70 year anniversary of EERI

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

Leadership Communique

David A. FriedmanDavid A. FriedmanA Message from the President
By David A. Friedman (M. EERI, 1988)

Spring at EERI!

I am going to use Spring as a metaphor for this “presidential” update. Spring as a season or origin: beginning, budding, flowering.  Spring as in jump, skip: elasticity, flexibility, bounciness, resilience.  Things sure are hopping and bustling at EERI!

First and foremost, it is the whirlwind preparation for 11NCEE!  It is breathtaking to see all the planning balls in the air.  With stellar co-chairs Jim Malley (M.EERI,1990) and David Cocke (M.EERI,1992), a dedicated organizing committee, and the tireless efforts of ALL the EERI staff (and without complaint ... well, not that I would hear), 11NCEE is going to be a conference not to miss.  Of course, you have already registered... right?!

April 2018 marks the one year anniversary of Heidi Tremayne’s (M.EERI, 2004) leadership as Executive Director of EERI.  And what a terrific first year she has had!  I, and the Board of Directors, had hoped that it would not be a first year of trial-by-fire.  Well, that didn’t work so well.  We knew the aforementioned national conference would be a load of work.  Fingers crossed that there would not be a major earthquake.  Whoops, not such good luck as we had not one, but two Mexico earthquakes in close succession.  Luckily, we welcomed back to EERI Maggie Ortiz-Millan (M.EERI, 2012) as Program Manager... the day before the Puebla, Mexico earthquake. Prescient timing on that hire! Heidi handled it all with flying colors.

If that was not enough on the EERI plate, there are numerous on-going projects and initiatives. Learning From Earthquakes (LFE) has a host of new-ish, exciting programs including LFE travel study, resilience reconnaissance, virtual earthquake reconnaissance teams (VERT), and coordination and clearinghouse roles.  And there is the School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI) and a new cohort of Housner Fellows and a robust and active Public Policy & Advocacy Committee.  These are only highlights, with much more information on each to follow.  As they say, watch this space! 

Lastly, as I write, we are in preparation for our April Board of Directors meeting. This represents the first meeting of the “Board year” and the milestone of welcoming a new slate of Board members… and thanking and saying farewell to “retiring” Board members.

Mary Comerio (M.EERI,1988) finishes her year as immediate past-President.  There are not sufficient words to thank Mary for her dedication to and leadership of EERI.  In so many areas, EERI is in such stable shape because of Mary’s stewardship.  We will sorely miss her wisdom and expertise.

We also say thanks and farewell to David Cocke, Vice President, and Janiele Maffei (M.EERI,1992), Secretary/Treasurer for six consecutive one-year terms.  What extraordinary contributors they both have been. 

For all three, a mere “thank you” is not sufficient.  And it is not really farewell, as EERI is a lot like the lyrics to Hotel California: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!”  We shall keep them all close to the EERI family.

We also would be saying good-bye to Director Lucy Arendt (M.EERI,2008).  However, we had the presence of mind to elect her as Secretary/Treasurer of EERI.  Welcome back Lucy, even if you never left.

With great anticipation, we welcome many new faces and talents to the EERI Board of Directors.  We are excited to have the talents of Laurie Johnson (M.EERI,1990) as President-Elect, and the skills of new Directors Judy Mitrani-Reiser (M.EERI,2001) and Tara Hutchinson (M.EERI,1995) added to the Board.  Together with returning directors Danielle Mieler (M.EERI,2009), with new baby Isaiah and a new title of Vice President, and John Anderson (M.EERI,1980), Ross Boulanger (M.EERI,1992), Greg Deierlein (M.EERI,1989), Sissy Nikolaou (M.EERI,2004), and Barry Welliver (M.EERI,2002). We have an outstanding Board of Directors for all of the opportunities and challenges of the next year.

Exciting times for EERI!  Happy Spring!


EERI Supports California Assembly Bill 1857, Building Codes, earthquake safety, immediate occupancy standard

AB1857 Hearing 2018 4 11 NazarianThe Public Policy and Advocacy Committee (PPA) has been closely following a precedent-setting California Assembly Bill 1857 that is focused on earthquake resilience design standards, and the EERI Board of Directors has officially endorsed the latest amendments to CA AB 1857 on behalf of EERI. 

California Assembly Bill 1857, as amended April 3, 2018, requires the creation of a new “functional recovery standard” to be incorporated in the next California Building Code that would be applied to the construction of new buildings. As defined in the bill, “functional recovery standard” means a set of building code provisions that will add design and construction requirements related to post-disaster recovery. Use of the standard will result in a building for which post-earthquake structural and nonstructural capacity are maintained or can be restored to support its use and occupancy within a maximum acceptable time. The maximum acceptable time is to be determined and is expected to differ for various uses or occupancies.

The bill has been introduced by California Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian, representing California’s 46th Assembly District, serving the Southern California San Fernando Valley communities of Hollywood Hills, Lake Balboa, North Hills, North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Universal City, Van Nuys, and Valley Village.  California Assembly Member David Chiu, representing the 17th Assembly District, which encompasses eastern San Francisco, has also joined the bill as a co-author.

PPA has formed a small working group that has been actively reviewing this language and coordinating with other technical organizations, including the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) Legislative Committee and The Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, to provide feedback to Assembly Member Nazarian.  This has successfully led to the implementation of many changes to the bill content and language, including the idea of the “functional recovery standard."  EERI considers this approach to be an important step for preparing California cities and communities to be resilient and recovery quickly following future earthquakes.

On April 11th, AB 1857 received a majority vote from the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development, the first step in its path towards becoming law. EERI provided a short statement of support during the hearing.

EERI would like to recognize the leadership of PPA Chairs Chris Poland (M.EERI,1978) and Zahraa Saiyed (M.EERI,2011), and several other active PPA members Danielle Mieler (M.EERI,2009), Tom Tobin (M.EERI,1986), Barry Welliver (M.EERI,2002), Dana Brechwald (M.EERI,2013), and David Bonowitz (M.EERI,1994), in achieving such a rapid and meaningful response on behalf of EERI.

PHOTO: (L-R): Ryan Kersting (SEAOC) (M.EERI,2001), Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, Lucy Jones (The Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society) (M.EERI,2001), Heidi Tremayne (EERI) (M.EERI,2004)

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In Memoriam - Mete Sozen (1930 - 2018)

Mete A. Sözen

Mete SozenMete A. SozenMete A. Sözen (M.EERI,1970), Karl H. Kettelhut Distinguished Professor, Emeritus of Civil Engineering, Purdue University died unexpectedly on April 5, 2018, just a few weeks before what would have been his 88th birthday. Mete was in London, England, with his wife Joan visiting their daughter Ayshe and two grandsons when he fell peacefully to sleep. For all of us who knew Mete, this marked the end of an era.  Few people have guided and nurtured a field the way Mete led earthquake and structural engineering related to reinforced concrete systems over a period spanning six decades. He had a profound effect on many people and will long be remembered fondly by those who came into contact with him during his career. His impact was so compelling that he had earned the admiration of many generations of students, friends and colleagues and fellow engineers. 

The EERI Board of Directors and staff extend our deepest condolences to Mete's wife Joan and family Timothy, Adria, Ayshe, and four grandchildren.

Mete Sözen is the subject of an upcoming EERI Oral History Series: Connections Vol 26, which is scheduled for publication in June 2018.

The first paragraph above is extracted from Mete A. Sözen: A Collection of Personal Remembrances, compiled by Polat Gülkan (M.EERI 1993). This article provides a glimpse into Mete's tremendous career and achievements, and some thoughts about this remarkable man contributed by former students, colleagues, family and friends.

Read or download the full article.

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Member Spotlight

Anne Kiremidjian receives the John Fritz Medal

anne kiremidjianAnne KiremidjianAnne Kiremidjian (M.EERI,1976), professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, has been selected to receive the 2018 John Fritz Medal. The award, presented by the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES), recognizes one individual each year for their scientific or industrial achievements in the pure or applied sciences. Kiremidjian received the award for her research in the field of probabilistic seismic risk assessment and for her leadership in the classroom, educating the next generation of earthquake engineers.

Kiremidjian’s research focuses on building resilient, sustainable cities that can withstand short- and long-term environmental stressors, including earthquakes. Through the design and implementation of wireless sensor systems, the development of robust algorithms for structural damage diagnosis and several other evaluation techniques, Kiremidjian continues to expand conversations around creating strategic civil infrastructure systems, emphasizing the importance of social, political and economic data in her findings.

Established in 1902, the John Fritz Medal is among the highest honors awarded an engineer. Kiremidjian joins a highly respected cadre of recipients, including Alexander Graham Bell and David Packard. She will be presented with the award at the AAES awards banquet next month in Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: Rod Searcy, Stanford News

Read more

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Younger Members Committee Webinar

Assessing Safety, Search and Rescue: An Engineer’s Role Following Disasters

John Lawson banner

      Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2018
      Time: 10:00 - 11:00 AM Pacific
      Speaker: John Lawson, SE (M.EERI,1985)

register now red


John LawsonJohn LawsonJohn Lawson (M.EERI,1985) is a licensed Structural Engineer in California and Arizona where he has over 30 years of consulting experience in design and evaluation of buildings. He has a Masters degree in Structural Engineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelors in Architectural Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he is also currently an Associate Professor. 

Mr. Lawson is also a Structural Specialist in FEMA’s Urban Search & Rescue program, with special training in collapsed structures, and has been deployed to earthquakes, hurricanes, mudslides and the Oklahoma City Bombing.

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Subscribing Member Spotlight - CSI

Computers and Structures, Inc. introduces two powerful new apps: CSiSections and CSiUnits

CSILogoComputers and Structures, Inc. (CSI) is an EERI Diamond-level Subscribing Member. Founded in 1975 by company President and CEO Ashraf Habibullah (M.EERI,1999), CSI is recognized worldwide as the innovative leader in the development of software tools for the analysis and design of structures. Products from CSI are used by thousands of engineering firms involved in the design of buildings, bridges and other major projects in over 160 countries. The choice of sophisticated design professionals – worldwide! Visit www.csiamerica.com

CSI has recently introduced two powerful new apps: CSiSections and CSiUnits!


CSIunits logoname 250pxCSiUnits

Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI) is pleased to announce the release of CSiUnits, a powerful new app for converting nearly every unit of measurement. Going beyond the basics of millimeters in a mile or minutes in a year, this conversion app converts the units of measurements found in nearly all the engineering specialties — including density, stress, torque, velocity, pressure, force, and moment. Scientists will appreciate the handy conversion of units related to physics, fluids, heat, and electricity, while home cooks will enjoy convenient conversion of volume, weight, and temperature units  — with the tap of a finger. With a clean and straightforward user interface, CSiUnits is an indispensable tool designed not just for engineers but for students, hobbyists and professionals in a range of disciplines, offering the most complete range of unit conversions available in a smartphone application.

Click here for more information including links to the App Store and Google Play to download CSiUnits to your phone.



CSIsections logoname 250pxCSiSections

Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI) is pleased to announce the release of CSiSections, an indispensable engineering tool that conveniently computes the structural properties of cross-sections for more than 25 shapes. CSiSection provides the only platform for quickly evaluating the properties of sections in a convenient smartphone application. It is an essential tool for engineers who need to access the properties of commonly-used sections, such as flanged, built-up, circular, polygonal and unsymmetrical sections, with the touch of a finger, and also for students who want to learn how the structural properties of various sections are calculated. CSiSections instantly displays basic analysis properties such as area, shear areas, moment of inertias (including principal directions and principal inertias), torsional constant and centroidal location, as well as design properties such as radii of gyration, section modulii, and plastic modulii.  

Click here for more information including links to the App Store and Google Play to download CSiSections to your phone.

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Judges needed for the 15th Annual Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition

APPLY NOW - deadline is May 4, 2018

The EERI Student Leadership Council is excited to announce the 15th Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition (SDC) at the Eleventhth National Conference for Earthquake Engineering (11NCEE) in Los Angeles, California, in which 39 teams from all over the world will be participating. While the competition is organized by the Student Leadership Council, it is largely a collaboration with the EERI leadership and conference attendees. 

We are looking for professionals and academics from all backgrounds to help us with the competition judging, which will take place throughout Tuesday June 26th. The time commitment for each judge will be about 1 hour, and no previous judging experience is required.This is a wonderful and rewarding opportunity to interact with the next generation of earthquake engineers! Judges can choose from SDC team presentations, posters, and architecture of the building models created by the teams. If you are interested in becoming a SDC judge, please apply by May 4, 2018. Please be sure to indicate the time(s) you can volunteer on the form.

We appreciate your participation with the Student Leadership Council!

2018 Fall/Winter Post-Graduate Internship Opportunity at EERI


Application Deadline: May 15, 2018

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) has an internship position available for recent graduates who are interested in gaining valuable professional experience while supporting the Institute’s mission to reduce earthquake risk. Fall/Winter internships begin in July 2018 with an end date in January 2019.  Applications should be submitted by May 15, 2018. 

EERI internships are approximately six-months long, and offer engagement with a number of interesting EERI projects and Institute activities, including Learning from Earthquakes, the School Earthquake Safety Initiative, World Housing Encyclopedia, EERI Annual Meetings, technical seminars and webinars.

Tasks are varied, although day-to-day work focuses on supporting EERI projects and staff through research, project and event coordination, and website development and maintenance.

Interns are expected to work in EERI's Oakland, California office, which means living in the San Francisco Bay Area. (No moving or housing support provided). EERI interns are provided a monthly stipend of $2,200 ($2,500 for recent graduate students).

Selected 2018 Fall/Winter interns are expected to start in July 2018 with an end date in January 2018.

Interested candidates should apply here. Preference is given to EERI members. Applications should be submitted by May 15, 2018. 

Learn more about the EERI Internship program.


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Regional Chapter News

EERI San Diego Regional Chapter Events: August 2018

The EERI San Diego Regional Chapter is organizing these upcoming events to be held in late August. Special discounts apply when registering for both events. Registration is now open.

San Diego State University
Hardy Memorial Tower, Room HT-140
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182

A 1-Day Short Course

“Using DEEPSOIL: An equivalent linear and nonlinear seismic site response analysis software platform”
Presenter: Prof. Youssef Hashash (M.EERI,1999), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Thursday, August 23, 2018, 8:00am – 5:00pm

This short course will introduce the latest release of DEEPSOIL (V7) for seismic site response analysis (SRA). The course will provide attendees with a background on SRA and the development of the DEEPSOIL platform. It will cover the various modules available including motion processing, equivalent linear analysis, and nonlinear analysis with and without pore water pressure generation. The course will also include a number of hands-on exercises to gain familiarity with the development of model input and evaluation of analysis results. 

Kenji Ishihara Colloquium Series on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering 

“Seismic Settlements”
Moderators: Prof. Julio R. Valdes and Dr. Jorge Meneses (M.EERI,2006)
Friday, August 24, 2018, 8:00am – 5:00pm

This colloquium series will focus on seismic settlements – the topics are oriented towards geotechnical engineers, structural engineers, engineering geologists, architects, civil engineers, researchers, and students. Speakers set to present at this colloquium include Prof. Jonathan Bray (M.EERI,1990) (UC Berkeley), Prof. Kohji Tokimatsu (M.EERI,1994) (Tokyo Soil Research Co.), Prof. Youssef Hashash (M.EERI,1999) (UIUC), Prof. Susumu Yasuda (M.EERI,1995) (Tokyo Denki University), Craig Comartin (M.EERI,1987) (CDComartin, Inc.), Stephen Harris (M.EERI,1986) (SGH), among other professionals and professors from the US and Japan.


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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

spectra 150Eight (8) preprint manuscripts have been posted to the Earthquake Spectra website prior to formal publication. The papers to be published are:

  • Fragility Curves for Residential Masonry Chimneys by Bruce Maison (M.EERI,1990) and Brian McDonald (M.EERI,2015)
  • Cost-Savings of Implementing Site-Specific Ground Motion Response Analysis in the Design of Short Period Mississippi Embayment Bridges by Clinton M. Wood (M.EERI,2012) and Ethan R.B. Baker
  • Improving the accuracy of near-real-time seismic loss estimation using post-earthquake remote sensing images by Xinzheng Lu (M.EERI,2018), Xiang Zeng, Zhen Xu, and Hong Guan
  • Assessment of Performance-Based Seismic Design Methods in ASCE 41 for New Steel Buildings: Special Moment Frames by John Harris (M.EERI,2002) and Matthew Speicher (M.EERI,2004)
  • Determining Bi-Directional Ground Motions for Nonlinear Response History Analysis of Buildings at Far-field Sites by N. Simon Kwong (M.EERI,2010) and Anil K. Chopra (M.EERI,1973)
  • Seismic Performance and Evaluation of Controlled Spine Frames Applied in High-Rise Buildings by Xingchen Chen, Toru Takeuchi, and Ryota Matsui
  • Development of Fragility Curves for Confined Masonry Buildings in Lima, Peru by Holger Lovon (M.EERI2018), Nicola Tarque, Vitor Silva (M.EERI,2014), and Catalina Yepes-Estrada
  • Testing of Seventeen Identical Ductile Reinforced Concrete Beams with Various Loading Protocols and Boundary Conditions by Kai Marder (M.EERI2017), Christopher Motter, Kenneth J. Elwood (M.EERI1994), and G. Charles Clifton

To read all current preprint manuscripts posted, visit Earthquake Spectra preprints.
If you have questions about Spectra, contact Managing Editor Liz Stalnaker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Save the Date: Upcoming EERI Events

11NCEE: June 25-29, 2018

11NCEE Banner 468x60
The Eleventh U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering
& EERI 70th Annual Meeting
June 25-29, 2018
Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites
Los Angeles, California
View the conference website.
Register for the conference
Don't delay. Rates increase on June 1, 2018

EERI 71st Annual Meeting (2019)

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EERI 71st Annual Meeting

March 5-8, 2019
Vancouver, Canada

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News & Views

Seven (7) recent articles, stories, opinions, or reports from around the web.

1oneUrban Renewal Should Include Earthquake Measures (The Portugal News) A group of experts who took part in a debate said that urban renewal in the capital (Lisbon) should include reinforcing buildings to withstand earthquakes. Read more

2twoM=5.6 Japan Earthquake Causes Surprisingly Severe Shaking (Temblor) On April 9, 2018, a M=5.6 (the Japan Meteorological Agency recorded it as a M=5.8) earthquake struck western Japan, near Oda, in the Shimane Prefecture, approximately 770 km west of Tokyo. Despite this quake’s moderate magnitude, shaking was very strong. Read more

3threeMagnitude 5.3 Earthquake Hits off Southern California Coast, Shakes Los Angeles (CBS News) On Apr 5, 2018, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 struck off the coast of Southern California. Dr. Susan Hough (M.EERI,1997) of the USGS said that it was no surprise people in Los Angeles felt the quake. Read more

4fourEarthquake Early-Warning System Gave Heads-Up Before 5.3 Temblor Hit L.A. Area (Los Angeles Times) Officials said the magnitude-5.3 earthquake that rattled Southern California proved to be another successful test of the state's nascent earthquake early-warning system. Read more

5fiveA Look at NYC's Earthquake Risks (NY1) Researchers say New York City is due for a significant earthquake, based on previous smaller earthquakes in and around the city. While NY is at moderate risk for earthquakes, its high population and infrastructure could lead to significant damage if a magnitude 5 quake or stronger hits the area. Read more

6sixOffshore El Salvador Earthquake Strikes Location of Deadly M=7.7 Event (Temblor) On Monday, April 9, a M=5.9 earthquake struck off the coast of El Salvador. The location of this earthquake makes it of importance as it is nearly identical to a M=7.7 earthquake in 2001 that claimed nearly 1,000 lives, generated thousands of landslides, and caused millions in damage. Read more

7sevenFound Footage Offers a New Glimpse at 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (New York Times) Nine minutes of newly found footage, restored from an aging film reel that was revealed publicly this weekend, shows the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated San Francisco in 1906. Read more



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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
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