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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

Honors Committee Seeks Awards Nominations

EERI's Honors Committee is charged with developing recommendations for several awards. The committee greatly depends on nominations submitted by the members of the Institute and seeks help in identifying worthy members whose contributions should be recognized.

EERI (logo)Please consider nominating candidates for the Distinguished Lecture Award, George W. Housner Medal, the Alfred Alquist Special Recognition Award, and authors who deserve the 2015 Outstanding Paper Award for Earthquake Spectra (vol. 31).

Submit Your Nominations
All nominations should be accompanied by a brief justification, and must be received by July 8, 2016, in order for the Honors Committee to complete deliberations and forward its recommendations to the Board of Directors. Send your nominations to the EERI office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A list of all past awardees and complete descriptions of each award are accessible from

All awards will be presented at EERI's Awards Luncheon at the 2017 EERI Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, March 7–10, 2017.

Reminder: 2016-2017 EERI/FEMA Graduate Fellowships in Earthquake Hazard Reduction

fema fellowship2016EERI is pleased to announce the availability of two Graduate Fellowships for the 2016-2017 academic year to support full-time students in a discipline contributing to the science and practice of earthquake hazard mitigation.

fema logo 50The one-year fellowship, underwritten with funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency external link icon, is designed to foster the participation of capable individuals in working toward goals and activities of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.

The EERI/FEMA NEHRP fellowship provides a stipend of $12,000 that can be used for tuition, fees, research expenses, and the required attendance and participation at the 2017 EERI Annual Meeting, March 7-10, 2017, in Portland, Oregon.

Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university and must hold U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. All applications must include an academic transcript and a statement of educational and career goals.

All application materials must be submitted electronically to EERI, including a letter of nomination from a faculty sponsor at the student’s institution and two additional reference letters. Letters should evaluate the applicant’s recent academic performance, document the applicant's research accomplishments, and assess the candidate’s potential to contribute to the field.

Candidates may apply online at Deadline for submission of all application materials is June 10, 2016. Announcement of the award will be made on July 15, 2016.

New EERI Student Chapters

EERI is pleased to introduce two new EERI student chapters recently approved by the Board of Directors. New York University, with faculty advisor Magued G. Iskander and professional advisor Sissy Nikolaou (M. EERI, 2004), has elected the following officers: Halim Kerim Bas (President, M. EERI, 2016), Arman Tajarrod (Vice President, M. EERI, 2016), Matteo Casacci (Treasurer, M. EERI, 2016), Zoya Susan Benyaminov (Secretary), and Isabella Geronzi (Public Relations Chair, M. EERI, 2016 ).

The new University of New Mexico Student Chapter, with 24 members, has Fernando Moreu (M. EERI, 2016) as faculty advisor, David Mascarenas (M. EERI, 2016) as professional advisor, and has elected the following officers: Sherif Aboubakr (President, M. EERI, 2016), Jose Gomez (Vice President, M. EERI, 2016), Elisa Borowski (Secretary, M. EERI, 2016), Mojgan Maadandar (Treasurer, M. EERI, 2016), Abraham Mena (Program Coordinator, M. EERI, 2016), and Shreya Vemuganti (Fundraiser, M. EERI, 2016).


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News of the Profession

Purba and Bruneau Win ASCE Reese Prize

Ronny Purba (M. EERI, 2014) and Michel Bruneau (M. EERI, 1984) have been announced as the recipients of this year's ASCE Raymond C. Reese Research Prize, which is awarded to the author or authors of a paper that describes a notable achievement in research related to structural engineering. Their paper, “Seismic Performance of Steel Plate Shear Walls Considering Two Different Design Philosophies of Infill Plates. II: Assessment of Collapse Potential,” appeared in the June 2015 edition of Journal of Structural Engineering. (Abstract external link icon).

More information on the Reese Prize, the winning paper, and the recommended design changes, can be found at the ASCE News website: external link icon

Links to Recent News and Views

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

onePortland database highlights old buildings that could be dangerous in a quake (Portland Tribune) City provides locations and information on about 1,800 unreinforced masonry buildings. external link icon

oneKeeping children in Nepal classrooms (Nepali Times) Nearly 550 schools were damaged in Kavre, and 90 per cent of the classes are running in temporary learning centers. external link icon

oneWhat an Earthquake Does to a Building, Visualized. (Popular Mechanics) USGS video representation of Frontier Building in Anchorage during January M7.1 quake. external link icon

oneCanadian insurance industry looks to partner with government on managing earthquake risk (Canadian Underwriter) "We are well-capitalized for a big event, the question is, is it enough?" external link icon

fiveJapan's top three insurers see Kumamoto quake payout at Y19 bil (Japan Today) Bulk of the payout relates to corporate insurance for damaged factory buildings and equipment. external link icon

sixMunich Re Deploys Drones After Ecuador Earthquake (Insurance Networking) Company partners with a drone data platform in the insurance claims process. external link icon

sevenThis map is helping Ecuador’s earthquake relief efforts (PBS Newshour) Mapping Ecuador is allowing people to pinpoint hospitals, shelters and other key places in the country’s earthquake recovery. external link icon

eightPreparing for "The Big One": Is Israel ready to face disaster? (i24 News) A leader in preparedness and response to war and terrorism, but what about earthquakes and tsunamis? external link icon

nineNepal Risks Missing the Chance to Build Back Better After its Earthquake (Forbes) $4B in aid money unspent and government embroiled in power struggles and diplomatic rows. external link icon

tenBuildings that kill: The earthquake danger lawmakers have ignored for decades (The Seattle Times) Seattle counting earthquake-vulnerable buildings since the early 1990s, but no law requires the structures to be strengthened. external link icon

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CEA Seeks Research Director

cea-logoThe California Earthquake Authority (EERI Gold Subscribing Member) is now seeking applications for the new position of Research Director. The successful candidate will be responsible for guiding and coordinating the creation, management, and oversight of the technical aspects of multidisciplinary research teams involved in seismic, engineering, economic, actuarial, financial, and social science research and policy at the Authority.

Interested applicants must submit a completed examination/employment applications (Std. 678 form external link icon), a statement of qualifications, and resume. A complete description of the position, and how to apply (including necessary forms), may be found at CalHR’s website external link icon and is also accessible from external link icon

Questions may be directed to CEA Human Resources at +1 (916) 661-6300, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

USGS Seeks IT Specialists to Support Early Warning Project

usgs logoThe USGS Earthquake Science Center is hiring IT Specialists to support the mission of the Earthquake Early Warning Project in its Menlo Park, Pasadena, and Seattle offices.

Candidates should be IT professionals with experience and skill operating and maintaining software, hardware, and operating systems in a Linux environment. Applicants who have experience with Linux operating systems, modern code management tools and modern operating systems maintenance protocols will receive consideration for this opportunity. The successful candidates will support the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system ( external link icon), a mission-critical, distributed system that rapidly detects earthquakes and generates and issues alerts to institutional users and the public in California, Oregon, and Washington.

ShakeAlert is a complex set of geographically distributed machines and modules that intercommunicate via a message broker. It generates real-time earthquake products that are distributed via public-facing servers. ShakeAlert interacts with other complex USGS-supported systems including the ANSS Quake Management System (AQMS) and Earthworm. All work is accomplished in a Linux and open-source environment. The operational setting includes real-time data streams from hundreds of field sensors telemetered over a heterogeneous WAN, many distributed servers running application codes and scripts, and transactions with Oracle and MySQL databases.

Openings for these full-time, permanent positions (GS-2210-9/11/12) exist at the Menlo Park, Pasadena, and Seattle offices of the Earthquake Science Center. US citizenship is required. Only online applications will be accepted. The federal government is an equal opportunity employer. Please, apply only if you have experience that is relevant to this opportunity.

The deadline for applications is Monday, June 13.

Apply online at
DEU [open to all US citizens]:
Seattle: external link icon (SAC-2016-0230)
Menlo Park: external link icon (SAC-2016-0232)
Pasadena: external link icon (SAC-2016-0234)

Merit Promotion [open to current & former federal employees with status]:
Seattle: external link icon (SAC-2016-0231)
Menlo Park: external link icon (SAC-2016-0233)
Pasadena: external link icon (SAC-2016-0235)

Call for Abstracts: WECDRR2016

wecdrrThe World Engineering Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WECDRR) will take place December 5-6, 2016 in Lima, Peru. Leading researchers will have the opportunity to present their contributions to the latest global developments which, when implemented by engineers, will help to significantly reduce damage caused by severe natural phenomena.

Conference topics will include:

1. Protection of Public Lifeline Service
2. Disaster Risk Caused by Climate Change
3. Business Continuity Planning and Management
4. Planning of Resilient Cities
5. Protection of Essential Facilities in Case of Disaster
6. Safe Buildings

The World Engineering Conference Scientific Committee invites abstract submissions for evaluation with a deadline of June 30, 2016. More information and submission instructions at external link icon

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Utah Earthquake Probability Report Released

wasatch-reportA working group formed by the Utah Geological Survey and the United States Geological Survey in 2010 has released a comprehensive study to forecast the chances for damaging earthquakes in the Wasatch Front region of Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. The study's authors report that in the next 50 years there is a 43 percent chance, or nearly 1-out-of-2 odds, of a large earthquake of magnitude 6.75 or greater, and that for a moderate quake of magnitude 5 or greater, the probability is 93 percent.

“Considering that the average age of Utah’s citizens is the youngest in the nation at about 29 years, there is a realistic chance that many current residents will experience a large earthquake in their lifetime,” says Ivan Wong (M. EERI, 1978), Principal Seismologist at Lettis Consultants International and lead author of the report.

The study, Earthquake Probabilities for the Wasatch Front Region in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming (Utah Geological Survey Miscellaneous Publication 16-3), is the product of a collaboration of fourteen scientists from academia, federal and state agencies, and private industry. The results underscore the importance of being prepared for damaging earthquakes in Utah. More info at the Utah Geological Survey website: external link icon

Download Earthquake Probabilities for the Wasatch Front Region in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming external link icon (36.5MB PDF)

Download USGS two-page fact sheet on study forecast external link icon (6.6MB PDF)

Earthquake Spectra: May 2016 Issue

spectra-may2016The May 2016 issue of Earthquake Spectra (volume 32, issue 2) is now available online at

Print copies of the new issue of Earthquake Spectra have been mailed, and you may order additional copies at

This issue features over 25 research manuscripts, three data papers, and "A Toolkit for Performing FEMA P-695 Evaluations" by Andrew Hardyniec (M. EERI, 2014) and Finley Charney (M. EERI, 1983).

If you have questions about this, or any issue, 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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Member Spotlight

In Memoriam: Otto Steinhardt

steinhardtLongtime EERI member Otto Steinhardt passed away peacefully on April 30, 2016, at the age of 95.

Steinhardt, a graduate of West Point, served during World War II in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He joined EERI in 1976 and had a long career as a civil engineer working on bridge construction and lifeline systems with the Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

The Institute extends its sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Welcome New EERI Members

EERI welcomes the members who have recently joined the Institute. If you wish to connect with your fellow members, you can locate their contact information in the EERI online membership directory, which requires logging in to the Member Resources Area of the EERI website.

Dede Sinan Akkar, Bogazici University
Luis Gallegos, Fundacion Padre Arrupe de El Salvador, Civil
Tushar Shende, RTM Nagpur University, Civil

Ulas Cilingir, Arup, Geotechnical

Sam Adiputra, Forell/Elsesser Engineers Inc.
David Mascarenas

Alessandra Marotta, Sapienza University of Rome
Arman Tajarrod, NYU - Tandon School of Engineering, Civil
Falak Zahoor, IIT Delhi, Geotechnical

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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
499 14th Street, Suite 220, Oakland, CA 94612-1934 USA
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