Table of Contents

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 Response to the South Napa Earthquake

On Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 3:20 a.m. (local time) a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck near Napa, California. In its role as vice-chair of the California Earthquake Clearinghouse, EERI coordinated reconnaissance investigations and managed the physical clearinghouse location in Napa from Sunday, August 24, to Tuesday, August 26, in collaboration with other clearinghouse partners including CGS, USGS, California Seismic Safety Commission and Cal OES. Although the physical clearinghouse location is now closed, EERI continues to coordinate virtually with EERI members and others conducting reconnaissance in the field. 

Damaged building in downtown NapaReports from the clearinghouse briefings and other experts, along with lists of ongoing reconnaissance needs, can be viewed at the EERI South Napa Earthquake Virtual Clearinghouse website at external link icon. All observations, data and photos being collected by the scientific and engineering community are linked from the virtual clearinghouse site, and can be viewed on the EERI ArcGIS Online map at external link icon. Within the first four days following the earthquake, over 100 people participated in physical Clearinghouse activities in the field and 1,500 had visited the virtual clearinghouse website.

Marko Schotanus (M. EERI, 2007) has been designated as the EERI Reconnaissance Leader for the South Napa Earthquake. Marko is a structural engineer with Rutherford + Chekene engineers, and also serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the EERI Northern California Chapter. Marko will be working with disciplinary team leaders to compile observations from many disciplines into a report and webinar-style briefing for EERI members in the coming months.

2014 EERI Technical Seminar Series: Performance Based Design – State of the Practice for Tall Buildings

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) 2014 Technical Seminar Series focuses on the State of the Practice for Performance Based Seismic Design (PBD) of Tall Buildings. For the last decade engineers in major cities along the West Coast have taken advantage of performance based design concepts to achieve structural designs of tall buildings that are not in strict compliance with the International Building Code prescriptive provisions. These projects reflected cumulative best state-of-the-practice information related to seismology, geotechnology, and structural design to provide the most complete platform for implementing performance based seismic design concepts on major design projects.

2014 EERI Technical Seminar Series: Performance Based Design – State of the Practice for Tall BuildingsThe seminar will begin with a history of performance based design and the use of guidelines documents published by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) and the Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council (LATBSDC) in conjunction with the building code to form the basis of design for these structures. The focus will then turn to seismological and geotechnical considerations in the development of seismic demands in the form of both response spectra and ground motions for long period structures. This will be followed by a presentation on approaches for the modeling and analysis of these complex structures.

In addition, two case studies will be presented by structural engineers responsible for major tall building projects to demonstrate how the concepts have been put into place on actual structures. Since PBD is new and each project has unique features and challenges, peer review is an important component of the design process, and a talk will present some of the lessons learned from peer reviewers. The final talk will discuss future directions of performance based seismic design, FEMA (ATC) 58, and moving present practice to the next level. The day will conclude with a panel discussion including a representative of a local building department who has been working with the developers and design team to help bring these landmark structures to fruition.

Dates and Locations
Wednesday, October 29: San Francisco, CA
Thursday, November 6: Seattle, WA
Friday, November 7: Los Angeles, CA

Register online, or download a registration form, for the 2014 EERI Technical Seminar Series at external link icon and read the technical seminar brochure (PDF) external link icon.

2015 Board Nominees

The 2015 EERI Nominating Committee has submitted a slate of candidates for two open positions on the EERI Board of Directors. The nominees are:

For Director A:
David Cocke, President, Structural Focus, California (M. EERI, 1992)
Edward Kavazanjian, Jr., Professor, Arizona State University (M. EERI, 1989)

For Director B:
Lucy Arendt, Professor, University of Wisconsin (M. EERI, 2008)
Lori Dengler, Professor, Humboldt State University, California (M. EERI, 1998)

Additional nominations may be made by the membership in accordance with Article VII of the EERI Bylaws (Sections 4 and 5), upon submission of a petition with signatures of 25 members. Petitions must be received before November 1. Biographies of the candidates and short vision statements will be published in a future issue of the Newsletter and posted on the EERI website. EERI wishes to thank the Nominating Committee members: Ross Boulanger, (M. EERI, 1992); David Friedman, (M. EERI, 1988); Joe Maffei, (M. EERI, 1989); Tom Tobin, (M. EERI, 1986); and EERI Honorary Member Susan Tubbesing (1988).

Call for Nominations for the 2015 Bruce Bolt Medal

The Bruce Bolt Medal is awarded jointly by COSMOS, EERI, and SSA to recognize individuals worldwide whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of strong-motion earthquake data and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety.

Bruce BoltThe COSMOS, EERI, and SSA Joint Nomination Panel is now accepting Nominations for the 2015 Bruce Bolt Medalist. Members of EERI, SSA, and COSMOS are encouraged to submit nomination packages for this distinguished award. Nominations will be reviewed in confidence by a six-person Joint Nomination Panel formed by two representatives from each of the three sponsoring organizations. The recommended nominee will be considered in confidence by each organization’s Board of Directors for their approval and joint selection of the medalist.

If you know of a colleague or peer that you would like to nominate for this prestigious honor, please go to the Bruce Bolt Medal webpageexternal link icon of the SSA website to view past recipients, the Nominee Criteria, and Nomination Procedure.

Note: The deadline to submit nominations for the 2015 award is October 31, 2014 (incomplete nomination packages will not be considered by the Joint Nomination Panel). Please direct all questions to Woody Savage (M. EERI, 1975) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EERI Annual Student Paper Competition: Call for Submissions

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is pleased to announce its Annual Student Paper Competition. The purpose of the competition is to promote active involvement of students in earthquake engineering and the earthquake hazards research community.

2014 EERI Student Paper CompetitionThe EERI Student Paper Competition is open to graduate and undergraduate applicants. Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited U.S. college or university and must be U.S. residents. Contest rules for graduate and undergraduate paper categories are available on the competition flyer (PDF) at external link icon.

Guidelines for preparing the manuscript are accessible on the EERI website at external link icon. All papers must be e-mailed by November 1, 2014, to Juliane Lane at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Up to four student authors will be invited to the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting in Boston, March 31 – April 3, 2015, and will receive travel support for this purpose. Their papers may also be considered for publication in Earthquake Spectra external link icon. The top paper in the graduate category may be presented at the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting.

Back to top >

Member Spotlight

Robert Reitherman Received ASCE History and Heritage Award

EERI member Robert Reitherman (M. EERI, 1979), Executive Director of CUREE, was awarded the ASCE History and Heritage Award for his book, Earthquakes and Engineers: An International History. Reitherman's research for the book was partially sponsored by an EERI-FEMA NEHRP Professional Fellowship.

Earthquakes and Engineers: An International History (ASCE, 2012) EERI member Robert Reitherman (M. EERI, 1979), Executive Director of CUREEEarthquakes and Engineers external link icon is the first comprehensive treatment of the engineering techniques devised around the world to address seismic problems. Beginning in ancient times, threading through the Renaissance, and continuing into the latter half of the 20th century, Reitherman traces the evolution of humankind's understanding of the cause and characteristics of earthquakes and the development of methods to design structures that resist seismic shocks.

This book examines the responses not only of structural engineers, but also of geotechnical engineers, architects, and planners. International efforts in such countries as Japan, China, India, Chile, Turkey, Italy, and the United States are placed in the broader social, technological, and economic contexts of their eras. The book is available to order on the ASCE website external link icon.

Back to top >

Chapter Spotlight

1st Workshop on Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering: Liquefaction Evaluation, Mapping, Simulation, and Mitigation

This workshop is organized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) San Diego Chapter. Presenters, distinguished leaders of the geotechnical earthquake engineering community, will discuss current procedures to evaluate liquefaction occurrence and consequences, map liquefaction hazards, mitigate liquefaction consequences, and numerically model the phenomenon.

EERI San Diego ChapterTarget audience includes geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists, researchers, agencies officials and students. Two panel discussions will promote exchange of ideas and clarification. This workshop intends to be the first of a series on annual workshops on the topic of geotechnical earthquake engineering and will be announced nationwide and internationally.

Friday, September 12, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • Dr. Gonzalo Castro (GEI Consultants, Inc.)
  • Prof. Ahmed Elgamal (UC San Diego)
  • Prof. Kevin Franke (Brigham Young University)
  • Prof. I.M. Idriss (Prof. Emeritus, UC Davis)
  • Prof. Geoffrey Martin (University of Southern California)
  • Dr. Mitsuo Nozu (Fudo Construction)
  • Dr. Peter Robertson (Prof. Emeritus, University of Alberta)
  • Prof. Jonathan Stewart (UC Los Angeles)

Chair of Organizing Committee:
Dr. Jorge Meneses (President, EERI San Diego Chapter; GEI Consultants, Inc.)

University of California San Diego Campus
Center Hall, Room 115
9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093
For driving directions and parking information, visit: external link icon .

For registration, agenda, and abstracts, visit the San Diego EERI Chapter website at external link icon.

Back to top >

Student Spotlight

EERI Student Chapter Activities: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

EERI Student Chapters engage in technical and social activities year-round, including hosting EERI Distinguished Lecturers and practitioners as part of the Friedman Family Visiting Professional Program. Many chapters also enter the annual EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition (SDC). Described below are some of the student chapters' most energetic organizational and outreach efforts from their 2013–2014 annual report.

EERI Student Chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The officers of the EERI Student Chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) external link icon are: President Kevin Kho (M. EERI, 2014), VP Timothy P. Tan, Ryan Chan, Ploychompu Pattana-Anek, Hong Kim (M. EERI, 2012), and Brian Li.

Professor Youssef Hashash (M. EERI, 1999) in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois is the student chapter’s faculty advisor. Anahid Behrouzi (M. EERI, 2013) and Andrew Mock are the graduate advisors.

The student chapter hosted several guest speakers and events during the academic year:

Professor Ahmed Elbanna, assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Illinois, presented his work in developing computational and analytical models to describe fracture in multi-scale systems, such as crustal faults to human bone.

Friedman Family Visiting Professionals ProgramDavid Friedman, SE, Forell/Elsesser Engineers (M. EERI, 1988), visited the University of Illinois as part of the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program. The student chapter hosted a “Meet the Speaker” brown-bag luncheon jointly with the Structural Engineering Graduate Student Organization (SEGSO) where students could ask questions about his experience in engineering practice and exposure to new developments in seismic design. The main event of the visit was the afternoon lecture where Mr. Friedman provided an overview of EERI, what he and the engineering community has learned from various earthquake reconnaissance missions around the world, and details on the seismic retrofit of the California Memorial Stadium located atop the active Hayward Fault.

Two SAP2000 tutorial sessions in the Engineering Hall computer lab were led by Jessica Revell, PE, a bridge engineer from the Parsons Chicago office. The morning tutorial for graduate students focused on more detailed seismic analysis methods possible with this tool. The afternoon session for undergraduates helped new users develop a structural model and examine static load cases with brief discussion of seismic analysis options.

EERI Student Chapter at University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignEvgueni Filipov (M. EERI, 2010), Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering at the University of Illinois, presented the fundamentals of seismic engineering design specifically as it applies to the Seismic Design Competition.

The student chapter also hosted a joint seminar/social event where a video-recording of the EERI Distinguished Lecture entitled "Resilience: An Engineering Challenge" by Professor Mary Comerio (M. EERI, 1988) from UC Berkeley was shown during a dinner potluck. All student members, undergraduate and graduate, were encouraged to attend.

Read the EERI Student Chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s annual report at external link icon.

Call for Annual Report of Activities from EERI Student Chapters
EERI Student Chapter officers are encouraged to submit their annual report of chapter activities to Juliane Lane at the EERI Office via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The reports will be published on the Student Chapters section of the EERI website and will be featured in upcoming issues of The Pulse throughout the year. Submit your chapter's annual report of activities to EERI today!

Back to top >


SMIP14 Seminar on Utilization of Strong-Motion Data

The California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP) in the California Geological Survey (CGS) of the Department of Conservation established a Data Interpretation Project in 1989. Each year CSMIP funds several data interpretation projects for the analysis and utilization of strong-motion data. The objectives of the Data Interpretation Project are to further the understanding of strong ground shaking and the response of structures, to increase the utilization of strong-motion data in post-earthquake response, and to improve seismic design code provisions and design practices.

The California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP) of the California Geological SurveyAs part of the Data Interpretation Project, CSMIP holds annual seminars to transfer recent research findings on strong-motion data to practicing seismic design professionals, earth scientists and earthquake response personnel. The purpose of the annual seminar is to provide information that will be useful in seismic design practice, post-earthquake response, and the improvement of seismic design codes and practices.

This year’s seminar will include presentations on topographic effects on ground motions, effects of multiple-component ground motion on building response, building code seismic provisions on the direction of loading, modeling sensitivity in performance-based evaluation of buildings, and effects of long duration ground motions on the performance of port structures. Invited presentation on engineering application of ground motion simulation, California earthquake early warning system, finite element modeling of a concrete gravity dam, and highlights of strong-motion data from the M6.0 American Canyon, Napa County earthquake will be included.

Date:  October 9, 2014, Thursday
Location:  International House, UC Berkeley, California

The seminar program and registration for the SMIP14 are available at external link icon.

Back to top >


Earthquake Spectra Preprints

In late August, two 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“Application of Spatially Correlated and Coherent Records of Scenario Event to Estimate Seismic Loss of a Portfolio of Buildings” by T. J. Liu and H. P. Hong
  • "Performance evaluation of seismic force resisting systems for low-rise steel buildings in Canada" by Tony Yang (M. EERI, 2005) and Michael Murphy

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

In addition, the Spectra editors also posted a Special Collection of Preprints of the papers that will be published in the NGA-West2 special issue (forthcoming 2014) external link icon.

EERI Brief for Members: Professionals and Researchers Working Together to Reduce Earthquake Risk

In a new publication created for the EERI membership titled EERI Brief for Members: Professionals and Researchers Working Together to Reduce Earthquake Risk, members will learn about some of the programs and projects that have expanded EERI’s network of professionals, and that continue the tradition of knowledge-sharing established by our first president, Professor Lydik S. Jacobsen, and continued by 23 subsequent presidents and boards.

eeri brief for members final 2 coverFor 66 years, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) has worked to fulfill its mission of reducing earthquake risk by gathering and disseminating information about the impacts of earthquakes and advocating for realistic measures to reduce their harmful effects.

Through its numerous strategic partnerships, EERI is (1) advancing the science and practice of earthquake risk reduction, (2) connecting networks of global earthquake professionals, and (3) developing future leaders and advocates in earthquake engineering.

Printed copies of the EERI Brief for Members will arrive in the mail in early August. Student members who would like to receive a hard copy of the EERI Brief for Members should contact the EERI office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To read the EERI Brief for Members (PDF) now, visit: external link icon.

Back to top >


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
  4. Click Add Calendar. The calendar will appear on the left side under "Other calendars."

EERI's Facebook profile  EERI's LinkedIn group  EERI's YouTube channel  twitter  vimeo  

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
499 14th Street, Suite 220, Oakland, CA 94612-1934 USA
phone: 510-451-0905 | fax: 510-451-5411 | email: | website:

Copyright © 2019 EERI. All Rights Reserved.