the SEI/ASCE Advances in Information Technology Committee will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 from 8:30 am to 4:45 pm PST,  at the Beckman Center, 100 Academy Way, Irvine, California 92617. Reception to follow. Webcast provided for those who cannot attend in person.


 This workshop will:

  • Explore the role of advanced technologies and structural performance data in existing infrastructure and built systems to enhance resilience and promote faster recovery;
  • Discuss the future role of advanced technologies and design practice in promoting community resilience --what does a resilient city’s built infrastructure look like in the future? and
  • Identify research gaps or opportunities in development and use of advance technologies and design for building resilient infrastructure.  

We hope you will join us for this exciting event! If you have any questions, please contact: Maggie Esch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


Retirement Symposium and Celebration Honoring Professor Anil Chopra

Chopra photographRegistration is now open for the University of California Berkeley Department of Civil Engineering's Retirement Symposium and Celebration honoring the career of Professor Anil K. Chopra (M. EERI, 1973), to take place on Oct. 2-3, 2017 at UC Berkeley.

The symposium will feature a lineup of prominent national and international speakers who are former students and close collaborators of Professor Chopra who will share their research and experience in working with him. Please visit the symposium website for more information about the event. Space is limited by the capacity of the venue,  so please register today if you wish to attend.


10th Gulf Seismic Forum

10th gulf forum mapThe 10th Gulf Seismic Forum for Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Studies in the Arabian Plate Region will take place in Muscat, Oman, March 19-22, 2018. The abstract submission deadline has been extended to November 1, 2017. For more information visit:

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Professional Opportunities - September 1, 2017

Job Opening - GeoHazards International

GeoHazardGeoHazards International is hiring a Project Manager to be based in its Menlo Park, California headquarters. This person will implement projects that build local technical capacities and disaster resilience in the world's most vulnerable communities. The position requires schedule flexibility and occasional travel to project locations, which currently include India, Nepal, Bhutan, Haiti and China. View job description.

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Spectra August 2017 Coming Soon

Please note that the August 2017 issue of Spectra, Volume 33 Number 3, is forthcoming and will be posted online and mailed in early September. EERI apologizes for any inconvenience you may experience from this delay.

Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

Nine (9) preprint manuscripts have been posted to the Earthquake Spectra website prior to formal publication. The papers to be published are:  

spectra 150

  • Measuring the Impact of Enhanced Building Performance on the Seismic Resilience of a Residential Community by Henry V. Burton (M. EERI, 2011), Gregory Deierlein (M. EERI, 1989), David Lallemant and Yogendra Singh (M. EERI 2010)
  • A Metric to Screen Acceptable Velocity and Displacement Time Histories of Modified Ground Motions by Clinton P. Carlson (M. EERI, 2010) and Dimitrios Zekkos (2002)
  • A Prototype Operational Earthquake Loss Model for California Based on UCERF3-ETAS – A First Look at Valuation by Edward Field (M. EERI, 1992), Keith Porter (M. EERI, 1998) and Kevin Milner
  • Probabilistic Tsunami Loss Estimation Methodology: Stochastic Earthquake Scenario Approach by Katsuichiro Goda (M. EERI, 2009) and Raffaele De Risi
  • Loss Predictive Power of Strong Motion Networks for Usage in Parametric Risk Transfer: Istanbul as a Case Study by Sergio Pucciano, Guillermo Franco (M. EERI, 2005) and Paolo Bazzurro (M. EERI, 2000)
  • Framework for Developing Fragility and Consequence Models for Local Personal Risk by Helen Crowley (M. EERI, 2008), Barbara Polidoro, Rui Pinho (M. EERI, 2008) and Jan van Elk
  • Wooden building damage analysis in Mashiki town for the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes on April 14 and 16 by Masumi Yamada, Junzo Ohmura and Hiroyuki Goto
  • Liquefaction-Induced Horizontal Displacements from the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence in New Zealand Measured from Remote Sensing Techniques by Ellen M. Rathje (M. EERI, 1996), Sorin S. Secara, Jonathan G. Martin, Sjoerd van Ballegooy (M. EERI, 2014) and James Russell (M. EERI, 2002)
  • Experimental Database of Cyclic Simple Shear Tests Under Transient Loadings by Wing Shun Kwan (M. EERI, 2012), Sam S. Sideras, Steven L. Kramer (M. EERI, 1990) and Chadi El Mohtar

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

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

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

Six recent articles, stories, opinions, or reports from around the web

1oneHow an Earthquake Led to Nepal’s Digital Transformation (GovInsider) To quickly and effectively collect data on damaged buildings and homes, the government took a “radically different” approach from the traditional pen-and-paper method of surveying, and decided to use digital technology. It's been said that this is the biggest mobile data collection in the world so far. Read more

2twoWatch The Earth Crack: Animated Map Shows Every Earthquake For 15 Years (Forbes) The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released an animation, NOAA Science on a Sphere, that displays every recorded earthquake between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2015. Read more

3threeNew Map of Brazil's Seismic Hazards Created (Science Daily) Though seismic risk is relatively low in Brazil compared with other South American countries, a survey underway seeks to help ensure earthquake-resistant construction becomes more widespread. Read more

4fourHow Early Warning Systems Brought Rapid Relief to Quake Victims in China (Sixth Tone) China’s increasingly developed disaster response systems prevented the August 8 magnitude 7.0 Jiuzhaigou earthquake from becoming an even greater tragedy. Read more


Quakes Pack More Punch in Eastern Than in Central United States (Earth & Space Science News) A new finding rests on the recognition that fault types differ between the two regions. It helps explain prior evidence that human-induced quakes and natural ones behave the same in the nation’s center. Read more

6sixM=4.5 Earthquake in Portugal Recalls Memories to Great 1755 Quake (Temblor) While the August quake pales in comparison, a fault rupture on one of the Lower Tagus Valley faults could be as devastating as the great 1755 earthquake that killed tens of thousands, triggered a deadly tsunami, and destroyed most of Lisbon. Read more


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