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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

Shake the Vote: 2014 EERI Board Elections

If you are a regular, retired, young professional, or honorary EERI member, you may vote electronically for next year’s EERI President-Elect and Board-of-Directors from November 1, 2013 to January 1, 2014. Members were notified via email with voting instructions, including a unique link to an online ballot, on Friday, November 1.

2014 eeri elections iconIf you did not receive the email, please check that your current email address is listed in the online membership directory in the “Members Only Resources” area of the website at (click on the “Members Only Resources” option in the “Membership Center” drop-down menu). If your email address is incorrect, please update it using the following online form at

If you prefer to vote by paper ballot, please e-mail Juliane Lane at no later than December 2, 2013, or call 510-451-0905.

A complete list of candidates’ biographies and vision statements is available online at .

Professor Mary Comerio   Executive VP Charlie Huyck   Structural Engineer James Malley   Professor David Frost   Seismologist David Wald

Mary Comerio, Professor, Department of Architecture, UC Berkeley, CA (M. EERI, 1988)

Director A:
Charlie Huyck, Executive Vice President, ImageCat, Inc., Long Beach, CA (M. EERI, 2002)
James Malley, Structural Engineer, Degenkolb Engineers, San Francisco (M. EERI, 1990)

Director B:
David Frost, Professor of Civil Engineering, Georgia Tech, Atlanta (M. EERI, 2007)
David Wald, Seismologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Lakewood, CO (M. EERI, 1988)

2013 EERI Technical Seminar: Still Time to Register

There is still time to register for the 2013 EERI Technical Seminar Series that will present the PEER NGA-West2 Project external link icon findings and their impacts for the earthquake engineering community. The technical seminar series is supported by FEMA. Seminar topics and presenters include the following:

  • updated U.S. National Seismic Hazards MapOverview of NGA-West2 Program – Yousef Bozorgnia, PEER (M. EERI, 1986)
  • NGA-West2 Database – Tim Ancheta, RMS (M. EERI, 2006)
  • 2013 Version of the U.S. Seismic Hazard Maps – Mark Petersen, USGS (M. EERI, 2002)
  • Design Maps – Nico Luco and Sanaz Rezaeian, USGS (M. EERI, 2001)
  • Application of the NGA-West2 Products:
    • Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant – Nick Gregor, Bechtel (M. EERI, 1992)
    • Effects of the Updates on Building Design – Silvia Mazzoni, Consultant (M. EERI, 2010)
  • Excel File of all NGA-West 2 Models – Emel Seyhan, PEER (M. EERI, 2010)

Dates and Locations
Nov. 7: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov. 8: Long Beach, CA
Nov. 14: Seattle, WA
Nov. 15: San Francisco, CA

Program and Registration
Download the program flyer (PDF) here. Register online or download a registration form for the 2013 EERI Technical Seminar Series at

Laurence Kornfield to Receive the 2014 Alfred E. Alquist Medal

Laurence Kornfield (M. EERI, 1999), Advisor for Seismic Programs at the City and County of San Francisco’s Earthquake Safety Implementation Program, was named the 2014 Alfred E. Alquist Special Recognition Medal winner. Kornfield will receive the Alquist Medal at the 2014 EERI Annual Meeting and 10NCEE external link icon in Anchorage, Alaska, next July.

Laurence KornfieldThe 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.

Kornfield has been committed to public service for over three decades. The goal for his work with the City of San Francisco has been to harmonize the many elements of our built environment: codes and technology with reliability and practicality, aesthetics and good design, resilience, sustainability, and social responsibility. He has advocated for public policy involvement in the development of codes and standards for building performance. He continues to work for the City of San Francisco in the new Earthquake Safety Implementation Program, an outgrowth of the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety.

After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, as Chief Building Inspector, he was responsible for the Building Department’s citywide response activities and the first use of ATC-20 Post-Earthquake Rapid Screening. Kornfield has worked to incorporate earthquake concerns into San Francisco’s building and planning policies. He frequently lectures and writes on building-related topics, and his show “Building San Francisco” is regularly aired on San Francisco cable television.

Kornfield has a widely varied academic and work background. He is a cook, sailor, tinkerer, reader, and writer. He is married to Catherine Bauman, a former San Francisco City Planner who, under an EERI Fellowship, studied the Kobe earthquake rebuilding effort.

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Shah Family Innovation Prize: Call for Nominations

Do you know a young academic or professional making a difference in reducing global earthquake risk? Members are encouraged to nominate candidates for the Shah Family Innovation Prize from government, private firms, academia, and the international community.

The Shah Family Innovation Prize was created with a substantial gift to the EERI Endowment Fund by the Haresh C. Shah family of Stanford, California. The intent of the prize is to stimulate further creativity and leadership in the earthquake risk mitigation community and EERI.

The selection process recognizes a combination of past accomplishments and future potential, emphasizing creative and innovative thinkers who have demonstrated at early stages in their careers the potential to make major contributions. EERI membership is not required for either the nominator or candidate, although it is strongly encouraged. Candidates must be less than 35 years of age on January 1, 2014.

Submit your nominations for the Shah Innovation Prize online by January 15, 2014 at

For more information about the required nomination package, selection criteria, and past winners, visit

10NCEE: Paper Extension

The deadline for submitting 10NCEE external link icon final papers has been extended to Monday, November 18, 2013. Papers will be reviewed using the same criteria as for abstracts; however, the papers will also be reviewed for relevance to the topic for which they are proposed.

10NCEE websiteAn author’s fee of $200 must accompany the submission of each paper. To submit your paper, visit the paper submission website at external link icon.

For more information about the paper submission process, including paper formatting guidelines and template, visit the 10NCEE website at external link icon.

NEES/EERI Research-to-Practice Webinar: From Large Scale Test Findings to Cost-Benefit Analysis of Base-Isolated Buildings

Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time (U.S. and Canada)
Presenters: Keri Ryan (M. EERI, 1999), University of Nevada, Reno; Anthony Giammona, Nabih Youssef & Associates; Gilberto Mosqueda (M. EERI, 2001), University of California, San Diego; and Stephen A. Mahin (M. EERI, 1975), University of California, Berkeley.

NEES logoSeismic isolation has long been regarded as an effective technique to enhance the seismic performance of structures, but applications to new buildings has been limited in the United States. The following reasons have often been given for the slow growth of application for seismic isolation systems: the high cost premium of isolation coupled with inability to convey the potential benefit to building owners; lack of field or laboratory data on full-scale, realistic buildings; and uncertainty about the response of isolated structures in extreme ground motions that exceed design levels.

This NEES/EERI research-to-practice webinar will present findings from the recently completed NEES TIPS (Tools for Isolation and Protective Systems) project. The project was designed as a comprehensive research and education program to facilitate the wider adoption of seismic isolation systems for the superior protection of structures. This webinar will focus on three main topic areas:

1) Findings from a full-scale test program on isolated and conventional structures conducted at E-Defense. Among the highlights, new knowledge is presented about the influence of vertical excitation on the response of nonstructural components and contents in base-isolated and conventional buildings. Furthermore, the test results from the E-Defense tests are used to validate and make recommendations regarding modeling procedures applied by practitioners for the design of base-isolated buildings.

2) Findings from limit state tests on isolated buildings conducted at the University at Buffalo NEES facility. Based on calibrated results from the limit state tests, a FEMA P695 procedure is applied to assess the behavior and collapse capacity of isolated buildings considering pounding against a moat wall.

3) Results from comparative life cycle cost-benefit analysis of base-isolated buildings. These results are interpreted within a broader FEMA P58 framework for practicing engineers to develop results to present to owners who are choosing between minimum code compliance and various enhanced performance designs.

Information about registration for this NEES/EERI Webinar will be available soon at external link icon.

Renew Your EERI Membership for 2014

On October 22, 2013, all EERI members (except student and honorary members) were sent via email the first membership renewal notice for 2014. The personalized email message provided a link to their personal renewal page showing contact information with options for selecting chapter membership and making a voluntary contribution to the EERI Endowment Fund.

Renew Your EERI Membership TodayIf you did not receive this message, please e-mail Membership Coordinator Juliane Lane at, and she will resend the message with your personal link. We hope you will continue to support EERI and renew your membership for 2014. Together, we can reduce earthquake risk for our communities.

Remember EERI Before the Tax Year Ends

This November and December, reduce your April tax burden by making a donation to the EERI Endowment Fund. The generosity of EERI members has allowed the Institute to create many valuable programs since the Endowment’s inception in 1994. Your gift will enable EERI to build on this substantial foundation by supporting innovative projects, independent of government funding, which will advance the field of earthquake engineering as well as benefit you, our members.

You may choose to donate to one of EERI’s many important programs, like Learning from Earthquakes or the World Housing Encyclopedia, or to the general endowment to support exciting new initiatives in the new year.

The 2014 dues statement (renewal notice) has a line to make a donation.

To donate online, click on the “Donate” button on the top right of the  homepage.

Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, members aged 70.5 years and older may make donations from IRAs without claiming the distributions as income. Please consider discussing this opportunity to support the EERI Endowment with your tax advisor.

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In Memoriam

Remembering Henry Lagorio

Henry Lagorio (M. EERI, 1973), Professor Emeritus of Architecture and former Associate Dean of the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, died on October 2, 2013. Lagorio was long affiliated with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. He served as EERI Secretary-Treasurer and on the EERI Board of Directors, was on many key EERI committees, and served on the Editorial Board of Earthquake Spectra.

Henry Lagorio Henry (Hank) J. Lagorio attended Oakland Technical High School and studied architecture at UC Berkeley with Harold Stump, Michael Goodman, and Stafford Jory, receiving a Bachelor of Architecture in 1944 and a Master of Architecture in 1945. He served in the army following his graduation. Upon his discharge from the army, he received a job offer from Gordon Sproul to teach first-year architecture courses at UC Berkeley as an assistant professor, beginning his long career in design education.

From 1947 until his retirement, Lagorio served as a professor in the Department of Architecture, where he was a much beloved and respected teacher and colleague. A licensed architect and member of the AIA, he also served as Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Design Research and Director of the UC Study Center in Italy.

He published widely in the areas of architecture and earthquake engineering, design and seismic hazards reduction, and the assessment of earthquake vulnerability. He was an active contributor to public policy, serving as a member of the California Seismic Safety Commission. He was also a Program Director at the National Science Foundation, where he established research programs focusing on seismic rehabilitation and repair of existing buildings.

A funeral mass was held on October 17, 2013 at Newman Hall - Holy Spirit Parish in Berkeley, California.

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Program Updates

Online Database of Concrete Buildings Damaged in Earthquakes

Collapses of non-ductile concrete buildings have been documented in countless earthquakes throughout the world, and many researchers are working to identify deficiencies or collapse indicators for this type of building. In an effort to contribute towards this understanding, the Concrete Coalition external link icon assembled a collection of case studies of concrete buildings damaged in earthquakes into an online database.

India JaiswalThe Concrete Coalition Database features case studies of over 50 buildings in 12 countries, an intuitive user interface, and extensive search criteria. Each case study includes summary information, photos, sketches, drawings, and information on retrofits. The Database also identifies over 50 design and construction characteristics that may have contributed to the observed damage.

Looking Forward
In the near future, others will be able to contribute case studies to the Concrete Coalition Database. As the Database is further populated, relationships between observed damage and design and construction characteristics may emerge. Start exploring the Database at external link icon.

Database Development
The Concrete Coalition Database was developed under the direction of Honorary EERI Member Craig Comartin (M. EERI, 1987), and the case studies were compiled by Concrete Coalition summer interns Sarah Bettinger, Edwin Lim (M. EERI, 2011), Quinn Peck (M. EERI, 2012), and Miguel Robles-Lora (M. EERI, 2012) under the guidance of many industry mentors. Funding support for the database project came from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Concrete Coalition, a project of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, is a network of individuals and organizations that works to understand the risk associated with non-ductile concrete buildings. Learn more about the Concrete Coalition at external link icon.

Housner Fellows Update: Inaugural ShakeOut Drill in Ghana

On October 17, students and administrators at the St. Kizito Basic School in Nima Accra, Ghana, participated in the ShakeOut earthquake drill for the first time. The school joined 9.6 million Californian participants and 24.8 million global participants as they practiced the “drop, cover, and hold on” exercise at 10:17 a.m. on Thursday morning.

ShakeOut drill in Ghana schoolThis inaugural event was organized by the newly formed Ghana Earthquake Society, led by Caltrans Transportation Engineer Joseph Quarshie (M. EERI, 1993). The event is also a direct outcome of the Housner Fellows’ August 2013 field visit to Ghana when they met with school administrators about bringing the ShakeOut event to the local area.

The Housner Fellows class of 2012 are: Syed Mohammed Ali (M. EERI, 2011), Cale R. Ash (M. EERI, 2003), Carlien D. Bou-Chedid (M. EERI, 2011), Lindsey Maclise (M. EERI, 2011), Danielle Hutchings Mieler (M. EERI, 2009), Hassan Steven Mdala (M. EERI, 2012), Vivek Rawal (M. EERI, 2011), and Kate Stillwell (M. EERI, 2000).

For more information about the Housner Fellow’s Ghana trip, visit their blog at

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Seventh International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Video presentations from the Conference to Commemorate the Legacy of Ralph B. Peck, the Seventh International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering, and the Symposium in Honor of Clyde Baker (Wheeling, Illinois, April 29 – May 4, 2013) are now available online.

Conference speakers included: James K. Mitchell (M. EERI, 1990), Shamsher Prakash, Nancy (Peck) Young,  Gholamerza Mesri, Edward J. Cording, E. DiBiagio, J. David Rogers (M. EERI, 1990), and Honorary EERI member I.M. Idriss (1972).The video presentations are available here external link icon and here external link icon. For more details, contact Shamsher Prakash, Ph.D., at

2014 Fazlur R. Khan Distinguished Lecture Series

The 2014 Fazlur R. Khan Distinguished Lecture Series will be held at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in early 2014. 

The first lecture in the series on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. features:
"The Evolution of Building Design to Resist Earthquakes" by James R. Harris, Principal, J. R. Harris & Company (M. EERI, 1978).

The second lecture in the series on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. features:
"Structure Becoming Architecture: Case Studies of Aesthetics, Form, and Efficiency" by Jon D. Magnusson, Senior Principal, at Magnusson Klemencic Associates.

The third lecture in the series on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. features:
"Renaissance, Rebirth and Disruptive Innovation" by Charles H. Thornton, Chairman, at Charles H. Thornton & Company, LLC.

For additional information about the Khan Distinguished Lecture Series, visit

The Theory and Practice of Performance-Based Design: The Future of Earthquake Engineering

This seminar for every practicing engineer, conducted by Computer & Structures, Inc. (CSI), bridges the gap between research and practice. Performance-based design is a major shift from traditional structural design concepts and represents the future of earthquake engineering. The procedure provides a method for determining acceptable levels of earthquake damage. Also, it is based on the recognition that yielding does not constitute failure and that preplanned yielding of certain members of a structure during an earthquake can actually help to save the rest of the structure.

In this technology-packed seminar, CSI President and CEO Ashraf Habibullah (M. EERI, 1999) will present the theory and practical application of nonlinear analysis and performance-based design in terms and analogies that are very familiar to the practicing structural engineer. Attendees will leave the seminar empowered with a clear understanding of this new technology.

Registration: $125 per person

San Francisco
Date & Time: Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Grand Hyatt, San Francisco

New York City
Date & Time: Monday, December 2, 2013, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Columbia University, Alfred Lerner Hall, New York City

Registration includes the Modeling for Structural Analysis textbook ($150 value) by Professor Graham Powell (M.  EERI, 1999); continental breakfast, luncheon, and refreshment breaks; and gift drawings and prizes that you won’t want to miss!

For more details, visit the CSI website at external link icon. CSI is EERI's only Diamond Subscribing Member.

International Conference on Disaster Management

The International Conference and Pre-Conference Workshop on Disaster Management (ICDM’14) will take place from January 21-24, 2014. The event is organized by the Center for Disaster Management at the St. Peter’s Institute of Higher Education and Research, St. Peter’s University.

For more details about the ICDM’14 event, contact Dr. D.S. Ramachandra Murthy, Vice Chancellor at the St. Peter’s Institute of Higher Education and Research, at

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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

In October, over twenty preprint manuscripts were posted on the Earthquake Spectra website prior to their formal publication.

To browse the complete list of preprint manuscripts, visit the Spectra website at

Top 10 Research Priorities on Cascadia Liquefaction & Lateral Spreading

The “Top 10 Research Priorities on Cascadia Liquefaction & Lateral Spreading” publication of results from the Cascadia Liquefaction and Lateral Spreading Needs Meeting held on August 30, 2013, is now available. The event was sponsored by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) and Oregon State University (OSU).

Meeting participants include: Yumei Wang (M. EERI, 1989), DOGAMI; Daniel Gillins, Oregon State University; Scott Ashford (M. EERI, 1992), Ben Mason (M. EERI, 2008), Michael Olsen (M. EERI, 2004), and Armin Stuedlein (M. EERI, 2011), Oregon State University; Brian Atwater and Thomas Holzer (M. EERI, 1999), USGS; Bill Burns, Ian Madin (M. EERI, 2013), Kate Mickelson, and Tom Wiley (M. EERI, 2001), DOGAMI; Scott Burns, Portland State University; Bruce Johnson and Nancy Murphy, ODOT; Leon Kempner, Bonneville Power Administration; Steve Kramer (M. EERI, 1990), University of Washington; Tom Peterson and Tom Wharton, Port of Portland; Don Pettit, Department of Environmental Quality; Mike Stuhr, Portland Water Bureau; and  Liam Wotherspoon, University of Auckland.

The publication is available online at For more information, please contact the event organizers Yumei Wang, P.E., at  or Daniel Gillins, Ph.D., at

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