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Learning From Earthquakes

Subscribing Member Spotlight

News of the Profession

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

Registration Grant Applications Due Tonight!

Workiing on an application for a registration grant to attend the 2023 Annual Meeting? The deadline is tonight! Make sure to submit your application and all supporting materials at one of the below links by 11:59 PM Pacific Time today, February 1. 

Additional information about registration grants can be found on the 2023AM website here.

2023 Annual Meeting: Two Weeks Left for Early Bird Registration!

The deadline to register for EERI's 2023 Annual Meeting at the discounted early-bird rate is February 15th—just two weeks away! We're looking forward to seeing you in San Francisco this spring to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Learning From Earthquakes, hear from a great lineup of keynote speakers, cheer on the teams in the Seismic Design Competition, and much more.

2023 annual meeting card for pulse

The 2023 Annual Meeting will combine a one-day technical program with a series of workshops and exercises offering attendees networking opportunities and hands-on training in earthquake reconnaissance­. The theme of the technical program on Wednesday, April 12 is "LFE at 50: Impacts of Earthquake Reconnaissance Past, Present, and Future," and an overview of sessions and speakers is now available on the meeting website here.

On Tuesday, April 11, EERI’s Younger Members Committee will host a full-day Early Career Training Workshop, sponsored by Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI). The meeting will conclude with a Reconnaissance Training Workshop on Thursday, April 13, followed by an exciting Reconnaissance Field Exercise on Friday, April 14, planned in coordination with the California Earthquake Clearinghouse and supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Places in these workshops are limited, so register soon to secure your spot! The 2023 Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition will also take place throughout the week, with Shaking Day on Thursday April 13 open to all meeting attendees.

Visit the meeting website to learn more, and register to attend via this link.

José A. Martinez-Cruzado Awarded 2023 Bruce Bolt Medal

jose martinez cruzado webThe 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 José A. Martinez-Cruzado, professor of the civil engineering and surveying department at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez is the recipient of the 2023 Bruce Bolt Medal. The award will be presented at the 2023 SSA Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

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.

Martinez-Cruzado has been a leader in earthquake engineering in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean region for three decades. As the director of the Puerto Rico Strong Motion Program, he has focused on the development of a strong motion network in Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic, and on seismic arrays in dams, buildings, and bridges. He has also worked on the design and rehabilitation of reinforced concrete structures in regions with high seismic risk. A Ph.D. student of Bolt’s at the University of California, Berkeley, Martinez-Cruzado returned to Puerto Rico after receiving his degree to help expand and modernize its strong motion network and promote seismic safety in the Caribbean region. He received his BSCE in 1984 and MSCE in 1987 from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and his MEng in 1989 and Ph.D. in 1993 in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

For more information on the Bolt Award and past nominees, visit the SSA website here.

EERI Supporting Funding of Soft-Story Retrofitting Program in California

The California Legislative Subcommittee of EERI’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee monitors legislative developments in the State of California and advocates for policies that advance earthquake resilience statewide. All members are encouraged to join the committee by contacting or signing up for the PPA mailing list to learn more! The current legislative session began in January and will run through August, so now is a great time to get involved.

Currently, the committee is monitoring current budget negotiations in the California State Assembly and working to support investment in seismic retrofitting, in accordance with EERI's policy statement on promoting safe and resilient housing in the United States. In the last legislative session, $250 million in state funds were allocated to establish a new Seismic Retrofitting Program for Soft Story Multifamily Housing based upon advocacy from the US Resiliency Council and Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez. However, a recent draft of Governor Newsom’s 2023-24 budget omitted the funding needed to launch this program. In coalition with partner organizations like SPUR, EERI is tracking the ongoing budgeting process and advocating that the legislature preserve funding for this program in the budget. If funded, the new decade-long program would provide “financial assistance to owners of soft story multifamily housing for seismic retrofitting to protect individuals living in multifamily housing that have been determined to be at risk of collapse in earthquakes.” The new program would be developed and administered by the California Office of Emergency Services and the California Earthquake Authority.

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Learning From Earthquakes

LFE at 50

In 2023, EERI is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the formal establishment of our flagship Learning From Earthquakes Program. As part of this milestone, we’re marking the anniversaries of selected major earthquakes by highlighting resources from the LFE archives and sharing recollections from EERI members.

LFE text logo for email narrow

On the LFE at 50 page, we will be archiving a series of Earthquake Reconnaissance Retrospectives that showcase the history of the program and the impacts of earthquake reconnaissance work over the past decades. In "LFE Earthquake Reconnaissance Retrospective #1: Kobe, January 17, 1995," Craig Comartin (M.EERI 1987), one of several EERI members who were attending a workshop in Osaka when the 1995 earthquake struck, recounts major lessons learned from the earthquake. Upcoming retrospectives in the series will explore the 1971 San Fernando earthquake and its role in the creation of LFE, the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and more.

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Ferndale M6.4 Earthquake Reconnaissance Briefing Webinar

Thursday, February 9, 2023
11:00 AM-1:00 PM Pacific Time

EERI's Learning from Earthquakes Program and the California Earthquake Clearinghouse invite you to a FREE reconnaissance briefing webinar on the earthquake that struck Humboldt County, California in December.


At 2:34 AM on December 20, 2022, a M6.4 earthquake struck offshore near Ferndale, California, causing damage to lifelines and structures in Humboldt County. Structures in the nearby communities of Ferndale, Fortuna, and Rio Dell experienced damage including broken windows, collapsed chimneys, and fallen bricks, and a small number of buildings slid off their foundations. Roughly 150 homes were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake. More than 70,000 people lost power, and there was damage to roads and bridges in the area. The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system was activated, and approximately three million people in northern California and southern Oregon received warnings.

In this multidisciplinary webinar, speakers will provide information on the science, engineering, and emergency response aspects of the earthquake, and discuss the impact on lifelines and critical infrastructure, including electricity, transportation, and healthcare facilities.

Speakers include:

  • Cynthia Pridmore, California Geological Survey
  • Jason Patton, California Geological Survey
  • Richard Allen, Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and MyShake
  • Maggie Ortiz-Millan, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
  • Megan Stanton, Pacific Gas and Electric
  • Bob Tanaka and Richard Heninger, Caltrans Division of Engineering Services
  • Speaker TBD from California Department of Health Care Access and Information

Additional speakers will be announced soon. PDH certificates will be available upon request.

Quick Quake Briefing: Indonesia M5.6 Cianjur Earthquake of 21 November 2022

Thursday February 16, 2023
4:00-5:00 PM Pacific Time

The EERI Northern California Regional Chapter is hosting a FREE webinar on the M5.6 earthquake that struck West Java in Indonesia. 

Cianjur earthquake damage

The earthquake struck near Cianjur in West Java. Between 330 and 640 people died, and over 7,700 were injured. More than 63,000 homes were damaged across the region. The earthquake was strongly felt in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, over 100 km (63 mi) to the North. It is the deadliest earthquake to hit Indonesia since the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake.

Damage evaluated after the quake indicated a maximum Modified Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). According to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG), the earthquake had a strike-slip focal mechanism at a depth of 11 km (7 mi), classifying it as a shallow event. Despite the moderate size of the earthquake, its shallow depth caused strong shaking. The National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure (BNPB) described the damage to homes and buildings as "massive."

Two speakers will be joining from Indonesia:

  • Dr. Nuraini Rahma Hanifa, a previous EERI Housner Fellow now with the Research Center for Geological Disaster, Research Organization of Earth Sciences and Maritime, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), will present an overview of the earthquake and its aftermath.
  • Dr. Sigit Pramono of the Engineering Seismology Earthquake Early Warning System Division, Meteorological Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) will present on the engineering seismology aspects.
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Call for Special Collection Papers: Advancements in Physics-Based, Broadband Fault-to-Structure Earthquake Simulations

Earthquake Spectra invites paper submissions for a special collection presenting recent developments at the nexus of earth science, engineering, and computational science.

The development of ground motions to assess seismic infrastructure risk continues to present significant scientific and engineering challenges. Site-specific estimates of ground motions and infrastructure risk remain challenging due to the complex dependency of ground motions on the fault rupture characteristics, the source-to-site wave propagation path, and the interactions between complex incident 3D seismic wavefields and infrastructure systems continue to make reliable elusive. With the increasing understanding of the physics of earthquake phenomena and advancements in scientific computing, the potential to simulate regional-scale earthquake processes is rapidly advancing. The motivations for realistic regional earthquake simulations include creating the ability to virtually explore multiple earthquake scenarios and the resulting ground motions and infrastructure response, the potential for reducing uncertainties in site-specific ground motion estimates, and achieving a deeper understanding of the physical parameters with the largest influence on earthquake risk. A validated and computationally efficient regional simulation capability can provide a genuinely transformational capability for addressing earthquake risks. Due to the comprehensive and multi-scale nature of fault-to-structure seismic wave propagation simulations, achieving advanced simulation capability is a multidisciplinary challenge spanning earth science, structural and geotechnical engineering, and computational sciences.

Representative topics of interest include:

  • Advanced computational workflows for fault-to-structure simulations
  • Verification and validation studies
  • Strategies for representing nonlinear response of near-surface soil layers
  • Development and demonstration of use-case strategies and reduction to engineering practice
  • Demonstration of regional-scale simulation case study applications and derived insights
  • New knowledge and insight derived from 3D simulations

Guest editors: David McCallen (University of Nevada, Reno & Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Roberto Paolucci (Politecnico di Milano), Ertugrul Taciroglu (University of California, Los Angeles), Arben Pitarka (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), and Floriana Petrone (University of Nevada, Reno).

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2023.

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2023 Seismic Design Competition Updates

Ground motions and rubrics for the 2023 Seismic Design Competition (SDC) are now available! Organized by EERI’s Student Leadership Council (SLC), the competition draws student teams from universities around the world. For the list of teams whose proposals have been accepted and that have been invited to the competition, see the SDC page on the meeting website. The architecture, poster, and presentation rubrics and requirements, as well as both ground motions, can be viewed in the SDC Rules and Documents section of the SLC website here.

Finally, the T-shirt competition is open until Monday, February 6 at 11:59 PM PST! All submissions will be posted on the SLC Facebook page for public voting, and the 10 designs with the most ‘likes’ will be sent to the EERI Younger Members Committee, which will anonymously select a winner. The winner will win $200, a complimentary T-shirt, and bragging rights that all SDC and SLC members will be wearing your design at the competition! Full rules can be found online here (PDF).

Best of luck to all teams, and we look forward to seeing everyone in San Francisco this spring!

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Subscribing Member Spotlight

California Earthquake Authority

CEA small logoCalifornia Earthquake Authority (CEA) is a longtime EERI Platinum-Level Subscribing Member. CEA is a not-for-profit, privately funded, publicly managed organization that provides residential earthquake insurance to more than 1 million households in California. Since 1996, CEA has been making earthquake insurance as affordable as possible for all California residents, while helping reduce their risk of earthquake loss wherever they live.


logo 50ENGEO is an award-winning, employee-owned firm of more than 400 geotechnical and civil engineers, geologists, environmental scientists, water resources engineers, and other specialists serving a diverse range of public and private clients on projects across the world. ENGEO has served many projects with complex engineering and geologic challenges, incorporating advanced methods and expertise to perform site-specific geotechnical earthquake engineering to precisely quantify seismic hazards, optimize designs, and apply
performance-based engineering.

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Round-Table Workshop On Leveraging Low-Cost Seismic Networks In Building Resilient Cities & Infrastructures

The Belmont Forum RESIST Project is hosting a Round-Table Workshop on Leveraging Low-Cost Seismic Networks In Building Resilient Cities & Infrastructures on March 20-21, 2023. The RESIST (Resilient societies through smart-city technology: Assessing earthquake risk in ultra-high resolution) Project is an international-collaboration project sponsored by Taiwan, the US, and Japan with additional partners in Italy, Germany, and New Zealand. 

The hybrid workshop will take place both in-person at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, and remotely via videoconferencing. The workshop will consist of a round-table discussion between all stakeholders on the advantages, as well as implementation challenges, of using low-cost dense seismic networks to improve the efficiency of disaster mitigation, management and response to extreme events. The workshop is free, but registration is required. Register here to attend.

Mason Walters to give Blume Distinguished Lecture at Stanford University

On February 15, 2023, Mason Walters (M.EERI 1994) will present a lecture on “Evolution of Seismic Isolation Applications in Structural Engineering” in the J.A. Blume Distinguished Lecture Series at Stanford University The lecture will illustrate the evolution of application of seismic isolation in structural engineering practice, and to highlight some of the significant technical challenges encountered - and creative solutions developed - in implementing this innovative technology.

The lecture will be held on the Stanford Campus in the Mackenzie Room 300 of the Huang Engineering Building at 4:30 PM, with a pre-lecture reception starting at 3:30 PM. The lecture is free and open to the public. More details are available at the Blume Earthquake Engineering Center website here.

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