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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

EERI and NZSEE Publish Oral History of Nigel Priestley

nigel priestleyThe Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) are excited to jointly release the 30th volume of Connections: The EERI Oral History Series, featuring the late Dr. Nigel Priestley—a significant figure in the field of earthquake engineering in his native New Zealand, the United States, and globally. The interviews for this volume were conducted in the final year of his life, by Richard Sharpe, Life Member of NZSEE, and Nigel’s daughter Rebecca Priestley, a historian of science with the Centre for Science in Society at Victoria University of Wellington. 

After earning his PhD in 1966, Priestley spent a decade with the NZ Ministry of Works, leading extensive studies on bridges and buildings. As a faculty member at the University of Canterbury, he conducted research on the seismic behaviour of masonry structures in collaboration with Professor Tom Paulay, and served as the president of NZSEE from 1985-1986. He then spent over a decade on the faculty at the University of California, San Diego, before becoming Co-Director of the ROSE School, where he continued until 2007. Dr. Priestley published more than 450 papers, mainly on earthquake engineering, and received numerous awards for his research. He was the co-author of three seismic design books: Seismic Design of Concrete and Masonry Buildings, Seismic Design and Retrofit of Bridges, and Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Structures. 

As his daughter Rebecca, co-interviewer for this volume observes, he “also read and wrote poetry, played classical guitar and was an accomplished carpenter. I think it was this mixture of precision and creativity that led to his best work, which was marked by a fresh way of looking at engineering problems and demonstrated in his accounts of how to apply these new ideas to the design of structures, particularly buildings and bridges.” 

Download the pdf copy for free from EERI's Digital Library, or order a print-on-demand copy from Barnes and Noble for $19.95 plus shipping.

EERI 2022 Awards: Bruce Bolt Medal and William B. Joyner Lecture Award

Bolt Medal CB CrouseThe Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), the Consortium of Organizations for Strong Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS), and the Seismological Society of America (SSA) are pleased to announce that Dr. C.B. Crouse, Principal Engineer at AECOM, is the recipient of the 2022 Bruce Bolt Medal. The award will be presented at the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering in Salt Lake City, Utah, taking place from June 27-July 1 2022.

The Bruce Bolt Medal honors the legacy of Bruce Alan Bolt (1930-2005), a pioneer at the intersection of Earthquake Science and Earthquake Engineering. The medal is awarded jointly by EERI, COSMOS, and SSA to recognize individuals worldwide who work at the intersection of seismology and earthquake engineering, whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of earthquake measurements, and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety.

C.B. Crouse has been a consultant in earthquake engineering and engineering seismology for 47 years. He currently works as Principal Engineer at AECOM in Seattle, Washington, where he primarily conducts seismic hazard and soil-structure interaction studies and develops earthquake ground motions (response spectra and time histories) for various types of projects throughout the world. To learn more about Dr. Crouse and this award, visit the news post on the EERI website here.

David WaldEERI and SSA are also pleased to announce that David J. Wald, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) in Golden, Colorado, is the 2021 recipient of the William B. Joyner Lecture Award. Wald will deliver the Joyner Lecture at the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering to be held June 27-July 1, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the 2022 SSA Annual Meeting to be held April 19-23, 2022 in Bellevue, Washington.

The lectureship is jointly awarded by EERI and SSA to those who have provided outstanding earth science contributions to the theory and practice of earthquake engineering or outstanding earthquake engineering contributions to the direction and focus of earth science research. The lecture honors the distinguished career of William B. Joyner at the U.S. Geological Survey and his abiding commitment to continuing communication and education at the interface between research findings of earthquake science and the practical realities of earthquake engineering.

Wald is involved in research, development, and operations of real-time information systems at the NEIC. He is responsible for developing and managing ShakeMap, which provides near-real-time maps of ground motion and shaking intensity following significant earthquakes, the citizen-science earthquake reporting system Did You Feel It?, and other systems for post-earthquake response and pre-earthquake mitigation. Along with his work at USGS, Wald is the Editor-in-Chief of EERI’s premier journal Earthquake Spectra, and is an adjunct professor in the geophysics department at the Colorado School of Mines. To learn more about Dr. Wald and this award, visit the news post on the EERI website here.

Renew For 2022!

Renewal season is here, and we hope that you’ve found your EERI membership valuable this year. With your EERI membership, you’ll continue to gain opportunities to build community and connections, expand your knowledge of the earthquake risk reduction field, and grow your leadership skills. We hope you take a moment to renew your membership for 2022, so that we can do more (and even better!) together in the years ahead. 

We have more in store for you in 2022, including a growing portfolio of virtual content and the highly anticipated 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering . If there’s anything that we can do to enhance your membership experience, drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please take a moment to renew your membership and remain a part of our passionate and dedicated community. It couldn’t be easier—just click here to renew

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Earthquake Spectra

Don't Miss the November Issue of Spectra!

The November 2021 issue of Earthquake Spectra is now compiled and available online! Editor-in-Chief David Wald selected the paper "An exploration of the use of machine learning to predict lateral spreading," by Maria Giovanna Durante and Ellen M. Rathje, as the editor's choice for this issue. In Wald's words, "Giovanna and Rathje tackle the challenge of predicting the occurrence of lateral spreading as well as the classification of the severity of lateral displacements (0.3-0.5, 0.5-1, and > 1 m) with machine learning. In doing so, they identify the most influential parameters in these models, namely distance to the river, groundwater table depth, slope, elevation, and PGA (though CPT data is identified as relatively low priority in determining the occurrence of lateral spreading it slightly improved their model’s ability to predict its severity). The authors' descriptions of the machine learning approaches employed are clear and informative, as are their applications."

To view the rest of the November 2021 issue, visit the Earthquake Spectra website here.

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Learning From Earthquakes

Third Anniversary of the 2018 Anchorage Earthquake: Resources

On November 30, 2018, a M7.1 earthquake occurred near Anchorage, Alaska. The earthquake affected southcentral Alaska and at the time, was the most impactful earthquake in the U.S. in many years. This event presented a major learning opportunity for the U.S. earthquake risk reduction community and over the past 3 years, new lessons and studies from the earthquake continue to be published. Highlights include:

EERI Earthquake Reconnaissance Report: M7.1 Anchorage Earthquake on November 30, 2018

A comprehensive report on earthquake impacts was published by EERI in July 2021. The report includes chapters on the following topics:

  • Seismology, Ground Motions, and Aftershocks

  • Geotechnical Impacts

  • Structural Performance of Buildings

  • Nonstructural and Equipment Damage in Buildings

  • Performance of Schools

  • Performance of Hospitals and Health Care Facilities

  • Impact on Transportation System

  • Lifelines and Utilities

  • Risk Mitigation Recommendations

Papers published in Earthquake Spectra:

Presentations from recent meetings and conferences

These and many other resources are available on the 2018 Anchorage Earthquake Virtual Clearinghouse Website.

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SDC Interest Survey: Deadline Extended Through Today

The 2022 Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition will take place in June 2022 as part of the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Student Leadership Council is looking forward to welcoming teams back to an in-person competition next year! Teams interested in participating in the competition should complete the interest survey by November 15, 2021. Only one response per team is needed. The survey will be used to collect contact information for teams and help the SLC plan for next year’s competition. More information about the competition is available on the SLC Website

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Subscribing Member Spotlight

Gilsanz Murray Steficek

Gilsanz Murray SteficekGilsanz Murray Steficek LLP provides structural engineering and building envelope consulting for construction and restoration projects. These projects include tall office and residential towers, theaters, housing, educational buildings, sports facilities, sculptures, landmarks, and special structures. Founded in 1991, GMS is headquartered in New York City, with offices in New Jersey and Los Angeles, California. 


GolderGolder is an employee-owned, global organization that provides consulting, design, and construction services in the areas of earth, environment, and energy. With over 165 offices in more than 30 countries, Golder serves clients across the infrastructure, mining, oil and gas, manufacturing and power sectors.

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Registration Open for Lifelines 2021-2022 Conference

Registration is now open for the ASCE 2021-2022 Lifelines Conference! The ASCE-UCLA The San Fernando Earthquake Conference—50 years of Lifeline Engineering (Lifelines 2021-2022), focuses on “Understanding, Improving & Operationalizing Hazard Resilience for Lifeline Systems.” The February 9, 1971 San Fernando California Earthquake was a devastating yet seminal event which, for the first time, demonstrated the seismic threat to lifelines that fundamentally support our modern livelihoods. The conference will take place from January 31 to February 4, 2022, including pre- and post-conference workshops. Registration options include full registration for the in-person conference as well as a hybrid option to allow partial virtual attendance. To learn more about the conference and to register, visit the conference website here.

The Resilience Advantage Series Wrap-up Webinar

The final webinar in Optimum Seismic's The Resilence Advantage webinar series will take place Wednesday, November 17, from 11:00 AM-12:30 PM Pacific Time. This final series event combines all in one place some of the best interviews and case examples from the year of examining the many facets of Resilience Advantage. Attendees will get a recap of the why, who, and how of resilient building design and construction, what makes it feasible, and how resilience benefits communities and owners. The webinar will also highlight ways to expand participants' knowledge about resilient design, protect businesses and buildings, and harness The Resilience Advantage to protect the collective future. Register here to attend the webinar.

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Job Opening: Department Head for the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (NC State)

North Carolina State University’s College of Engineering invites applications and nominations for the position of Department Head for the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (CCEE). The department is seeking an outstanding individual who will be expected to have a strong commitment to academic and research excellence commensurate with the expectations of a major research university. Candidates shall possess a doctoral degree in Civil, Construction, or Environmental Engineering, or a related field and credentials to be appointed at the rank of Professor with tenure in the department.

Confidential review of applications will begin in December 2021, and will continue until the position is filled. For more information on the search and how to apply, please visit the search page here.

Job Opening: Director, Center for Earthquake Research and Information (University of Memphis)

The University of Memphis College of Arts and Sciences is searching for Director of the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI). The Director is the administrative head of a Tennessee Center of Excellence (COE) research center that functions as an independent academic unit within the College of Arts and Sciences housing the MS and PhD Concentration in Geophysics of the Earth Sciences graduate program. CERI has academic and research ties with the Departments of Earth Sciences and Civil Engineering. CERI has an additional role as a State of Tennessee entity that is periodically reviewed by the State legislature. The Center is a core member of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC). 

The successful applicant must have a PhD in the fields of Geophysics or closely related disciplines with a record consistent with appointment at the Professor level; application for tenure occurs immediately on arrival. Previous administrative experience is desirable. The position begins in Fall 2022. For more information about the position and how to apply, visit the job listing here.

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Regional Chapters

Sacramento Chapter Webinar on San Fernando Dam

The Upper and Lower San Fernando Dams: 50 Years of Advances in Seismic Analysis of Dams Potentially Susceptible to Seismic Soil Liquefaction

Thursday, December 2, 2021, 12:00-1:30 PM, Pacific Time

JOIN HERE (via Microsoft Teams)

The well-documented field performance case histories of the Lower San Fernando Dam (LSFD) and the Upper San Fernando Dam (USFD) during the February 9, 1971 San Fernando earthquake (Mw = 6.61) have been foundational to the development of the field of modern seismic geotechnical dam engineering, and to the inception of the U.S. national seismic dam safety programs still ongoing today. The liquefaction-induced upstream flow failure of the LSFD, and the only small to moderate deformations that occurred for the similarly constructed USFD, provide an unusually valuable pair of case histories for back-analyses of the behaviors of embankment dams subject to soil liquefaction and strong near-field seismic loading. In this webinar, UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus Raymond Seed will present key elements of these two important case histories, discuss early geoforensic studies and back-analyses, and then look ahead fifty years later to still ongoing developments in current practice with regard to seismic analyses of dams potentially susceptible to soil liquefaction.

Upcoming San Diego Chapter Webinars

The EERI San Diego Chapter is presenting two free webinar events in November and December 2021:

An Early Warning for Earthquake Hazard: A High School Student Approach

Thursday, November 18, 2021, 4:00-5:00 PM Pacific Time


Earthquake early warning systems have been developed in recent years that can provide a helpful advanced warning for strong earthquake shaking. Kristen Chang, a member of the board of the EERI San Diego Regional Chapter board, will present a general overview of how the USGS ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning system works and its applications. In addition, we are excited to welcome Southern California high school student Vivien He to discuss her development of a low-cost seismometer that can be used for homes and businesses. Vivian He is currently a senior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates. She developed her seismometer during her time at home under COVID restrictions in 2020. 

Punctuated Resilience

Friday, December 3, 2021, 12:00-2:00 PM Pacific Time


Cornell Professor Emeritus Thomas O’Rourke and UC San Diego Professor Emeritus Christopher Wills will present on the concept of "punctuated resilience," building on the concept of punctuated equilibrium as a way to trace the evolution of key infrastructure policies. The speakers will introduce the concept of punctuated equilibrium as advanced by Stephen Jay Gould, and dicuss how infrastructure resilience is punctuated by its relationship to natural hazards and climate change. They will also discuss how punctuated resilience is an important mechanism for improving the engineering and management of critical facilities. The webinar will explore the agents of change that lead to improved policies and approaches, including the technical, institutional, and social challenges of introducing new technologies and engaging community support.

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