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

South Napa Earthquake Briefing Summary

The September 15, 2014 reconnaissance briefing of preliminary observations from the August 24, 2014 South Napa Earthquake was a great success, with an attendance of over 100 people at UC Berkeley and nearly 1,100 online viewers. The event was cohosted by Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER).

South Napa Earthquake (damage to Napa Square)After a welcome by Jay Berger, Executive Director of EERI, and Stephen Mahin, Director of PEER, eight speakers synthesized earthquake impacts, highlighted lessons learned, and identified areas needing future study in their disciplinary topic area. Their findings were compiled through close collaboration with the vast numbers of colleagues and reconnaissance field teams who gathered data and observed earthquake damage.

The event was moderated by Marko Schotanus (Rutherford + Chekene), the EERI Reconnaissance Leader for the South Napa Earthquake. He emphasized how the California Earthquake Clearinghouse spurred collaboration and data sharing amongst the scientific and engineering communities to a new level in this earthquake, as evidenced by the value provided by the virtual clearinghouse website external link icon and its online multidisciplinary data map external link icon. These resources will serve as an ongoing repository and archive for scientific and engineering observations from the earthquake. All EERI members and other colleagues are encouraged to upload photos, data, or reports to the site.

Timothy Dawson (California Geological Survey) highlighted the field documentation of fault rupture conducted by seismologists and geologists. PEER studies of ground motion data and GEER studies of fault rupture impact on housing were summarized by Jon Bray, along with GEER observations that liquefaction and lateral spreads were not found in this earthquake, as would have normally be expected.

Andre Barbosa (Oregon State University, PEER, and EERI) and Ibrahim Almufti (Arup) shared the impacts of structures damage and business interruption, by highlighting the performance of URM buildings, housing impacts, and case studies of businesses affected by earthquake damage.

The event concluded with presentations about lifeline and transportation performance by Charles Scawthorn (PEER, SPA Risk, EERI, and TCLEE) and Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl (UC Berkeley). Impacts of outages to utility customers and the communications networks were minimal in the earthquake and quickly repaired by delivery companies due to minor impacts to the transmission system and transportation infrastructure.

If you were unable to attend, a recording of this briefing along with presentation slides will be posted within a few days of the briefing at the virtual clearinghouse website: external link icon.

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, 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 tall buildings. 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 for 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 there will be a presentation on 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).

Shah Family Innovation Prize: Call for Nominations

Do you know a young academic or professional making a difference in reducing global earthquake risk? Members are encouraged to nominate candidates for the Shah Family Innovation Prize from government, private firms, academia, and the international community.

Shah Family Innovation PrizeThe Shah Family Innovation Prize was created with a substantial gift to the EERI Endowment Fund by the Haresh C. Shah family of Stanford, California. The intent of the prize is to stimulate further creativity and leadership in the earthquake risk mitigation community and EERI.

The selection process recognizes a combination of past accomplishments and future potential, emphasizing creative and innovative thinkers who have demonstrated at early stages in their careers the potential to make major contributions. EERI membership is not required for either the nominator or candidate, although it is strongly encouraged. Candidates must be less than 35 years of age on January 1, 2015.

Submit your nominations for the Shah Innovation Prize online by November 15, 2014 at

For more information about the required nomination package, selection criteria, and past winners, visit

The 2014 Shah Prize Selection Committee: Rui Pinho, Univ of Pavia, Chair; Stacey Bartoletti, Degenkolb Engineers; Patricia Grossi, Risk Management Solutions; Ellen Rathje, Univ of Texas; and Emily So, Cambridge Univ.

Back to top >


Earthquake Spectra Preprints

In early September, four 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“A Simple and Efficient Intensity Measure to account for Nonlinear Structural Behavior” by Marco De Biasio (M. EERI, 2014), Stephane Grange, Frederic Dufour, Frederic Allain and Ilie Petre-Lazar
  • “Seismic Loss Estimation and Environmental Issues” by Danny Arroyo, Mario Ordaz and Amador Teran-Gilmore
  • “Demographic Characteristics, Sources of Information and Preparedness for Earthquakes in California” by Linda B. Bourque (M. EERI, 1994)
  • “Water System Service Categories, Post-Earthquake Interaction, and Restoration Strategies” by Craig A. Davis (M. EERI, 1995)

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

Back to top >

Member Spotlight

Hojjat Adeli Received Special Medal from The Polish Neural Network Society

At the 13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing held in Zakopane, Poland in June, 2014, longtime EERI member Hojjat Adeli (M. EERI, 1974) received a Special Medal from The Polish Neural Network Society in recognition of outstanding contributions to the development of computational intelligence.

Hojjat AdeliRecently Thomson Reuters released a new 2014 list of Highly Cited Researchers external link icon. Their first list was published in 2001 as an objective measure of the worldwide impact and influence of one's research. Hojjat Adeli is among the Highly Cited Researchers in the Engineering category.

Adeli is a 1998 University Distinguished Scholar at The Ohio State University, a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a Fellow of several societies: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Neurological Association. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the international journals Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering and Integrated Computer-Aided Engineering, and the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Neural Systems.

Grace Kang Appointed PEER Director of Communications

EERI member Grace Kang (M. EERI, 1996) was appointed Director of Communications at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) based at UC Berkeley.

Grace KangGrace is very active in the earthquake engineering community and is especially focused on the effective dissemination and communication of earthquake engineering research and technologies in order to support the wider application of performance-based earthquake engineering. Grace is a Director on the Board of the Structural Engineers Association of California and was President of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California. She is on the Steering Committee for “Loma Prieta 25: Building Bay Area Resilience,” and she was co-chair of the “Buildings at Risk | Earthquake Loss Reduction Summit” held in Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2013, organized by Structural Engineers Associations of Southern and Northern California.

Grace has written articles for the American Institute of Architects California Council, and co-authored “Connections: EERI Oral History Series, Eric Elsesser” issued by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. Grace is a registered Structural Engineer in the state of California with over 25 years of experience in structural engineering consulting, and she has a Master of Engineering degree from the Civil Engineering Department at UC Berkeley. Grace can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit the PEER website at external link icon.

Back to top >

Student Spotlight

EERI Student Chapter Activities: Rice University

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 EERI Student Chapter at Rice University's most energetic organizational and outreach efforts from its 2013–2014 annual report.

EERI Student Chapter at Rice University

The officers of the EERI Student Chapter at Rice University are: President Emily McCarthy (M. EERI, 2012), VP Mihaela Nistor (M. EERI, 2013), Treasurer Sabarethinam Kameshwar (M. EERI, 2012), and Secretary Akwasi Mensah. Dr. Jamie E. Padgett (M. EERI, 2003) and Dr. Leonardo Duenas-Osorio (M. EERI, 2001) in the Rice University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are the chapter’s faculty advisors. Dr. Doug J. Nyman (M. EERI, 1975) is the chapter’s industry advisory.

The student chapter hosted several seminar speakers and activities during the academic year:

Paul Summers (M. EERI, 1992), Principal at MMI Engineering, presented his work on seismic protection of industrial structures, particularly oil and gas industry related infrastructure. The talk focused on how simple measures could be used to prevent failures during seismic events. After the talk, students asked about projects and MMI Engineering.

The student chapter hosted Dr. David Cocke (M. EERI, 1992), President of Structural Focus, as part of the EERI Friedman Family Visiting Professionals program. On the first day, Cocke and chapter officers were joined by faculty members for informal talks over dinner. The next day, Cocke gave a presentation based on his experience with various projects that included retrofitting of heritage structures and salvaging existing structures to address sustainability issues.

The student chapter also invited Dr. Necip Onder Akinci, Principal Consultant/Technical Lead at Atkins Engineering, as a guest lecturer. The topic of his presentation was nonlinear dynamic response of offshore structures under seismic loading. In the first part of his lecture, he focused on soil radiation damping, soil-pile gapping, soil degradation, joint failure, and multi-level excitation of offshore structures. In the second part of the talk he demonstrated the advantages of developed methodology using case studies of existing offshore platforms.

Seismic Design Competition
EERI Student Chapter Activities: Rice UniversityThe student chapter participated for the first time in the EERI Seismic Design Competition. Since it was the first time for the team, they faced several challenges in modeling and constructing the balsa wood building, as well as challenges regarding fundraising. This year’s experience provided them with a framework for future competitions.

Read the EERI Student Chapter at Rice University's 2013-2014 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!

EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition Model Implemented in Istanbul

The Seismic Design Competition (SDC), organized by the Turkish Natural Catastrophe Insurance Pool (DASK-TCIP) external link icon , was held June 14-17, 2014, in Istanbul, Turkey. The Istanbul SDC is based on the same guidelines and rules as the annual EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition, organized by the EERI Student Leadership Council (SLC), in conjunction with the EERI meetings since 2004.

Seismic Design Competition IstanbulForty-nine teams from 28 universities registered with their project files for the Istanbul SDC, and 39 teams completed their building models and took part in the competition. The primary goal of the Istanbul SDC is to introduce undergraduate civil engineering students to the principles of earthquake resistant design, which tends to be a part of the graduate curriculum. The Istanbul SDC also provides an opportunity to work on a hands-on project by designing and constructing an earthquake resistant, cost-effective building through teamwork.

Congratulations to the top three teams: Tweezers (Black Sea University), Dokuz Eylul University, and Portakule (Black Sea University) had the highest annual revenue, as determine by cost performance, oral and poster presentation, workmanship, and architectural design. Additional awards were given for the Best Earthquake Performance, Best Architecture, Best Presentation, and Best Competitive Spirit.

The first SDC in Turkey has provided an excellent venue to develop links with academics, professionals, and students. The competition generated a significant amount of interest and media coverage, and served to increase earthquake awareness especially in earthquake resistant building design and construction. Further information about the SDC in Istanbul is available at external link icon .

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

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

Loma Prieta 25: Save the Date

The 25th Anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake offers San Francisco Bay Area residents and area leaders an opportunity to inspire regional action for safer, more resilient communities.

Loma Prieta 25 (symposium)On October 16, 2014, a commemorative public policy symposium with Bay Area thought leaders, community advocates, and elected officials will launch a three-year public policy program designed to spark quick recovery from future disasters and enact place-based action for a safer future in the places we call home.

The Loma Prieta 25 symposium program and registration details are available at external link icon.

2014 Buildings at Risk Summit: Strengthening Our Cities

Every year, the Buildings at Risk (BAR) Summit, presented by the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC), brings together community leaders to present resources and tools for building owners, businesses, and government officials to understand the risk they face and how to mitigate losses.

Buildings at Risk (BAR) SummitThe public is looking to civic leaders to protect them, and the issue has the attention of elected officials. The 2014 BAR Summit will delve into Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s and Dr. Lucy Jones’ proposal for building retrofits and a rating system, and their offices will be helping to create content for the event.

With expected attendance of over 200 and the resulting anticipated media coverage, this event provides a unique opportunity to highlight your commitment to the region’s economy and well-being, as well as your commitment to public safety.

Monday, October 20, 2014
The Center at Cathedral Plaza
555 West Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Register for the 2014 BAR Summit at external link icon.

The Global Earthquake Model – Physical Vulnerability Analytical & Empirical Guidelines for Vulnerability Assessment

This intensive three-day course organized by University College London (UCL) offers a comprehensive overview of the recently released GEM Vulnerability Assessment Guidelines.

Dates: November 17-19, 2014
Location: University College London, United Kingdom

Understanding and quantifying physical vulnerability is essential to achieving risk reduction. The Global Earthquake Model promotes better tools to model risk and to improve resilience. The GEM Analytical and Empirical Vulnerability Guidelines provide a globally applicable model to derive vulnerability functions for exposed typologies following a standardized approach.

This course offered at UCL by the Guidelines’ authors, members of the EPICentre research group, will cover methodologies based on statistical treatment of post event damage data analysis and methodologies based on numerical simulation of structural response and damage, as well as presenting strategies to deal with the uncertainties associated to both methods.

Hands-on activities based on the application of the Guidelines to real scenarios will provide direct training on research-based ready to use tools for seismic vulnerability assessment. Attendees will be able to use the GEM OPENQUAKE platform and GEM Fragility Functions Database and Selection Tools.

For details, view the course flyer (PDF) external link icon. Visit external link icon for more information on the Course and the Speakers. To register your interest or find out more about this CPD course,
contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

9th Nuclear Plants Current Issues Symposium: Moving Forward and Post-Symposium Seminar Seismic PRA: Post-Fukushima Implementations

The 9th Nuclear Plants Current Issues Symposium: Moving Forward will be held in Charlotte, NC December 7-10, 2014. It is organized by NC State University in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Nuclear Energy Institute, and several leading nuclear energy companies. EERI is a cosponsoring professional society. A Post-Symposium Seminar “Seismic PRA: Post-Fukushima Implementations” will follow December 11-12, 2014.

9th Nuclear Plants Current Issues Symposium: Moving ForwardThe three-day Symposium consists of a sequence of 12 non-breaking sessions packed with actions in progress, in which all invited experts will make presentations on topics such as: implementation of the NTTF recommendations, ESEP to assure public safety in the short-run while spreading out effort intensive requirements, plant-specific stages of seismic, flood and other natural hazards assessment and mitigation, and lessons learned from implementation and regulatory experience.

The Symposium features three distinguished speakers: NRC Commissioner William Ostendorff, NEI’s Sr VP of Governmental Affairs Alex Flint, and National Security Council’s Nuclear Energy Policy Director Joyce Connery (invited).

Visit the Symposium website external link icon for more information and registration. Contact symposium chairman Ajaya Kumar Gupta (M. EERI, 1976) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for inquiries.

Back to top >

Job Opportunities

Kinemetrics OSS Project Engineer: Call for Applications

Kinemetrics Inc. is seeking a Project Engineer to join the Open Systems & Services (OSS) Department.

Kinemetrics OSS (logo)The Kinemetrics OSS department is a distinguished group of experts and specialists who design, build, install and service customized solutions for mission critical projects. Some project examples include: designing national seismic and strong-motion networks; and instrumentation of critical structures such as high-rise buildings, nuclear power plants, and historical structures. To learn more about Open Systems & Services, visit: external link icon.

The Project Engineer supports projects related to services for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems. The range of responsibilities include implementation of a facility’s response planning to earthquakes, post-event structure assessments and any other specials services needed by the SHM systems. In addition, the Project Engineer will install, integrate and set up monitoring systems; train clients; provide technical support and remote operation; and prepare project plans, system tests, training sessions and maintenance documents. Additional responsibilities include assistance with proposal preparation and general marketing material.

Successful candidates will be based in our Pasadena, California headquarters and work closely with our team of project managers, system engineers and integrators. To read the full job description (PDF) including requirements, benefits, and how to apply, visit: external link icon.

USGS Earthquake Science Center Director: Call for Applications

The U.S. Geological Survey has opened its advertisement for a new Center Director for the Earthquake Science Center.

USGS Geologic Hazards Science CenterThe following are links to the vacancy announcements to fill this position as Center Director of the Earthquake Science Center, headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Applications are due by Thursday, October 9, 2014. If you decide to apply, please be sure to fulfill all requirements of the application, including submitting transcripts.

PAC-2014-0734 (non Federal Employees - DEU) external link icon

PAC-2014-0735 (Federal Employees - Merit Promotion) external link icon

UC Irvine Tenure-Track Faculty Position in Intelligent Infrastructure: Call for Applications

University of California, Irvine Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in Intelligent Infrastructure, at the level of Assistant Professor.

UC Irvine (logoThe Department seeks a forward-looking scholar-engineer to expand its expertise in intelligent civil infrastructure and strengthen its structures faculty cluster. The rapid evolution of “smart cities” necessitates increasingly monitored, networked and automated urban infrastructure that must be more responsive to societal priorities, environmental needs and resource constraints. Research areas under this theme include enhancing reliability and performance of infrastructure with novel materials, sensing and controls systems, lowering the carbon footprint of civil infrastructure, making civil infrastructure more resilient to extreme events, and expanding the functionality of civil infrastructure in new and creative ways that promote quality of life and sustainability, especially in urban areas. It expected that successful candidates will first and foremost offer strong disciplinary expertise, but the Department is particularly interested in candidates who also offer interdisciplinary research potential spanning environmental, technological, behavioral, and/or policy aspects of intelligent infrastructure.

Candidates should possess a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering, structural engineering, systems engineering or a closely related field at the time of appointment, and be qualified to teach undergraduate and graduate engineering courses in civil engineering. For consideration at the Assistant Professor level, candidates must demonstrate a strong record of scholarship, hold great promise for future scholarship and education, and show the ability to develop an externally funded research group.

To read the full job description (PDF), visit: external link icon.

Recruitment Period: open August 15, 2014 through November 10, 2014
If you apply to this recruitment by November 10, 2014, you will have until November 15, 2014 to complete your application.

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.