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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

10NCEE Registration Now Open

Register today for the Tenth U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (10NCEE) at The newly redesigned 10NCEE website features registration, program, technical tours, events, sponsors, exhibitors, and other conference information that you will need to make arrangements for your 2014 trip to Anchorage, Alaska.

Technical Tours

EERI and the organizing committee have planned a number of technical tours for 10NCEE participants (listed below). For more details, visit the 10NCEE website at

Full Day Tour: The Mountains and Glaciers of Turnagain Arm and Portage Valley
Date: Monday, July 21, 2014
Time: Depart Anchorage Hilton lobby at 8:00 a.m. and return at approximately 3:00 p.m.
Enjoy a trip back in time exploring the impacts of the 1964 earthquake that are still visible along Turnagain Arm. Before the conference gets going, enjoy a trip traveling through Girdwood and Portage.
Trip Leaders: local experts

Half Day Tour: Tsunami Warning Center
Date: Friday, July 25, 2014
Time: Depart Dena'ina Conference Convention Center at 1:45 p.m. and return to the Anchorage Hilton Lobby at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Following the final 10NCEE presentations, a tour will head north to the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and discuss examples of local damage from the 1964 earthquake. Explore earthquakes and tsunamis in Alaska and beyond at the West Coast & Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.
Trip Leaders: local experts

View of a fault trace along the Denali fault (photo by Dr. Richard Koehler)4-Day Tour: Active Faults and Seismic Hazards in Central Alaska
Date: Saturday, July 26 to Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Time: Depart Anchorage Hilton lobby at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, July 26. Return to Anchorage Tuesday evening, July 29, around 5:00 p.m. As we cannot guarantee the return time of the field trip to Anchorage, please plan on staying in Anchorage on Tuesday night, July 29 (at your own expense).
The route provides memorable views of the Susitna Basin, Alaska Range, Denali National Park, Tanana Valley, Copper River Basin, and the Wrangell Mountains, some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. (*This trip is dependent on a minimum number of participants. If this quota is not reached by March 15, 2014, the trip will be cancelled and money will be refunded.)
Trip Leaders: Dr. Gary Carver (M. EERI, 2008), Dr. Richard Koehler, Dr. Sean Bemis, and Dr. Douglas Nyman (M. EERI, 1975)

Register today for 10NCEE at! We hope to see you in Anchorage this summer.

New 10NCEE Sponsors

Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS)Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS) is a new silver sponsor of 10NCEE. RMS is the world’s leading provider of products, services, and expertise for the quantification and management of catastrophe risk. More than 400 leading insurers, reinsurers, trading companies, and other financial institutions rely on RMS models to quantify, manage, and transfer risk. As an established provider of risk modeling to companies across all market segments, RMS provides solutions that can be trusted as reliable benchmarks for strategic pricing, risk management, and risk transfer decisions. Visit the RMS website at external link icon.

ENSTAR Natural Gas CompanyENSTAR Natural Gas Company is a new bronze sponsor of 10NCEE. ENSTAR was founded in 1961, making it one of the oldest energy companies operating in Alaska. ENSTAR headquarters are located in Anchorage. The history of ENSTAR is closely aligned with the history of Alaska since statehood. Over those years, ENSTAR has grown with the 49th state, supplying the energy which has helped communities grow and prosper. Visit the ENSTAR website at www.enstargas.comexternal link icon.

For a full list of 10NCEE sponsors, visit

2014 EERI Award Recipients

The Institute congratulates the following 2014 award recipients and honorees:

2014 EERI Award RecipientsGeorge W. Housner Medal         
Masayoshi Nakashima (M. EERI, 1988), Kyoto University

EERI Distinguished Lecture Award           
David Wald (M. EERI, 1988), U.S. Geological Survey

William B. Joyner Lecture Award              
David Boore, U.S. Geological Survey

Alfred E. Alquist Special Recognition Medal         
Laurence Kornfield (M. EERI, 1999), City & County of San Francisco

Bruce A. Bolt Medal       
Anthony Shakal (M. EERI, 1980), California Geological Survey

Spectra Outstanding Paper Award
“Using Collapse Risk Assessments to Inform Seismic Safety Policy for Older Concrete Buildings,” Earthquake Spectra (vol. 28, num. 4), by Abbie B. Liel (M. EERI, 2009), University of Colorado, and Gregory G. Deierlein (M. EERI, 1989), Stanford University

Shah Family Innovation Prize
Curt Haselton (M. EERI, 2010), California State University Chico

EERI Honorary Members
William A. Anderson (M. EERI, 2001)
Bill Iwan (M. EERI, 1989), California Institute of Technology

EERI/FEMA NEHRP Graduate Fellowship
Clinton Carlson (M. EERI, 2010), University of Michigan

Outstanding Graduate Student Paper
"Moving Towards An Improved Index for Assessing Liquefaction Hazard: Lessons from Historical Data" by Brett Maurer, Virginia Tech

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Paper
"Study of Site Specific Seismic Amplification in the National Capital Region" by Mark Tilashalski, Virginia Tech

EERI would like to thank the Honors Committee, EERI members, and partner organizations for their work during the awards nomination and consideration process. Honors Committee members included: chair Thalia Anagnos (M. EERI, 1982), Reginald DesRoches (M. EERI, 1995), Bill Holmes (M. EERI, 1975), Les Youd (M. EERI, 1974), and Kathleen Tierney (M. EERI, 1987).

The Institute will publish individual feature articles about each award recipient/honoree in upcoming issues of The Pulse

For general information about the annual EERI awards and honors, visit

Employment Opportunity at EERI

EERI is seeking a creative, experienced, technology-aware, and dynamic Program Manager. This person will be a key staff member with internal and external leadership responsibilities. The Program Manager will have responsibility for multiple externally and internally funded projects and programs, creating and leading professional development programs, and supporting the Institute’s committees and chapters.

The Program Manager must be self-motivated, flexible, an excellent communicator, and an outstanding team player. An interest in and knowledge of earthquake engineering and global risk reduction is highly desirable. The Program Manager reports to the Executive Director and should be adept and comfortable working in a collaborative environment within a flat organizational structure. Some travel is required. The starting salary is competitive and is based on qualifications and experience. EERI provides a comprehensive employee benefits package, paid vacation, holidays, sick days, and a casual professional working environment in City Center Oakland on the BART line.

The deadline to apply is February 5, 2014. For more information on responsibilities and desired qualifications, please visit

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Member Spotlight

EERI Honorary Member Roger Borcherdt's Retirement

The Institute would like to announce that EERI Honorary member Roger Borcherdt (M. EERI, 1973) has retired from the U. S. Geological Survey effective January 3, 2014 — after over 40 years of dedicated service. Borcherdt is a geophysicist at the USGS in Menlo Park, California and past visiting Shimizu and consulting professor at Stanford University. Borcherdt will continue his service at USGS as Emeritus Scientist.

Roger BorcherdtHe received a Ph.D. in engineering geoscience with minors in applied mathematics and theoretical statistics from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Borcherdt is the recipient of the U.S. Department of Interior's highest honor award, the Distinguished Service Award, as well as the Meritorious Service Award.

Borcherdt is an honorary member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, a member or chair of numerous scientific advisory panels, past editor of Earthquake Spectra external link icon, co-inventor of the General Earthquake Observation System (GEOS), recipient of 1994 and 2002 Outstanding Paper Awards of Earthquake Spectra, and a registered Geophysicist in the State of California (GP 163, 1972). He has held a number of leadership positions with the U.S. Geological Survey as chief of various branches and programs.

University at Buffalo Launches New Bridge Institute

University at Buffalo’s newly launched Institute for Bridge Engineering is developing plans for bridges that are resistant to natural and manmade hazards. The Institute is also examining ways to build safer, more cost-effective bridges using advanced materials, smart technology, and other devices, as well as training the next generation of bridge engineers.

UB Professor George C. Lee“Bridges are a critical part of the infrastructure of almost every major city,” notes George C. Lee, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering. “UB recognizes this problem, which is why the university is committed to research that will improve the durability, safety, and efficiency of new and existing bridges.”

George C. Lee (M. EERI, 1983), an internationally renowned earthquake engineer, will serve as the institute’s director. He served as director of MCEER, UB’s earthquake engineering and extreme events research center, from 1992-2003, and is the recipient of the 2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

For more details, visit the UB website at external link icon.

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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

In late January, six preprint manuscripts were posted on the Earthquake Spectra website prior to their formal publication. The list of new preprint manuscripts, including authors, follows:

  • Earthquake Spectra"Insurance: Its Role in Recovery from the 2010–2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence" by Andrew King, David Middleton, Charlotte Brown, David Johnston (M. EERI, 2013), and Sarb Johal
  • "Resilience of the Canterbury Hospital System to the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake" by Caitlin C. Jacques (M. EERI, 2012), Jason McIntosh, Sonia Giovinazzi, Thomas D. Kirsch (M. EERI, 2011), Thomas Wilson, and Judith Mitrani-Reiser (M. EERI, 2001)
  • "Seismic Vulnerability of RC Frame with Unreinforced Masonry Infill Due to Mainshock-Aftershock Earthquake Sequences" by Solomon Tesfamariam (M. EERI, 2008), Katsuichiro Goda (M. EERI, 2009), and Goutam Mondal
  • "Characterizing Ground Motions that Collapse Steel, Special Moment-Resisting Frames or Make Them Unrepairable" by Anna H. Olsen (M. EERI, 2007), Thomas H. Heaton (M. EERI, 1995), and John F. Hall
  • "Progressive Collapse Analysis of RC Frames with URM Infill Walls Considering In-Plane/Out-of-Plane Interaction" Khalid M. Mosalam and Selim Günay
  • "Seismic Fragility Assessment of Concrete Bridge Pier Reinforced with Superelastic Shape Memory Alloy" by A.H. M. Muntasir Billah and M. Shahria Alam

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

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Request for Qualifications: CSMIP 2014 Data Interpretation Projects

The California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP) external link icon of the California Geological Survey in the Department of Conservation plans to fund three or more data interpretation projects for the analysis and interpretation of strong-motion data recorded from earthquakes. These projects are intended to further understanding of strong ground shaking and the response of structures during earthquakes, and to increase the utilization of strong motion data in improving seismic code provisions, seismic design practices, and post-earthquake response.

The California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP) of the California Geological SurveyThe Request of Qualifications (RFQ) includes a description of the data interpretation topics, the required proposal contents, and the contract conditions. Proposals must be received by CSMIP no later than March 11, 2014. To receive a copy of the RFQ, send an e-mail to Shirley Rowley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact her by phone at (916)322-3105.

3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015

On December 20, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to hold the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on March 14-18, 2015 in Sendai, Japan, outlining the modalities for the preparations of the 3rd World Conference.

3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) 2015This Second Announcement external link icon summarizes the expected outcomes at the 3rd World Conference per Assembly resolution A/RES/68/211, reviews steps to be taken towards the World Conference, and provides updates on activities towards the development of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and United Nations System engagement in the future framework, advocacy and media activities, budget and resources, and tips for planning participants' attendance.

Direct Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Buildings: Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council (LATBSDC) Seminar

Date: Friday, February 21, 2014
Time: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Presenters: Dr. Nigel Priestley, Dr. Michele Calvi (M. EERI, 1990), and Dr. Mervyn Kowalsky (M. EERI, 1994)

Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council (LATBSDC)This seminar will introduce participants to displacement-based seismic design (DDBD) and demonstrate how it can be implemented in the design office as a simple and rational alternative to current prescriptive methods of seismic design. The course will show that serious conceptual problems exist with current force-based seismic design and will demonstrate how these deficiencies are resolved when a simple displacement-based design approach is adopted. DDBD approach results in structures with uniform seismic risk for a given performance level, which is compatible with uniform risk spectra. This is not achieved with current force-based design procedures.

For more information and the seminar schedule and topics, visit: The registration form (PDF) is available here. Space is limited. Early registration is highly recommended.

The companion textbook Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Structures by Priestley, Calvi, and Kowalsky, if ordered as a part of early-bird registration for the seminar, can be obtained for the price of $120, including shipping, and will be available for pickup at the seminar. Note that current prices for the textbook on Amazon are $206.

Fifth Floor Conference Facilities
Federal Reserve Bank of Los Angeles
950 South Grand Avenue (at Olympic Boulevard)
Los Angeles, California
(Convenient pay parking is available south of the building on Olympic Boulevard)

News of the Profession: Real-Time Seismic Monitoring of Veterans Affairs' Hospital Buildings

An important goal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals is to be able to continue to operate and serve the patient community after a major earthquake. However, if the building itself is damaged, it may pose a hazard to patients and staff. It is critical that hospital management have the tools and information necessary to make a rapid decision whether to evacuate or not. Early assessment of the integrity of the hospital buildings affected by the quake is valuable in this decision making process.

figure sandiego va 200The VA has been collaborating with the National Strong Motion Project (NSMP) of the U.S. Geological Survey since 1971 to monitor earthquake shaking in hospital buildings in more than 70 of their medical centers located in seismically active regions of the conterminous United States, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. Since 2008, 26 VA hospital buildings have been instrumented with sophisticated seismic systems that will monitor their structural integrity in near real-time during earthquake shaking — instrumentation of two more hospital buildings is currently underway. These advanced monitoring systems, which combine the use of force-balanced accelerometers, 24-bit IP-based data loggers, and on-site structural response calculations, are being designed to determine the structural health of each hospital building and detect possible damage-state rapidly after an event. The number of accelerometers being deployed in each hospital building varies, depending on the floor area, the number of stories, and the number of blocks (or wings). For instance, the eleven-story main hospital building at the VA medical center in Oklahoma City has 60 accelerometers installed. The locations of accelerometers are strategically selected to be where the maximum response is expected, mostly at the edges of floors. The instrumentation in the hospital buildings is sensitive enough to record a building’s earthquake response due to small local earthquakes as well as to ambient vibrations. The instrumentation within each hospital building is designed to obtain:

  • Health status of the building via system identification for rapid structural condition and damage-state assessment,
  • Swaying and twisting of the building,
  • Inter-story drift at each floor level,
  • Amount of time it takes for shear waves to travel from the foundation to the roof, and
  • How the base-shear demand of the building changed during the earthquake.

Other motion sensors located away from the building record free-field ground shaking. Free-field motion also provides input for USGS ShakeMaps, maps that depict ground motion and shaking intensity after significant earthquakes, and USGS ShakeCast, an application for automating ShakeMap delivery for facilitating notification of shaking levels at critical facilities. Recorded and processed earthquake strong-motion data from the instrumented VA hospitals will be available to public through the Center for Engineering Strong Motion Data (CESMD) at external link icon. Learn more about the VA-USGS real-time seismic monitoring system at: external link icon.

February is becoming "Earthquake Awareness" Month for New York City

The EERI-NYNE Chapter is proud to be co-organizer or outreach partner to five exciting events, listed in the table below with links for more information:

February 10, 2014
Event: New ASCE 41-13: Seismic Evaluation & Retrofit of Existing Buildings external link icon  (full-day seminar)
Organizer: ACECNY with EERI-NYNE outreach partner

February 13, 2014 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
Event: Exhibition Opening: Considering the Quake external link icon
Organizer: AIANY with EERI-NYNE outreach partner and EERI Sponsorship

February 13 – May 26, 2014        
Event: Exhibition: Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on Edge external link icon           
Organizer: AIANY/ EERI-NYNE joint event

February 25, 2014 (full-day event)
Event: Seismic Provisions: ASCE 7-10 and NYC 2014 external link icon (full-day seminar)
Organizer: SEAoNY with EERI-NYNE outreach partner    

February 27, 2014 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
Event: "Earthquakes in the City: Why do we care?" Workshop
Organizer: AIANY/EERI-NYNE joint event             

Exhibition Opening: Considering the Quake

Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge explores the elegant, and oftentimes, elusive intersection between the aesthetics of architectural form and the technicality of structural design, through the lens of earthquake engineering. Curated by Professor Ghyslaine McClure, P.Eng, and founded/curated by Dr. Effie Bouras, of the McGill University Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, this exhibit emerged from their research on the resiliency of emergency shelters and civil protection buildings, such as schools and hospitals, in earthquake zones throughout the world. 

Exhibition Opening: Considering the Quake, 6:00–8:00 pm, Feb. 13, 2014
Register now for this free event at the AIANY website external link icon.
Venue: American Institute of Architects, Center for Architecture external link icon, New York City
Exhibition Dates: Feb. 13 – May 26, 2014

“Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge” ExhibitEnvisioned as a "science center" for design, the exhibition, which is tailored not only for the architecture and engineering communities, but an invested public as well, will feature full-sized seismic technology utilized in buildings, architectural and structural models, seismic testing videos, including clips from Tomas Koolhaas’ new documentary titled REM, and a 500N shake table from North American Wave Spectrum Science and Trade Inc.

International in scope, projects include: the Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s (OMA) groundbreaking Taipei Performing Arts Center, CCTV and Shenzhen Stock Exchange; a house rebuilt on the site of a catastrophic earthquake, by Chilean architects Pezo von Ellrichshausen; The Regional Emergency Management Center in Italy; Daniel Libeskind’s Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco with OLMM Consulting Engineers;  Singapore/Tokyo based, Studio SKLIM’s, Earthquake resistant Hansha Reflection house, work by California-based Tipping Mar Engineers and Degenkolb Engineering; Star Seismic, an innovative seismic technology firm based in Utah that has pioneered the engineering and design of buckling restrained braces (BRBs). Other original projects are also featured.

Exhibition Installation by SOFTlab in consultation with ARUP

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KPFF Structural Project Engineer: Call for Applications

KPFF Consulting Engineers (an EERI Silver Subscribing Member) is seeking applications for a Structural Project Engineer position in Portland, Oregon.

KPFF Consulting EngineersAs a Structural Project Engineer, you will work individually and collaboratively in the design/construction process for some of the most challenging projects in the Pacific Northwest, as well as nationally and overseas. The Structural Project Engineer will work closely with creative engineers, BIM/CAD technicians, architects, project managers, contractors, and client teams. For details and qualifications, visit the KPFF careers website external link icon.

Howard University Postdoctoral Research Position in Structural Earthquake Engineering

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Howard University welcomes applications for a fixed-term one-year Postdoctoral Research position in Structural Earthquake Engineering.

Howard UniversityThe successful candidate will work together with Assistant Professor Claudia Marin-Artieda on an ongoing research program, evaluating the efficacy of passive settings to seismically protect sets and pieces of equipment of multistory buildings.

The purpose of this position is primarily to conduct research related activities in structural/earthquake engineering. The activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Dynamic simulations using OpenSees external link icon
  • Design of seismic passive systems to protect equipment and contents
  • Design and implement an experimental program that will take place at NEES@BUFFALO external link icon

The successful candidate will be responsible for these activities, and will assist staff and others, depending on his/her expertise. Candidates must demonstrate strong independent research abilities and a track record for quality publication. At the time of appointment, applicants must hold a PhD in Civil Engineering or in a closely related field. Further information about this position can be obtained by contacting Assistant Professor Claudia Marin-Artieda at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Review of application will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Candidates must submit a cover letter, a detailed curriculum vitae, a research statement, copies of peer-reviewed journal publications, and the names and contact information of 3 references to Assistant Professor Claudia Marin-Artieda via electronic submission at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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 2014.

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, and 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 three hard copies plus an electronic version to the Secretariat of the Huixian Earthquake Engineering Foundation by June 30, 2014: 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:
Zhang Guixin
Secretariat of Huixian Earthquake Engineering Foundation
Tel.: +86-451-86652609
Add: 9 Xuefu Road, Harbin 150080, China
Fax: +86-451-86664755
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 Provisional Regulations (PDF)
Application Form for the Liu Huixian Earthquake Engineering Scholarship Award (Word document)

NEES Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Internships

Seven NEES equipment sites will host REU students in summer 2014 (Oregon State, UCLA, UC San Diego, U. Illinois, Lehigh, U. Minnesota, and UN Reno). The program is a dynamic 10-week summer research program for upper division undergraduate students interested in Civil, Electrical, and Computer Engineering or Computer Science, as well as other fields related to seismic risk mitigation.

NEES logoStudents will collaborate with graduate students and faculty on NEES-R projects. The submission deadline is February 17, 2014 at 8:00 am PDT. Interested students should apply on the NEES website at external link icon.

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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
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