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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

Applications for the EERI Board of Directors Due Tomorrow

This is your last chance to submit a Board of Director application for the two Appointed Director positions! Applications will be reviewed by the 2022 Nominating Committee before being passed on to the EERI Board of Directors. The EERI Board will make the final selection and appointment of the two Appointed Directors at their next meeting in December 2022. Each Appointed Director will begin their terms in 2023.

To apply to be on the Board:

  1. Click here to learn more about the application process.
  2. Carefully read the EERI Board Member Roles and Responsibilities document (PDF).
  3. Submit the application form here.

Applications are due November 2, 2022 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Applications must include a written statement (about 750 words total) and a CV or résumé. Read the announcement here for details on what should be included in the written statement.

Questions about the application process should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EERI Controller Sonya Hollenbeck Retires

Sonya Hollenbeck is retiring as EERI’s Controller after over three decades of dedicated service to the Institute.

"Sonya has been an anchor for the EERI staff in her three decades of exemplary loyal service,” said EERI Executive Director Heidi Tremayne. “While often rarely visible to the full membership, her dedication and commitment to the Institute's success has been immeasurable. She is highly responsive to the needs of members, like how she thoughtfully expedites all student reimbursements to avoid any financial burden or how she knows every Board member’s food preferences and carefully designs all meals to accommodate them. She thoughtfully cares for the staff in ways both big and small, especially by seeking out customized treats for every birthday celebration. Of course, she is also meticulous and thorough in her approach to our financial management. Sonya will be greatly missed."

Sonya first came on board as EERI’s financial manager in 1990. She was hired by Susan Tubbesing, EERI’s Executive Director at the time, on the recommendation of a former bookkeeper. “Hiring Sonya was the best management decision I ever made,” Tubbesing says. “Sonya is one of the quickest learners I've ever worked with. She's smart, she's funny and she's always been totally devoted to EERI and EERI Members. I wish her a long and very happy retirement.”

Sonya’s diligent management of EERI’s finances over the years has played a crucial role in making EERI’s work possible—from conferences and meetings to post-earthquake reconnaissance missions and travel studies, as well as the activities of committees and chapters. In addition to seeing EERI through several major earthquake responses, such as Northridge in 1994 and Nisqually in 2001, she has played an invaluable role in handling budgets, grant reporting, and annual audits, skilfully supporting both the Board’s governance of EERI and the day-to-day work of staff and volunteers. Read more about Sonya’s contributions in this Pulse article celebrating her 25th anniversary with EERI.

In recent years, Sonya has helped EERI weather the COVID-19 pandemic, welcoming and helping onboard several new staff despite the challenges of remote work, and played a critical role in ensuring the success of the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering. She is also an LFE Endowment Founding Benefactor—one of the first to donate.

“I am forever grateful to have been a part of EERI,” Sonya says. “I’ve learned a lot at this organization, which spurred me to do my best not only professionally but personally. There have been so many generous members who I’ve come to admire for their commitment to EERI and for the impact they’ve made in bettering the world. A special thanks to Susan Tubbesing and Chris Poland who took a chance in hiring a girl from Hawaii over 30 years ago. EERI has given me a great life. I wish EERI and its members all the best and continued success. It has been an honor for me to be associated with EERI, and I look forward to seeing all the exciting things the institute has planned for the future.”

Sonya’s last day at EERI will be October 27. We will miss her and look forward to hearing about the adventures she enjoys in her well-deserved retirement!

Sonya Hollenbeck

Photo: Sonya and her dog Pie.

Remember to Apply for the EERI Board of Directors!

EERI is now accepting Board of Director applications for two Appointed Director positions to serve on the EERI Board of Directors beginning in 2023. Applications will be reviewed by the 2022 Nominating Committee. The committee will select two individuals, one to serve a 2 year term as an Appointed Director and the other to serve a 4 year term as an Appointed Director. Because this selection is for appointed directors, there will be no EERI Election this year. Instead, the EERI Board of Directors will make the final selection and appointment of the two Appointed Directors at their next meeting in December 2022. Each Appointed Director will begin their terms at the first board meeting of 2023, typically in March.

In addition, the Nominating Committee is encouraging applicants who have one or more of the following attributes:

  • Have passion for and expertise in the Learning From Earthquakes (LFE) program.
  • Are active in local or national professional societies with an emphasis on membership activism and recruitment.
  • Enhance the racial/ethnic diversity of the Board, especially candidates who are Latina/o/x.
  • Represent the following regions: Central/Eastern US, Intermountain West (UT, CO), or the Pacific Northwest.
  • Represent the following disciplines: lifelines, geotechnical engineering, public health, public policy, economics, or social science.
  • Are employed in Federal/State/Regional/Local government, or in engineering practice.

To apply to be on the Board:

  1. Click here to learn more about the application process.
  2. Carefully read the EERI Board Member Roles and Responsibilities document.
  3. Submit the application form.

Applications are due November 2, 2022 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Applications must include a written statement (about 750 words total) and a CV or résumé. Click here for details on what should be included in the written statement.

Questions about the application process should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Time to Renew Your Membership for 2023!

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 EERI and chapter memberships for 2023, so that we can do more (and even better!) together in the years ahead. 

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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Learning From Earthquakes

Preliminary Virtual Reconnaissance Reports on Taiwan and Mexico Earthquakes

In response to recent earthquakes in Taiwan and Mexico, EERI’s Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team (VERT) activated to develop two preliminary earthquake reports, which are now available:

EERI Lugu, Taiwan September 18, 2022, Mw 6.9 Earthquake Preliminary Virtual Reconnaissance Report (PDF)

On September 18th, 2022, at 2:44 pm local time, a moment magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck 42.7 km north of Taitung City, Taiwan. The earthquake was preceded by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake in the same area 17 hours earlier. The earthquake caused geotechnical failures and damage to infrastructure, mainly bridges, railroads, and highways. Damage to buildings was observed, but was primarily concentrated on older non-ductile structures and non-structural component damage. At least one building collapsed and hundreds more had some damage. The earthquake resulted in at least one death and 171 earthquake related injuries. The earthquake highlighted the vulnerabilities of older non-ductile concrete buildings in seismic regions, concrete bridges, and non-structural building components during an earthquake. This event also highlighted the importance of an earthquake early warning system. This report, led by VERT Co-Chair Erica Fischer (M.EERI 2010) provides a summary of the characteristics of the event, the seismicity of the impacted region, and an overview of the main effects of the earthquake as collected from publicly available information.

EERI/SMIS Aquila, Michoacán, Mexico September 19, 2022, M2 7.6 Earthquake Preliminary Virtual Reconnaissance Report (PDF)

On September 19th, 2022, a moment magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the Pacific coast of Mexico in the state of Michoacán between the cities of Manzanillo and Zihuantanejo. This is the third major earthquake that has occurred in Mexico on September 19th in the last 40 years. The earthquake mechanism corresponds to a reverse faulting mechanism characteristic of earthquakes that occur on or near the plate boundary between the Cocos and North American Plates. USGS focal mechanism solutions indicate that rupture occurred on a shallowly dipping thrust fault. The rupture of this earthquake is located approximately between the rupture of the great Mw8.0 September 19, 1985 to the South and the rupture of the great Mw8.0 October 9, 1995 to the North. The earthquake produced a small tsunami with a maximum measured wave amplitude of 1.7m in the port of Manzanillo. The report is a joint publication of EERI and SMIS (Sociedad Mexicana de Ingeniería Sísmica) and was led by LFE Co-Chair Eduardo Miranda (M.EERI 1987).

Special thanks to the more than 50 volunteers who contributed to the development of these reports! Members interested in joining VERT to contribute to future earthquake activations can join through the sign-up form here. EERI’s Learning from Earthquakes program is supported by the generous contributions of donors to the LFE Endowment Fund.

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Students

Applications Open for the 2022-2023 Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program

EERI is pleased to announce the launch of the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program for the 2022-2023 academic year! Generously funded by the Friedman family, the program matches professionals with host universities for a workshop meant to be part lecture and part informal discussion to foster better understanding and communications between earthquake practitioners and academics.

This year, the program will include a total of 19 professionals. EERI Student Chapters must complete the application form here for a visit from a Friedman Family Visiting Professional. The application deadline is Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. All chapters are encouraged to apply!

Review of applications will begin after November 3. Universities will be notified of their match by early December. Depending on funding availability, approximately 20-25 trips will be funded. Visits are anticipated to take place from February to June 2023.

For more information about the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals program, click here.

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Webinars

Quick Quake Briefing: China M6.8 Earthquake of September 5, 2022

Wednesday November 9, 2022
4:00-5:00 PM Pacific Time
REGISTER HERE 

The EERI Northern California Regional Chapter is hosting a FREE webinar on the M6.8 earthquake that struck Sichuan province in China on September 5, 2022. The earthquake resulted from a shallow strike-slip faulting at a depth of 9.9 miles. It produced intensity IX on the Chinese Intensity Scale (severe building destruction) in the epicentral region. Two speakers will be featured:

  • Professor Zhigang Peng of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology will present on the seismology explaining the earthquake mechanism as well as numerous recent historical earthquakes affecting the province. The quake appears to have released energy in a way that produced more intense shaking compared to other events with similar magnitudes.
  • Professor Zhe Qu of the Institute of Engineering Mechanics of the China Earthquake Administration will present on building damage from his field investigations. Damage was limited to a small region, but was extensive ranging from weak story collapses to nonstructural problems. Surprising damage was found to two base-isolated buildings situated on rubber bearings.

The webinar will include time for participants to ask questions of the speakers.

Getting Published in Earthquake Spectra—and Beyond

Wednesday November 16, 2022
1:00-2:30 PM Pacific Time
REGISTER HERE 

Join the Editor-in-Chief and Editor of Earthquake Spectra for a webinar illuminating the journal’s article submission and publication process. Learn about best practices for preparing your manuscript, submitting to Spectra, and revising your article. The speakers will also provide editorial perspectives on the review and publication process and share insights on academic journal publishing more generally.

Speakers:

  • Dr. David J. Wald, Research Geophysicist, United States Geological Survey; Editor-in-Chief, Earthquake Spectra
  • Dr Jack W. Baker, Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University; Editor, Earthquake Spectra

There will be an open Q&A session following the presentations.

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Regional Chapters

Northern California Regional Chapter Provides Input for San Francisco Safety and Resilience Plan

Over the past year, members of EERI’s Northern California Chapter have worked with Danielle Ngo, a Senior Planner for Resilience and Sustainability at the San Francisco Planning Department, to provide expert input during the development of a new Safety and Resilience Element to the San Francisco General Plan. The draft Safety and Resilience Element Update (PDF) will provide a comprehensive set of policies for minimizing San Francisco’s contribution to the climate crisis and ensuring local resilience to multiple hazards, including earthquakes. It is the first update to the city's seismic safety and resilience plans in a decade.

Chapter President Volkan Sevilgen (M.EERI 2019) and member Rob Olshansky (M.EERI 1987) provided input focused on functional recovery, drawing on the work of the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee and citing several EERI policy statements, and the final version of the document mentions functional recovery 17 times. Volkan Sevilgen also provided public comment at the September 29, 2022 hearing of the Planning Commission (a recording of his comments can be viewed here). The Planning Commission approved the update unanimously, and it now moves forward to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for adoption.

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Member Spotlight

Lucy Jones and Yumei Wang Receive GSA Public Service Award

EERI members Lucy Jones and Yumei Wang are the recipients of the 2022 Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America (GSA), awarded for “contributions that have materially enhanced the public's understanding of the earth sciences, or significantly served decision makers in the application of scientific and technical information in public affairs and public policy related to the earth sciences.” 

Lucile (Lucy) M. Jones (M.EERI 2018) is the Founder and Chief Scientist of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, which works to foster the understanding and application of scientific information for more resilient communities, and a Research Associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech. She previous spent over three decades as a seismologist and science communicator at the U.S. Geological Survey.

Yumei Wang (M.EERI 1989) is a Senior Advisor on Infrastructure Resilience and Risk in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of Portland State University. She previously led the Geohazards team at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), studying and developing resiliency strategies for the State of Oregon.

Jones and Wang were recognized at the Presidential Address & Awards Ceremony on 9 October 2022, during the GSA's annual meeting in Denver, Colorado. EERI congratulates them both on this honor and their outstanding contributions to public awareness of earthquake risk.

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Subscribing Member Spotlight

Rutherford + Chekene

Rutherford ChekeneEstablished in 1960, Rutherford + Chekene provides new design, advanced structural analysis, seismic evaluations and retrofits, peer review and plan review, and full geotechnical services. R+C provides services in multiple sectors, including healthcare, higher education, corporate, research and development, art and education, and technology.

Wood

Wood is a globaWood plc logol leader in the delivery of project management, engineering, consulting and technical services to energy and built environment customers. Wood operates in more than 60 countries, employing around 55,000 people, with revenues of around $10 billion. 

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Announcements

Kinemetrics Webinar: Seismic Networks in the Cloud

Kinemetrics, Inc. is offering a free webinar on “Seismic Networks in the Cloud" on October 26,2022 at 9:00 AM Pacific Time.

State-of-the-art cloud data centers offer flexibility and scalability for demand-driven processes that can deliver the reliability required for critical observational science and civil protection initiatives such as seismic monitoring networks.

In this session, Dr. Mathias Franke of Kinemetrics will introduce the requirements, challenges, and opportunities of cloud-based seismic monitoring solutions such as Kinemetrics’ Aspen platform. Dr. Franke will compare two cloud configurations: one for a small scientific network with a few data users and another for a very large national network with many stakeholders from network operators to emergency officers. Register here to attend the webinar. 

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Calendar

Follow these steps to add EERI Calendar to your own Google calendar.

  1. Open Google Calendar
  2. On the left, above "My Calendars," click Add + and then From URL.
  3. Enter the EERI calendar's address in the field provided. EERI Calendar ics link https://calendar.google.com/calendar/ical/eeri.org_s9151tit0ab26dnf2epn25d7rg%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics
  4. Click Add Calendar. The calendar will appear on the left side under "Other calendars."
  

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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
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