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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

Welcome 2018 and Happy New Year from EERI!

Pulse Happy New Year.TimesSquare

Shah Family Innovation Prize Nominations are due January 31, 2018

Do you know a young academic or professional making a difference in reducing global earthquake risk? EERI members are encouraged to nominate candidates from government, private firms, academia, and the international community for the 2017 Shah Family Innovation Prize.


The 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, 2018.

For more information about the required nomination package, selection criteria, and past winners click here.

Submit your nomination for the Shah Family Innovation Prize online by January 31, 2018.

EERI extends its appreciation to the Shah Family Innovation Prize Selection Committee: Stacy Bartoletti, Degenkolb Engineers (Chair); Jack Baker, Stanford University; Charles Menun, Consultant; Glenn Rix, Geosyntec Consultants; and Emily So, University of Cambridge.

Registration is Now Open for the 11NCEE

11ncee banner3web

The Eleventh U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (11NCEE), which has been held every four years since 1974, will provide a national forum for dialogue among earthquake professionals, government, business, and other stakeholders leading to actions that reduce social and economic losses from earthquakes. The conference's interdisciplinary theme, “integrating science, engineering, and policy," appeals to the world's foremost experts across a broad spectrum of professions. We anticipate that more than 1,200 engineers, scientists, emergency managers, planners, students, government representatives, media, and interested citizens will join us in Los Angeles, California, June 25-29, 2018, to participate in the conference. In addition, we will host about 350 undergraduates for the annual Seismic Design Competition, a highlight of every EERI annual meeting and national conference.

Register early, tours and special event tickets will sell out quickly!

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Learning from Earthquakes

A Preliminary Report on School Buildings Performance During M7.3 Ezgeleh, Iran Earthquake of November 12, 2017

Iran Schools ReportMohammad Yekrangnia, DRES, Sharif University of Technology; Mahdi Eghbali, University of Zanjan; Hamed Seyri, DRES; Mahdi Panahi, DRES; Saeed Y. Zanganeh, DRES; Mohsen Beyti, DRES; S. Vahid Hayatgheybi, Organization for Development, Renovation and Equipping Schools of Iran (DRES).

Read the full report

On November 12, 2017, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck Kermanshah Province in Iran at 18:18 UTC (21:18 local time). Sarpol-e Zahab, Qasr-e Shirin and Eslamabade-e gharb counties have been the focus of most damages. Ezgeleh was the nearest city to the epicenter of the earthquake. More than 85% of the Iranian casualties were from Sarpol-e-Zahab County (, which have a population of over 80,000. Qasr-e Shirin and Islam Abade-e Gharb with the population of over 24,000 and 141,000 respectively suffered less than 20 losses. At least 440 people were reported to have died and more than 9,400 others were injured ( There are 7 cities and nearly 2000 villages which were affected by this earthquake. The total number of buildings exceeds 30,000 including at least 4,500 urban buildings and 11,500 rural settlements with severe damages (

This report presents the preliminary observations of the earthquake. Partial emphasis is made on the conditions of the affected school buildings evaluated by the reconnaissance teams from Organization for Development, Renovation and Equipping Schools of I.R. Iran (DRES). 

In a preliminary rapid evaluation of all the school buildings by 17 teams from the provincial office of DRES, the post-earthquake conditions of all of the school buildings in Kermanshah were determined. Out of 787 school buildings (including 2854 classrooms) in the affected area, 709 schools having 2439 classrooms, constituting 89% of all the school buildings in the affected area, were remained intact and passed the level of Immediate Occupancy (IO). The majority of the damaged schools are URM with no confinement, which date back to more than 30 years ago. There are two URM school buildings which experienced collapse. In some cases, the infill walls with clay blocks showed brittle cracking, while those made of sandwich panels remained intact. There were several cases of damages to nonstructural elements especially in the form of overturning of the fence walls, falling of the furniture and masonry/stone veneers.

Photo:Severe cracks in URM school building. Source:DRES

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Younger Members Committee Webinar

EERI YMC Webinar: The Big Picture and the Missing Link of Earthquake Resilience

SissySissy NikolaouDate/Time: Wednesday January 24, 10-11 am PST
Speaker: Sissy Nikolaou, PhD, PE, D.GE, F.ASCE
Register Now 

In this inaugural YMC webinar, Sissy Nikolaou (M.EERI,2004) of WSP will present on the rising influence of resilience in all aspects of the built environment. Specifically, she will discuss the human and life quality factor, as an integral component and currently the ‘missing link’ in the path to resilience. Furthermore, this webinar will focus on big-picture challenges in earthquake resilience, including novel technologies for earthquake risk evaluation, use of those technologies to improve asset utilization, and integration of life-long, real-time monitoring to re-assess predictions after minor events.

Sissy Nikolaou is Principal of Geotechnical and Multi-Hazard Engineering at WSP, and is a WSP Fellow of Earthquake Engineering. She also leads the multi-hazard resilience initiative of the firm’s Geotechnical and Tunneling Technical Excellence Center. A dedicated EERI member, Sissy serves on the Board of Directors. Sissy has also led many reconnaissance efforts after major earthquakes.

More information about the webinar is available in the event flyer. To register for the webinar please click here.  

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In Memorium: Gary C. Hart

Gary C. Hart (M. EERI, 1974)

Gary HartGary C. HartThe managing principals, partners, and staff of Thornton Tomasetti, and the board of directors, staff, and members of EERI, mourn the loss of Gary Curtis Hart (M.EERI,1974), 73, a former principal emeritus with the international engineering firm, who passed away at his home in Marina del Rey, California on October 21, 2017.

Gary was born in San Bernadino, California and received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1965, where he also received the ASCE Los Angeles Section Award for Outstanding Civil Engineering Graduate. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in structural engineering from Stanford University in 1966 and 1968, respectively. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Response of Three-Dimensional Buildings to Multiple Random Wind Loads.”

Gary began his illustrious career in 1968 as a Civil Engineering Assistant Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In his 2004 autobiography, he stated “At my core, I believe that I am a teacher of something very special and that is structural engineering” and “Teaching is something that I enjoy in many different forms.”1

He took early retirement from UCLA as Professor Emeritus in 2001. In conjunction with his time at UCLA, he also worked for John H. Wiggins Company from 1971 to 1979, and was the President of Englekirk and Hart from 1979 to 1992. He started his own consulting business, Hart Consultant Group, in 1992, which he sold to Weidlinger Associates Inc. in 2001, where he was a Principal and Director until 2015. He joined Thornton Tomasetti through its merger with Weidlinger Associates in 2015, where he functioned as Principal Emeritus.

1 The Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings, Vol. 13, No.3, pp. 179-201, tal.259

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Now Available - NHERI Five-Year Science Plan: A Roadmap for Natural Hazards Engineering Research

NHERI 5-YR Science PlanThe newly released Five-Year Science Plan was spearheaded by the NSF-funded Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI). The plan is designed to be read by all hazard community stakeholders and researchers — including faculty, staff, students, practitioners and policy-makers.

The Science Plan describes Grand Challenges, Key Research Questions and examples of needed research to mitigate damage from earthquakes, wind, storm surge and tsunamis. The plan was developed by members of the NHERI Science Plan Task Group. Input was provided by the community during a public comment period. A living document, the plan will be assessed and periodically updated.

Click here to read more and download NHERI’s Five-Year Science Plan (PDF)

NIST–ATC Blind Prediction Contest Submissions are due January 12, 2018

NISTThe National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Applied Technology Council (ATC) invite members of EERI to participate in the prediction of the seismic response of three deep, wide-flange structural steel beam-columns.  Contestants are invited to submit a single entry of one of the following two categories: (1) Simple: Capturing the main response parameters; (2) Comprehensive: Capturing the full nonlinear cyclic response of the test specimens intending to predict overall and local response parameters.

atc-logo-slideThe submittal deadline is January 12, 2018, and category winners will be awarded at the AISC Steel Conference (NASCC) taking place in Baltimore, Maryland on April 10-13, 2018. One representative of each category winner will be invited to make a presentation on the techniques used (model and analysis) and challenges arising in the prediction, which resulted in a winning team.

For more information, please visit the contest website.

PEER 2018 Annual Meeting (Jan. 18-19) and PEER-USGS Workshop (Jan. 17)

PEER Annual Meeting bannerPEER 2018 Annual Meeting
PEER at 21: The Practice of Performance-Based Engineering for Natural Hazards
January 18-19, 2018
University of California, Berkeley, International House
Click here for more information

PEER-USGS Workshop: The HayWired Scenario & Building Codes
January 17, 2018, 2:30-5pm PST at UC Berkeley

PEER is partnering with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to co-host this workshop to identify research needs and opportunities arising from the USGS HayWired Scenario’s examination of outcomes of current building code requirements. This workshop is a pre-conference event of the 2018 PEER Annual Meeting.

For workshop program and registration information, including access to the HayWired Scenario, please click here.

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Welcome New Members

Welcome New Members

EERI welcomes new members to the Institute (December 15-28, 2017)

Farzad Hejazi, University Putra Malaysia, Civil

Elif Firuze Erdil, Structural
Ramazan Özçelik, Structural

Edward Almeter, Haselton Baker Risk Group
Julio Garcia, SC Solutions, Geotechnical
Hiromichi Kuchida, SCE, Lifelines

Welcome New Student Members

EERI welcomes new student members to the Institute (December 15-28, 2017)

Michael Deschenes, University of Arkansas, Civil
Paul Go, University of Toronto, Civil
Kourosh Amirzadeh Irani, CSULB, Civil
Prateek Jain, Colorado State University, Structural
Marionne Lapitan, CSULB, Civil
Luca Lombardi, University of Bristol
Jonathan May, North Carolina State University, Civil
Annie Nguyen, CSULB, Civil
Bryan Orozco, UCI, Civil
Nikolaos Psyrras, University of Bristol
Javiera Andrea Ruz, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Geologist
Amir Safiey, Clemson University, Structural
Sadhana Sainarayanan, Anna University/SSN College of Engineering, Civil
Mikaela B. Soriano, UCI, Civil

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

Nine (9) recent articles, stories, opinions, or reports from around the web.

1one‘Building Back Better’, Key to Reduce Disaster Risk (Tehran Times) Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world in that it is crossed by several major faults that cover at least 90% of the country. The Tehran Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization (TDMMO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency  (JICA) have jointly conducted disaster risk reduction projects in Iran since 1998. Read more.

2two$38M Cabrillo Bridge Retrofit Wins Seismic Safety Award (Construction Equipment Guide) Caltrans announced that the Laurel Street Overcrossing/Cabrillo Bridge Retrofit and Rehabilitation Project was awarded the 2017 Seismic Safety Award. The $38 million project brought the 100-year-old bridge in San Diego up to current earthquake safety standards, all with almost no impact to the historic bridge's architecture. Read more

3threeWomen’s Issues Must be Addressed Separately (The Himalayan Times) The cluster approach is followed by the United Nations and non-UN humanitarian partners to provide effective and targeted humanitarian response in emergency situations. Currently, there are 11 such clusters that address the problems faced by the people at the time of natural calamities like flood, earthquake and cold waves. Read more

4fourEarthquake Simulator Truck is Much More Fun Than the Real Thing (SFGate) Chile's National Emergency Office rolled out an earthquake simulator truck in Santiago last month. Donated by the Embassy of Japan, a country which has faced its own fair share of major quakes, the truck simulates earthquakes of different magnitudes and is designed to raise awareness among communities most at risk. Read more

5fiveEarthquake Forecasts are Bogus (The Japan Times) At least once a year, Japan’s government issues alarming but bogus earthquake forecasts which are routinely and unquestioningly reported by the media. This must stop. Read more

6sixGlobal Disaster Bill Released (Insurance Business) AIR Worldwide (EERI Subscribing Member since 1999) has revealed that it estimates the insured loss from natural disasters in 2017 currently stands at US$250 billion, with global insured average annual loss pegged at US$80 billion. Read more

7sevenNewcastle, Australia Earthquake: 28 Years After Tragedy Strikes the City (Newcastle Herald) The earthquake had lasted just six seconds, but will be remembered forever. A new exhibit at the Newcastle Museum, Earthquake Then & Now, commemorates the event through personal stories and photographs. Read more

8eightTurkey Updates ‘Earthquake Map’ After 21 Years (Hürriyet Daily News) Turkey’s official “earthquake map,” updated with the efforts of five universities and two state institutions, is expected to be presented to the council of ministers on Jan. 1, 2018. Read more

9nineEverything is Terrible: 5 More Things to Worry About in 2018 (Futurism) In fourth place... "earthquake hits the Pacific Northwest?" Experts Jay Wilson (M.EERI,2011) and Chris Goldfinger (M.EERI,2014) weigh in on the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ). Read more


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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
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