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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

Remembering Lloyd Cluff

Lloyd CLuffEERI is saddened to share news that Lloyd Cluff (M.EERI,1968) passed away on June 4, 2019. Lloyd was a renowned earthquake geologist, as well as an influential, longtime member of EERI and served as its president from 1993 to 1995.

Born and raised in Provo, Utah, Lloyd was an avid and skilled climber and skier. He came across geology, however, by chance. While studying animal husbandry at Brigham Young University, he was drafted into the army and sent to Alaska as an instructor in the U.S. Army Arctic Indoctrination School to train officers how to survive in high mountains. It was there on the Alaska Range that Lloyd realized the possibility of a career path in physical geology. Upon discharge from the army in 1956, he attended the University of Utah, majoring in geology. Lloyd conducted his first earthquake investigation in 1959 after the Hebgen Lake, Montana, event. Thereafter, learning from earthquakes became a lifelong obsession.

After graduating in 1960, Lloyd joined Woodward-Clyde Consultants (WCC) in Oakland, California, as a field geologist. Over his 25-year career at WCC, Lloyd served as its Director, Vice-President, and Principal Geologist. In 1985, Lloyd joined Pacific Gas and Electric Company to lead its Geosciences Department. After 27 years, he retired in 2011 from PG&E, where he was Director of the Earthquake Risk Management Program. Over the course of his career, Lloyd worked on some of the most critical facilities in the world, including the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the Aswan High Dam, the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, and the Panama Canal.

“Lloyd was a pioneer in modern earth science during a period of vast intellectual change in that arena,” said Tom Tobin, EERI 2011-2012 President. “His interdisciplinary approach, optimistic style, and willingness to tackle challenges allowed him to work with engineers, politicians, and other earth scientists with ease; he was as comfortable in the boardroom as he was in the field.” 

Throughout his tremendous career, Lloyd received many recognitions and accolades. He was the 2003 recipient of the William B. Joyner Memorial Lecture Award for his role in the interface between earthquake science and engineering and public policy, jointly awarded by EERI and the Seismological Society of America. In 2009, Lloyd received EERI's George W. Housner Medal for his excellent work in the application of geologic knowledge, and his support of effective public policies to reduce earthquake risks and hazards throughout the world.

"Lloyd was especially adept at navigating and communicating at the interface of science, engineering, and policy,” said Laurie Johnson, current EERI President. “His rare combination of skills and passion will be greatly missed."

We extend our deepest condolences to Lloyd’s family, friends, and colleagues. Please click here to read Lloyd’s full obituary.

Join our team — EERI is hiring a Program Coordinator!

We’re seeking a proactive, creative, and tech savvy Program Coordinator. This position supports implementation of various externally and internally funded projects, programs, and strategic initiatives under the guidance of other EERI programmatic staff and associated program committee chairs. Please click here for the full job description and share it with your network!

The ideal candidate is self-motivated, flexible, and organized, as well as adept and comfortable working in a collaborative environment with a small staff and many professional volunteers. This position is a great opportunity for someone who is enthusiastic about engaging our members to help bring about real change in reducing earthquake risk and promoting public safety. Responsibilities include assisting technical and administrative committees, planning conferences and workshops, deploying earthquake clearinghouses to assist reconnaissance work, and coordinating the organization's public policy activities at the federal and/or state level.

EERI says farewell to Program Manager Zoe Yin

201907001 ZoeLast month, EERI said farewell to Program Manager Zoe Yin. After nearly 3 years on staff at EERI’s headquarters, Zoe will begin a PhD program in geophysics at the University of California, San Diego this fall.

Zoe’s interests remain in reducing earthquake risk and her research will focus on understanding hazard related to induced seismicity. She hopes to remain involved in the EERI community and looks forward to continuing to volunteer with the many EERI members who made her time at the Institute so informative and engaging.

During her time at EERI, Zoe made important contributions to our Learning from Earthquakes program, including supporting the coordination of the Travel Study Program in New Zealand, piloting the Business Resilience Survey in Alaska, and providing deployment support to the Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team. She also lent her strong organizational skills to support the chairs of the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, the School Earthquake Safety Initiative, and the Young Members Committee to execute their activities and goals. 

She brought great energy to her projects, and was always willing to enthusiastically step up to a new challenge and offer thoughtful suggestions for increased impact. Her dedication to EERI’s mission was clear from her very first day and continued without abatement during her staff tenure. 

Zoe extends her sincere thanks to the many EERI volunteers who work thoughtfully and tirelessly to keep these projects impactful, particularly the following committee chairs whom she had the opportunity to work closely with: Chris Poland, Zahraa Saiyed, Danielle Mieler, John Parrish, Christine Goulet, Anne Lemnitzer, Jim Malley, David Cocke, Barry Welliver, Lucy Arendt, Veronica Cedillos, Lelli Van den Einde, Mike Mieler, Yu Xiao, Thalia Anagnos, Anahid Behrouzi, Guillermo Diaz-Fanas, Maria Koliou, Maha Kenawy, Ashly Morales-Cartegena, Ezra Jampole, Erica Fischer, and Manny Hakhamaneshi.

From all of us at EERI: Zoe, we wish you the best in your academic endeavors and look forward to seeing you remain an active and engaged member of the EERI community!

EERI welcomes intern Maria Luisa Jiminian

20190701 MariaLuisaWe’re thrilled to welcome our newest intern, Maria Luisa Jiminian! Maria Luisa recently obtained a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She will intern with us until December and will support EERI’s various programs and projects, particularly the World Housing Encyclopedia and the Learning from Earthquakes program.

Jolted awake by an earthquake in her hometown when she was seven, Maria Luisa developed an interest in earthquakes early on, but it wasn’t until her third year in college that she discovered the EERI student chapter and became engaged in its events and growth. Maria Luisa participated in the Travel Study Program in New Zealand and credited the program for opening her eyes to new multi-disciplinary knowledge. She’s eager to bring her experiences from that trip, as well as from her ongoing internship at EERI, home to the Dominican Republic. Welcome, Maria Luisa!

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2020 National Earthquake Conference

Submission deadline extended: Submit your 2020NEC abstract by July 12

Submit an abstract today to help us shape the 2020 National Earthquake Conference (NEC) program agenda! The NEC Program Committee is seeking presentation abstracts and session concepts for the 2020 NEC from March 4-6 in San Diego, CA.The EERI’s 72nd Annual Meeting will occur as an integral part of the 2020 NEC.

The submission deadline has been extended to Friday, July 12.

Proposals are welcome in four areas:

  • Engineering – to showcase the latest research, technologies, methodologies, and tools for improved earthquake risk reduction for the built environment; and to share effective design solutions and case studies
  • Science – to highlight scientific advances and products that support preparedness, response, recovery and/or mitigation;
  • Policy – to advance resilience through strong building codes, smart finance, marketplace incentive programs, tax benefits, innovative legislation, smart home technology, and;
  • Practice – to facilitate implementation of effective seismic risk reduction activities and practices by advocates, building and fire code officials, communicators, emergency managers, insurance professionals, journalists, leaders, merchants, product manufacturers, public officials, and other critical stakeholders.

Don't forget to submit your application here by Friday, July 12!

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Learning from Earthquakes

Idaho establishes Post-Earthquake Clearinghouse Operations Plan

20190701 IdahoEERI collaborated with the Idaho Office of Emergency Management and the Idaho Geological Survey to develop the first ever Idaho Post-Earthquake Clearinghouse Operations Plan.

The plan, supported by funding from FEMA, provides deployment criteria and guidelines for establishing and operating a physical clearinghouse that organizes post-earthquake reconnaissance efforts. It includes instructions for coordinating post-earthquake reconnaissance efforts, maximizing information sharing and availability, and better leveraging the talents of those present immediately after a significant seismic event in Idaho.

The Idaho Clearinghouse Management Team includes the Idaho Geological Survey (Chair), the Idaho Office of Emergency Services (Co-Chair), USGS, and EERI. The plan is adapted from the California Post-Earthquake Information Clearinghouse draft plan and Model Clearinghouse Plans from the Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC). In March 2019, the Idaho Clearinghouse was activated as outlined in the plan during a state-wide earthquake exercise.

Click here to learn more about the Idaho Post-Earthquake Clearinghouse Operations Plan and about EERI’s role in clearinghouses for US earthquakes on the Learning from Earthquakes website.

Photo: Participants at the physical location of the Idaho Clearinghouse during the March 2019 state-wide earthquake exercise.

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School Earthquake Safety Initiative

SESI releases new PPT to help EERI members and advocates talk about earthquake school safety

EERI’s School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI) is pleased to share a new PowerPoint template that EERI members and other school safety advocates can use in their presentations to stakeholders, including parent organizations, school boards, community leaders, and local and state agencies. You can download this resource here (direct download, PPTX) or from the SESI website.

This PowerPoint stems from SESI’s commitment to create and share knowledge and tools that will enable progressive, informed decision-making around school safety. The goal of the PowerPoint is to provide EERI members and other advocates with a new tool to describe the school safety issues of their local community, including parent organizations, school boards, community leaders and decision-makers, and local and state agencies. The PowerPoint introduces EERI and SESI, describes what the specific earthquake hazard and school vulnerability issues are in the community, what can happen in an earthquake, which types of buildings are most vulnerable (such as URM), the impact and risk of nonstructural component failures, disruption to the community due to damaged schools, and what steps can be taken to improve school safety.

SESI leverages the extensive expertise of its members to conduct regionally-appropriate actions that can make a tangible and positive difference in communities around the world. One approach is to engage school safety advocates in communicating with a wide range of stakeholders to recognize and prioritize the importance of school safety before, during, and after earthquakes. Hazardous schools exist throughout the U.S. and globally. The majority of the school districts where such hazardous schools exist are already challenged by competing economic needs and limited resources.

We hope that EERI members and school safety advocates will use this PowerPoint to initiate meaningful communication with the appropriate decision-makers in their local community. Once that communication link has been established, SESI is happy to provide resources and assistance to any school safety advocate to move the process forward.

For assistance and additional information, please contact Ivan Wong at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Member Spotlight

Baker and Haselton receive SEAONC Helmut Krawinkler Award

20190701 Curt JackThe Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) honored Curt Haselton (M.EERI,2014) and Jack Baker (M.EERI,2004) with the 2019 Helmut Krawinkler Award at this year's SEAONC Award Ceremony on June 4.

This award is given each year to honor and acknowledge individuals for outstanding leadership in implementing state-of-the-art research into practice. Curt and Jack co-founded Haselton Baker Risk Group in 2014 to address the need to produce software tools to allow advanced design and assessment methods, such as FEMA P-58, to be implemented in everyday practice. Currrently, Curt is a Professor and Department Chair in Civil Engineering at California State University, Chico and Jack is and Associate Professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. Congratulations, Curt and Jack! Read more

Photo: From left to right, Ron Hamburger, Curt Haselton (M.EERI,2014), Jack Baker (M.EERI,2004), and SEAONC President Tim Hart (M.EERI,2006) at the SEAONC award ceremony. (Photo credit: SEAONC)

Frangopol honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers

20190701 FrangopolDan M. Frangopol (M.EERI,1987), the inaugural Fazlur R. Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering and Architecture at Lehigh University, has been awarded the 2019 George W. Housner Structural Control and Monitoring Medal by ASCE in recognition of his groundbreaking work and leadership in the field of life-cycle engineering. “This award is yet another indication of Dan’s role as an authority in structural systems reliability and calls attention to impact of life-cycle analysis on how we design and maintain infrastructure systems,” says Panos Diplas, P.C. Rossin Professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering at Lehigh. Congratulations, Dan! Read more

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Student Chapter News

Friedman Family Visiting Professionals wraps up a successful session

20190701 FFVP 01From February to May of this year, 24 universities from across the country participated in the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program, facilitating exchanges between 14 professionals and nearly 500 students.

Generously funded by the Friedman family, the program matches professionals with host institutions, usually universities, for a workshop meant to be a part lecture and part informal discussion to foster better understanding and communications between earthquake practitioners and academics.

Every fall, EERI Student Chapters apply to receive one of the coveted spots in the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program. This year, our dedicated EERI volunteers even traveled internationally, including to the University of Toronto and an upcoming trip to Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic! They represented various disciplines, including geotechnical and structural engineering, risk analysis, lifelines, emergency management, and seismology.

20190701 FFVP 02“Meeting the students,” said Ron Eguchi (M.EERI 1976), “and discussing their research and what excites them was what I enjoyed most.” David Cocke (M.EERI 1992), said “I love answering their [students’] questions!”

Similarly, EERI Student Chapters shared equal enthusiasm about these visits. The EERI Student Chapter of Rice University said, “Jay Wilson's (M.EERI,2011) expertise on topics bordering science and policymaking is very helpful for engineering students to gain perspectives of how their scientific conclusions should be presented to the public and authorities.”

John Hooper (M.EERI,1997) engaged in an inspiring dialogue with the next generation of engineers at Oregon State University. The chapter said, “The most beneficial aspect of the visit was the opportunity of intellectual growth provided to our students through the conversations had and connections made.”

We thank the following EERI members and student chapters for making this year’s Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program a success!

20190701 FVVP Names smaller To learn more about this program, click here. Student Chapters, look out for the 2019-2020 program application in early Fall 2019!

First photo: Dr. Annie Kammerer (M.EERI,1997) presents during a seminar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Second photo: Dr. Jorge Meneses (M.EERI,2006) with geotechnical engineering graduate students at the University of California, Davis.

Duck awarded the 2019 Nevada Medal for Distinguished Graduate Student Paper in Bridge Engineering

David pictureCongratulations to David Duck, a member of the EERI Student Chapter at the University of California, San Diego, for winning the Nevada Medal for Distinguished Graduate Student Paper in Bridge Engineering for 2019! The Nevada Medal is an annual award given to a graduate student paper that has made significant contributions to the state-of-the-art in bridge engineering. David is a current Ph.D. student at UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering. The title of the David's paper is "Loading Apparatus for Characterising the Plastic Buckling-Straightening Fatigue Life of Large Diameter Reinforcing Steel Bars." Read more


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News of the Profession

Links to recent news and views

Recent news articles, stories, opinions, and reports from around the web:

  • Western Panama hit by 6.3 magnitude earthquake (Associated Press) A 6.3 magnitude quake rattled the country’s western region near the border with Costa Rica, with no reports of damage. Read more
  • Strong quake recorded in Indonesia’s Banda Sea, no tsunami (Associated Press) A strong 7.3 earthquake struck Indonesia’s Banda Sea June 23, felt in parts of Indonesia and in East Timor’s capital Dili, but there were no reports of damage. Read more
  • Earthquake shakes much of western France, no damage reported (Associated Press) A moderate earthquake hit western France June 21, felt as far as Bordeaux in the south and Normandy in the north. Read more
  • Scientists are turning to space to better understand how to respond to earthquakes (Quartz) A new study by researchers from the University of Iowa and the US Geological Survey shows how data gathered from satellites has already been helpful. David Wald (M.EERI,1988) is a co-author of the report. Read more
  • Quake shakes NW Japan, causes 21 injuries and minor damage (Associated Press) A powerful earthquake jolted northwestern Japan June 18, causing minor injuries to 21 people and a brief evacuation of coastal homes until the risk of a tsunami passed. Read more
  • 1,060 earthquakes have hit Southern California in a month and hardly anyone noticed. Here's why (Time) The vast majority were less than magnitude 2, meaning most people could not feel them. Read more
  • $4.2 trillion can be saved by investing in more resilient infrastructure (Modern Diplomacy) The net benefit on average of investing in more resilient infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries would be $4.2 trillion with $4 in benefit for each $1 invested, according to a new report from the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Read more
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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
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