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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute

Founded in 1948, EERI's mission is to reduce earthquake risk by (1) advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering, (2) improving understanding of the impact of earthquakes on the physical, social, economic, political, and cultural environment, and (3) advocating comprehensive and realistic measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes.

News of the Institute

2015: A Year to Remember at EERI

Happy New Year!
EERI had a particularly productive year in 2015, advancing its mission with meaningful contributions towards reducing the risk from damaging earthquakes through research, knowledge dissemination, and advocacy. Highlights included the 67th EERI Annual Meeting in Boston, the first annual meeting held in the Northeast United States; the Learning from Earthquakes thirteen-person reconnaissance mission to Nepal (see below); and renewed success in cultivating the next generation of earthquake engineering professionals with a record 800 EERI student members representing sixty-five school chapters. Earthquake Spectra set new marks in 2015, doubling the number of papers published over its historical norm, and saw its Impact Factor rise with a record number of citations. But that wasn't all. Other EERI program highlights included:

Making School Buildings Safer
sesiEERI’s School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI) formally launched in 2015 at the EERI Annual Meeting in Boston. In its first year of existence, the collaborative network of experts from diverse disciplines and regions has grown to more than 100 professionals dedicated to improving school earthquake safety.

In 2015, an inspiring strategic plan with governing documents was posted at the SESI website, while SESI subcommittees worked on tsunami and multi-hazard mitigation, community outreach, safety screenings, code updates, and knowledge dissemination. Interested EERI members are always welcome to join and participate, so please contact Chair This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (M. EERI, 2002) or EERI Program Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express your interest.

Read more about SESI’s 2015 progress in advancing and advocating for improved school earthquake safety.

Developing Public Policy Statements
Under the leadership of Chair Laura Samant (M. EERI, 2003), the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee held a workshop in December to establish new policy position statements for EERI. With heavy involvement by the committee members in the months prior to the workshop, nearly 15 statements were produced for discussion. Five statements are expected to be launched in spring 2016 with additional statements to be further developed by the committee in 2016. These position statements will be used by members and staff to advocate with a common voice for improved earthquake risk reduction policies by legislators, government agencies, the public, and other critical decision makers.

Progress on Concrete Buildings
In 2015, the Concrete Coalition continued outreach efforts to engage the professional community on the topic of vulnerable concrete buildings. During the 2015 SEI Structures Congress, Scott Adan (M. EERI, 2007) organized and moderated the session on “Assessing Risk, Developing Strategies, and Improving Understanding of Older Concrete Buildings.” In the fall of 2015, the EERI technical seminar series on vulnerable concrete buildings featured achievements of the Concrete Coalition and sought attendees’ thoughts on next steps for the Coalition. Finally, Los Angeles approved legislation in 2015 to address the city’s vulnerable concrete buildings, with the early efforts of the Concrete Coalition widely recognized as playing an important role in this outcome. In 2016, the Concrete Coalition will document this Los Angeles success as a case history to provide lessons on how to help communities raise awareness of seismic issues and how to implement policies to reduce risks.

Improving Housing Construction Around the World
iran2-resizedIn 2015, the World Housing Encyclopedia and Confined Masonry Network programs continued their efforts to create and disseminate information to improve housing construction in highly seismic areas of the world. Both programs are organizing special sessions at the 16WCEE in Chile in January 2017 that will highlight resources available and discuss ways to improve construction practices in developing countries.

In 2015, members of the international community submitted over 20 reports on housing construction practices in Pakistan, Iran, Slovenia, Chile, and Cuba. Look for these new reports in the World Housing Encyclopedia online database in early 2016. Following earthquakes in 2015, housing reports from Nepal and Chile served as a resource to provide context about construction practices for reconnaissance teams. This year also saw the completion of two new confined masonry publications. Construction Guide for Low-Rise Confined Masonry Buildings by Tom Schacher (M. EERI, 2006) and Tim Hart (M. EERI, 2009), addresses the needs of small-scale contractors, technicians, government staff, and architects, as well as non-governmental organizations involved in post-disaster reconstruction. Printed copies of the “Construction Guide” will be available in 2016. The Guide book for building earthquake-resistant houses in confined masonry (PDF) by Nadia Carlevaro (M. EERI, 2014) and Guillaume Roux-Fouillet is intended for the training of professional masons in confined masonry, and can be used as a building guide at construction sites or as a training resource. It is presented in a simple manner and explains in a step-by-step sequence how to build a one or two-story confined masonry house. These and other Confined Masonry publications are available on the Confined Masonry website.

We look forward to 2016 being as exciting and productive as the past year, and thank all EERI members for their support and work to make it so.

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Learning from Earthquakes in 2015

Investigating the April 25 Gorkha Earthquake

EERI's Learning from Earthquakes program had a year of significant activity, innovation, and planning.

In early June 2015, EERI sent a 13-member international Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) team to Nepal to conduct reconnaissance following the Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake on April 25. Working in partnership with Nepal’s National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), and coordinating with nearly 30 other reconnaissance efforts, EERI’s multidisciplinary team examined ten topic areas from seismology and ground motion to building performance and community resilience. Briefing videos from team members may be found at the virtual clearinghouse website for the earthquake: The LFE team report will be published in early 2016 and EERI is currently seeking financial support for a special issue of Earthquake Spectra on the Nepal earthquake. Follow up investigations will also take place in 2016 by the Houser Fellows and a resilience reconnaissance team.

Activity from Afghanistan, Chile, and Napa quakes

EERI coordinated with members in regions impacted by the M7.5 Northeastern Afghanistan Earthquake on October 26, 2015 (, and the M8.3 Illapel Chile Earthquake on September 16, 2015 ( Members from the impacted regions of both earthquakes have submitted reports and observations. Additional member-submitted reports are expected in early 2016 and will be available in the LFE Earthquake Archive (

With funding from FEMA, EERI staff members are post-processing and improving an archival data set from the 2014 South Napa Earthquake. ATC/FEMA Building and Nonstructural Components Performance data, Caltrans Bridge Assessment data, and SEAOC Earthquake Performance Evaluation Program data will be included in the final data set to be launched in March 2016, at the virtual clearinghouse website:

Improving and Expanding LFE

In early 2015, EERI hosted two Reconnaissance Training Workshops aimed at better preparing members to conduct reconnaissance and contribute their data after an earthquake in their area. The first workshop was hosted by the UCLA student chapter in January and the second workshop was hosted by the EERI Student Leadership Council during the 2015 Annual Meeting in Boston. Over 100 students and professionals participated in the workshops. Presentations from the workshops can be found at

Recent earthquakes led to the refinement and improvement of LFE Operations and Procedures. New volunteer positions of Clearinghouse Curators, Virtual Team Collaborators, and LFE Operational Specialists have been established to actively involve early career members in LFE reconnaissance activities. To make topical curation posts after earthquakes even more informative and timely, LFE has been working with EERI's Younger Members Committee (YMC) to develop procedures that will allow YMC members to serve regular terms as curators ready to act quickly and glean valuable ephemeral information. More about these roles and procedures can be found at the LFE website:

A 12-person LFE subcommittee is in the early stages of developing a new program to involve experiential field-based learning in regions of past major earthquakes. This program will launch it's first pilot study trip in 2017.

Identified LFE priorities activities for 2016 include the following:
1. Dramatically improving LFE websites and reconnaissance tools with financial support from EERI’s Initiatives and Development Committee. These improvements will make the website more user-friendly and informational while also better integrating reconnaissance data and virtual clearinghouses.
2. Securing baseline funding for LFE operations.
3. Identification of best practices in incorporating resilience reconnaissance over time into LFE procedures.
4. Responding to major earthquakes per the recently updated operations procedures.

The LFE Committee is chaired by Ken Elwood (M. EERI, 1994) until April 26, 2016, when Charlie Huyck (M. EERI, 2002) moves from Vice-Chair to the Chair role. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is the EERI staff lead for LFE, with support from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who manages LFE’s reconnaissance data collection and visualization activities.

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2016 Annual Meeting

2016 EERI Annual Meeting - Registration Open

am 2016 

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute will hold its 68th Annual Meeting, April 5–8, 2016, in San Francisco, California.

Registration and full program details are now available on the 2016 Annual Meeting website. With a theme of "Beyond the Epicenter: Expanding Our Risk Perspective," the meeting program will delve into unanticipated effects, blind spots, and new insights in earthquake engineering.

For program, logistic, and registration details, visit the 2016 Annual Meeting website.

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News of the Profession

Frangopol to Receive ASCE Lifetime Achievement Award

FrangopolDan M. Frangopol (M. EERI, 1987), leading educator and creator in the field of life-cycle civil engineering, will be honored as one of five American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2016 Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Lifetime Achievement Award winners. Frangopol is being honored in education.

Frangopol is the founding editor of Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, an international peer-reviewed archival journal dedicated to recent advances in maintenance, management, and life-cycle performance of a variety of structures. He also has authored or co-authored two books, 40 book chapters, 310 journal articles, and more than 600 papers in conference proceedings.

The award, which recognizes Frangopol’s extraordinary contributions to civil engineering, will be presented March 17, 2016, during ASCE’s OPAL Gala in Arlington, Va. Read more on the ASCE websiteexternal link icon

Links to Recent News and Views

Ten recent stories, reports, or opinions from around the Web:

oneSmall Fish Species Evolved Rapidly Following 1964 Alaska Earthquake (Science 2.0) Evolution is usually thought of as occurring over long time periods, but it also can happen quickly. external link icon

twoCan electric signals in Earth’s atmosphere predict earthquakes? (Science) Some scientists think that Earth’s crust may give hints before it ruptures, in the form of electromagnetic anomalies. external link icon

threeNatural or manmade quakes? (Geology In) New technique can tell the difference, say Stanford researchers. external link icon

fourCalifornia seeks patches for Bay Bridge (Courthouse News Service) Panel explores cathodic protection system to address cracks. external link icon

fiveOsaka, Nagoya, Tokyo skyscrapers most vulnerable to Big One (The Japan Times) Skyscrapers in coastal districts could sway violently for minutes. external link icon

sixOregon students produce videos for earthquake preparedness forum (Register-Guard) App tallies viewer responses in real time. external link icon

sevenPrimer Provides Guidance on Mitigating Induced Seismic Event Risks (RigZone) Guide summarizes the current knowledge of earthquakes possibly caused by human activity. external link icon

eightQuality of life remains high in Christchurch (Voxy) Latest wellbeing survey shows a progressive improvement in peoples’ wellbeing since the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. external link icon

nineDo you live in a natural-disaster danger zone? Check this Seattle map (Seattle Times) New online map lets Seattle residents zoom in on the range of natural hazards. external link icon

tenThis bed made for earthquakes will freak you out (Geek Wire) If you are even a bit claustrophobic, or just don’t like the idea of being collapsed into a small metal trunk-like cage... external link icon

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Abstracts for Istanbul Bridge Conference Due January 10

The Istanbul Bridge Conference 2016 is aimed at providing a discussion platform to develop safe, sustainable, and economically feasible solutions to be used in bridge research, design, and construction. Topics will include advances in bridge construction techniques, recent developments in bridge design codes, designing and constructing against extreme events such as earthquake and w, bridge computer technology and analysis, and more. The conference will be held in Istanbul, Turkey on August 8-9, 2016. Abstract submission deadline is January 10, 2016. More details at the conference website. external link icon

CREW Seeks ED/Administrator.

The Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW), a coalition of private and public representatives working together to improve the ability of Cascadia Region communities to reduce the effects of earthquake and tsunami events, has announced a request for qualifications for a contracted administrator.

Due date for applications is January 15, 2016. Read more about the duties and qualifications of the administrator position at the CREW website. external link icon

PEER Annual Meeting Program Released

The program for the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) 2016 Annual Meeting has been posted. The meeting, with a theme of “Decision-Making in the Face of Uncertainty,” will take place on January 28-29, 2016, and highlight the role of multi-disciplinary performance-based engineering with seismic and related natural hazards to achieve community resiliency.

More information at: external link icon

Abstracts for PBD-III due July 2016.

The 3rd International Conference on Performance-based Design in Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering (PBD-III Vancouver), organized under the auspices of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering - Technical Committee TC203 on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering and Associated Problems (ISSMGE-TC203), will be held July 16-19, 2017, in Vancouver, Canada. Supporting organizations include the Canadian Geotechnical Society, ASCE Geo-Institute, and EERI.

Abstracts are due July 31, 2016. Conference information, sign up for the conference e-newsletter, and abstract submission details at external link icon

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  1. Open Google Calendar
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  3. Enter the EERI calendar's address in the field provided. EERI Calendar ics link
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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
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