News of the Institute
A Message from the Executive Director
By Heidi Tremayne (M. EERI, 2004)
In 2018, EERI celebrates the 70th anniversary of our formation as a professional institute. Since our founding in 1948, EERI and its members have been dedicated to reducing the impacts of earthquakes on society.
I have been a passionate supporter of EERI since I first joined the Institute as a student member in 2004. My dedication to EERI is founded in pride for EERI’s long legacy of accomplishments (some of which are outlined below), but my true passion for the Institute comes from the promise of our mission to reduce earthquake risk. Our mission inspires me, and hints at future impacts we can achieve together. I am truly honored to be the new EERI Executive Director and am excited for the role I can play in accomplishing our collective vision.
Many of our activities and products can trace their roots to our long history. One of EERI’s founding members, George Housner helped to organize the first U.S. National and World conference on earthquake engineering in Los Angeles in 1952. In June 2018, EERI is proudly organizing and hosting the 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, once again, in Los Angeles. Thank you to the hardworking EERI members that are making this conference the go-to destination for learning about cutting-edge research in earthquake engineering!
Earthquake Spectra, our quarterly journal, was inaugurated in 1984. The journal remains relevant today, continuing to serve its role as a multidisciplinary publication that encourages and promotes knowledge sharing amongst the diverse set of its researchers and stakeholders. The journal’s impact factor in 2017 was 2.9, the highest among earthquake engineering journals globally. Twenty-seven special issues have also been produced by the journal during its history, including a new online issue just released for the 2015 Gorkha, Nepal Earthquakes. The success of the journal can be attributed to the researchers who’ve submitted their work to Earthquake Spectra and to the amazing editorial staff and reviewers.
EERI proudly celebrates members who have influenced positive change in society and in professions focused on earthquake risk reduction. Twenty five volumes of our Oral History Series have been produced since the start of the series in 1994. Each volume’s purpose is to celebrate and share the recollections of those who pioneered earthquake engineering and seismic design. In 2017, a volume was released for John F. (Jack) Meehan highlighting his role in advancing safety by overseeing the Field Act implementation of public school construction. We also annually recognize many of our impactful members through awards and honors that pay tribute to some of our founders like George Housner, Alfred E. Alquist, Bruce Bolt, and William Joyner.
Our Learning From Earthquakes Program has been sending multidisciplinary teams of members to conduct reconnaissance following major earthquakes since 1973. The goal of these activities is to accelerate and increase learning from earthquake-induced disasters that affect the natural, built, social, and political environments worldwide. In 2017, EERI responded to earthquakes in Mexico (Puebla and Chiapas) and Iran by supporting field reconnaissance, data collection and archiving, and dissemination of lessons from these events. Three LFE reports were released in 2017 for earthquakes in late 2016 including, Pidie Jaya, Indonesia; Cushing, Oklahoma; and Kaikoura, New Zealand. We also hosted webinar briefings for the 2017 M7.1 Puebla-Morelos Earthquake and 2016 Central Italy Earthquake Sequence that are freely available at any time from on our YouTube Channel along with many other resources including our past technical seminars. We continue to grow LFE and EERI’s role by expanding our thinking about reconnaissance to measure and document community resilience over time, creating new and exciting ways for young members to participate in activities like our LFE Travel Study Program and Virtual Earthquake Response Teams, and serving the entire risk reduction community by facilitating reconnaissance team coordination calls that foster increased collaboration amongst the growing number of teams and organizations entering the sphere of earthquake reconnaissance.
Ongoing activities, like our World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE) project, Confined Masonry Network, and our School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI) continue to gather dedicated, like-minded colleagues together to advocate for improved earthquake practices for vulnerable populations. Our Concrete Coalition seemingly draws from an endless pool of goodwill from structural engineer members who again in 2017, like in years past, came together to conduct a concrete building inventory survey to inform and support a local jurisdiction wanting to craft new policies and incentives to make their residents safer from nonductile concrete buildings.
The long past and continued stability of our Institute over many decades is something for which we should all be very proud. As you renew your membership this year, you can and should be proud of what we have accomplished together in 2017 and for the last 70 years. For those who would like to read more about the great legacy of our institute, an outstanding paper outlining EERI’s history was written by Tubbesing and Anagnos in 2008 for the 14th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering.
Today, our membership’s passion for understanding and reducing earthquake losses remains as strong as ever. I expect 2018 to be an exciting and active time for the Institute.
- We will host the 11NCEE with over 1,200 attendees, 800 technical paper in the proceedings, 220 posters on display, and 135 technical presentation sessions.
- Forty-two teams from EERI Student Chapters at universities from around the world will participate in the 15th Annual Seismic Design Competition.
- Reconnaissance Training Workshops are being planned with several of our regional chapters that will ignite discussion around how our members can be best prepared to learn and respond to major earthquakes in the United States.
- LFE will launch a new website that will better showcase our many decades of products and utilize new tools to support data gathering and visualization to enhance learning.
- Our Public Policy and Advocacy Committee will continue its efforts to encourage the passage of legislation that reauthorizes the U.S. National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.
- Members from our Regional Chapter in British Columbia will be developing an intriguing and engaging program for the 2019 EERI Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.
- The third class of Housner Fellows will launch its group project that aims to inform and support resilience planning in Mexico City.
- The Confined Masonry Network will continue work with Nepalese partners at NSET to develop draft code provisions for confined masonry construction, and plans to complete and publish its online engineered design guide for confined masonry.
- The WHE will host several webinars in 2018 and launch a new email discussion group to encourage more collaboration and sharing amongst members of this network.
- SESI plans to launch messaging materials that can be used by EERI members to advocate for enhanced school earthquake safety to stakeholders in their own region.
One uniting element of these 2018 activities is that they will all involve many of our members, and by doing so, allow them to use their expertise and technical understanding for the benefit of our profession and society.
As your new Executive Director, I dedicate my efforts to achieving the promise of our mission. I hope you will continue to support EERI’s legacy and make our future even brighter by volunteering your time and passion to the many things we are doing. Together, we can reduce earthquake risk.
Happy New Year!
EERI is sad to announce that Juliane Lane, EERI Membership Coordinator and Publications Manager, has left EERI due to health and personal reasons. We are very appreciative and grateful for Juliane's dedication and support during her 17 years of service to the Institute.
During her time at EERI she was often the first contact person for members, and her role evolved over her tenure from support for Executive Director Susan Tubbesing (M.EERI,1988) to her more recent responsibilities for publication sales and distribution, membership correspondence and renewals, Chapter coordination and website updating, Board assistance, and Friedman Family Visiting Professional coordination. Staff and members have enjoyed Juliane's vast knowledge of the Institute, quick wit and sense of humor, and of course her dog, Puff, who regularly accompanied her to the office and to many EERI Annual Meetings.
Photo right: Juliane's dog, Puff, basking in the sun at the EERI offices, a common sight that will be missed by our staff members.Back to top >
We're pleased to announce that Earthquake Spectra's special issue on the 2015 Gorkha, Nepal, earthquake is now available. This online-only issue of the journal provides a compendium of research papers on the Gorkha earthquake, organized into five topics: (1) seismology, ground motion, and geotechnical issues; (2) lifelines; (3) buildings; (4) cultural heritage structures; and (5) social science and public policy related topics. The papers in this special issue provide assessments and lessons on these topics, which can help aid in understanding the short- and long-term effects of this event, and provide transferable lessons for seismic mitigation efforts in the United States and around the world. Please see the Table of Contents for the list of articles, as well as a downloadable PDF of the full special issue.
We thank the authors of these papers and reviewers for their contributions and insights, and we thank the guest editorial team—Bret Luzundia, Rachel A. Davidson, Youssef M. A. Hashash, and Robert B. Olshansky—for their efforts in developing and shaping this issue and in coordinating the peer review of all of the papers.
This special issue was underwritten by contributions from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FM Global, the U.S. Geological Survey, the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, and the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team; we gratefully acknowledge their generous support. We also thank EERI’s Board of Directors for their personal financial contributions in support of this special issue.
The November 2017 issue of Earthquake Spectra (Volume 33 Issue 4), which had been delayed, has been available online as of December 23, 2017. Please see the Table of Contents for the list of articles.
Two (2) preprint manuscripts have been posted to the Earthquake Spectra website prior to formal publication. The papers to be published are:
- Random Response Spectrum Analysis of Gravity Dam Classes: Simplified, Practical and Fast Approach by Mohammad Amin Hariri-Ardebili (M.EERI,2017) and Victor E. Saouma
- Development of Deep Shear Wave Velocity Profiles with Estimates of Uncertainty in the Complex Inter-Bedded Geology of Christchurch, New Zealand by David Teague (M.EERI,2012), Brady Cox (M.EERI,2004), Brendon Bradley (M.EERI,2012), and Liam Wotherspoon (M.EERI,2014)
To read all current preprint manuscripts posted, visit Earthquake Spectra preprints.
EERI Honors and Awards
In past years, the rules of the EERI Graduate Paper Competition required the paper to be an original contribution in a discipline directly earthquake engineering or earthquake hazard reduction, that represented the original work of the student and be authored by the student alone. This process failed to recognize the contributions of the full research team, and also constrained the ability of the student and the author team from submitting this content to a technical journal.
The following changes were made to (1) encourage graduate student researchers to publish their high-quality work in Earthquake Spectra, (2) ensure that other research team members are properly credited for their contribution to the work, and (3) align more with current interdisciplinary earthquake engineering research trends.
The changes will be in effect for the 2017 EERI Graduate Student Paper Competition and moving forward. The competition will work as follows:
1. Papers will be submitted to Earthquake Spectra for possible publication. The submitted papers may have any number of authors, but the first author must be a graduate student researcher at the time of first submission. The submitted paper will undergo the normal peer-review process.
2. Each year (i.e., each volume of Earthquake Spectra), the preceding published papers will be collected by the managing editor, and then reviewed by the Student Activities Committee to determine which paper(s) will win the graduate student paper award for that year. The 2017 winning paper will be chosen from those papers published in Volume 33 of Earthquake Specta, for which the first author was a graduate student researcher at the time of first submission.
3. Do not submit a paper for the 2017 competition. If your paper qualifies, it will be reviewed by the Student Activities Committee for the award.
4. The authorship team wins the award, and at least one co-author should be designated to accept the award and present on behalf of the research team at the EERI annual meeting.
5. A registration grant for the annual meeting will be made available to the first author, in addition to a small travel stipend, as long as funds are available.Back to top >
A seminar: Lessons Learned from the 2017 Mexico City Earthquake will be hosted by Oregon State University College of Engineering, School of Civil and Construction Engineering, on Thursday, February 1, 2018 from 3:00 - 5:30 pm PST on campus in the Memorial Union Horizon Room.
Speakers include Menzer Pehlivan (CH2M), Kenny O’Neill (Reid Middleton), Kyle Steuck (Degenkolb), Andre Barbosa (Oregon State University), Haizhong Wang (Oregon State University), Brian Knight (WRK Engineers), and Allison Pyrch (Hart Crowser).
Topics discussed will include geotechnical issues, performance of retrofitted structures, performance of modern structures, critical facilities, performance of lifelines, and resilience aspects.
Following the seminar will be a reception to network with the speakers. Jonna Papaefthimiou (Portland EMD) will wrap up the evening with a discussion of Portland’s latest initiatives for pre-disaster mitigation to improve the resilience of the city after a potential earthquake.
Opportunities for Students - January 15, 2018
Deadline February 1, 2018
The 2018 NHERI REU program (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) for college students in STEM majors provides research opportunities at 10 hazard-engineering, simulation and cyberinfrastructure facilities around the country. Over the course of the summer, students work side-by-side with earthquake, wind, tsunami and coastal engineers, geoscientists, and data scientists – all dedicated to mitigating the effects of natural hazards.
Students who are interested in solving engineering challenges presented by earthquakes, tsunamis, windstorms and coastal inundation are encouraged to apply. The NHERI REU accepts applications from many majors and may be of special interest to students majoring in engineering, architecture, meteorology, geoscience and computer science.
Don't delay - the application deadline is February 1, 2018.Back to top >
Welcome New EERI Student Chapter
EERI is pleased to introduce the new student chapter established at Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada. The chapter's faculty advisor is Prof. (Dr.) Ashutosh Bagchi (M.EERI,2017), Chair, Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. The local contact is Mr. Richard Frazao (M.EERI,2017), President, Quaketek Inc. Recently elected founding officers include Timir Baran Roy, President (M.EERI,2017); Hasan Ayouby, Vice President (M.EERI,2017); Amit Chandra (M.EERI,2017), General Secretary and External Affairs Director; Ardalan Sabamehr (M.EERI,2017), Treasurer and Financial Director; Alireza Torkaman Rashid (M.EERI,2017), Social Media and Campaign Director; and Mojtaba Valinejadshoubi (M.EERI,2017), Internal Affairs and Workshop Director.Back to top >
Resources from the Vault
The M6.7 Northridge Earthquake occurred 24 years ago on January 17, 1994, at 4:31 AM PST. The hypocenter was about 32 km west-northwest of Los Angeles, California, in the San Fernando Valley, at a relatively deep focal depth of 19 km. The earthquake occurred in the south-southwest dipping thrust ramp beneath the San Fernando Valley and, thus, reemphasized the seismic hazard of concealed faults in the greater Los Angeles region.
Sixty people were killed, more than 7,000 injured, 20,000 homeless and more than 40,000 buildings damaged in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Severe damage occurred in the San Fernando Valley: maximum intensities of (IX) were observed in and near Northridge and in Sherman Oaks. (source - USGS).
Photo: Broken gas and water mains on Balboa Boulevard in Granada Hills, California, created this scene of post-earthquake flood and fire (EERI archives).
EERI Member Resources: More resources about the Northridge Earthquake can be found in the LFE Reconnaissance Archive where EERI members can read reconnaissance team reports and Earthquake Spectra articles, view photos, and peruse other findings. Members can also access EERI's Earthquake Photo Galleries through the Member Resources site. Non-members can preview photo galleries here.
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Welcome New EERI Members
Janssen Brian Esguerra, Fluor Daniel Inc.(Philippines), Structural
Lorena Arce, American Institute of Steel Construction
Mike Gannon, American Institute of Steel Construction
Christina Harber, American Institute of Steel Construction
Jong-Su Jeon, Andong National University, Structural
Jan Van Elk, NAM BV, Risk Analysis
Youwei Zhou, Kleinfelder
EERI welcomes new student members (Dec 27, 2017 - Jan. 11, 2018)
Saeed Nozhati, Colorado State University
Dominga Sanchez,Oregon State University, Structural
Yifeng Xu, San Francisco State University, Civil
EERI would like to thank donors to the Endowment Fund and special programs, and gratefully acknowledges these recent contributions.
The list below reflects recent donations to the Institute.
G. Rodolfo Saragoni
$200 - $499
$100 - $199
Thank you for your generous support!Back to top >
News of the Profession
Nine (9) recent articles, stories, opinions, or reports from around the web.
Tests of Concrete Walls With High-Strength Rebar Lay Foundation for Code Change (Engineering News-Record) If structural engineers have their way, building codes will take a historic leap forward in the next few years. A team of researchers at the University of Kansas led by co-investigators, Remy D. Lequesne (M.EERI,2007) and Andres Lepage (M.EERI,1993)… Read more
Christchurch Shifts from Concrete to Steel in Post-Earthquake Rebuild (UB News) Michel Bruneau (M.EERI,1984) co-authored a 170-page report with potential significant impacts on how modern cities may be reconstructed following earthquakes. Read more
Bay Area Earthquake Rattled 9.8 Million People — and Offers a Preview of Something Much Worse (Los Angeles Times) A January 4th magnitude 4.4 earthquake's epicenter was in the area of the Hayward fault. “We live in earthquake country so we should all expect earthquakes,” said Keith Knudsen (M.EERI,2001), deputy director of the USGS Earthquake Science Center. Read more
Response by the Director of the Iranian Seismological Center (Temblor) The multiple earthquakes in Iran in recent weeks, including the November 2017 Ezgeleh-Sar Pole Zahab Earthquake, and the earthquakes in the Kerman, Alborz and Tehran provinces in December 2017, were followed by widespread rumors on social media. Read more
Resiliency at Center of $1.5B Seaport San Diego Design (Construction Dive) Although the $1.5 billion Seaport San Diego project is still in the conceptual design phase, developers are ensuring that the new waterfront attraction will be able to adapt to future sea-level rise and the possibility of seismic activity. Read more
Mount St. Helens Rattled by 2nd Largest Earthquake in Area Since 1981, Then 15 Aftershocks (The News Tribune) January 3, 2018 at 12:36 a.m. the first, and largest, temblor struck. It registered as a magnitude 3.9 at a depth of six miles, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. In the last month, PNSN said there have been 82 earthquakes within 10 kilometers of Mount St. Helens. Read more
As California Awaits The ‘Big One,’ Anxieties Loom Over Funding The Earthquake Warning System (Huffington Post) The U.S. is still more than a decade behind Japan in rolling out earthquake alerts, experts say. "Funding for the seismic networks in the United States has been meager and in steady decline for years," said Tom Heaton (M.EERI,1995). Read more
M=7.6 Honduras Earthquake— A Near Miss (Temblor) On January 9, at 2:51 a.m. local time, a M=7.6 earthquake struck in the Caribbean off the coast of Honduras. Based on the location and focal mechanism (left-lateral strike-slip), it occurred on the Swan Islands transform fault... one could say that Honduras and the greater Caribbean dodged a bullet. Read more
Seattle’s Second Tallest Tower Rises on Steel Plates, Without Rebar (The Architect's Newspaper)Studies are underway for the eventual construction of the Rainier Square Tower in Seattle, which will eschew a traditional concrete-and-rebar core in favor of a new steel plate system. Read moreBack to top >