Table of Contents

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

2014 EERI Board Elections: Meet the Candidates

The following candidates were nominated for the 2014 EERI Board. EERI members will vote for their candidates from November 1 to December 31, 2013.

Professor Mary Comerio   Executive VP Charlie Huyck   Structural Engineer James Malley   Professor David Frost   Seismologist David Wald

Mary Comerio, Professor, Department of Architecture, UC Berkeley, CA (M. EERI, 1988)

Director A:
Charlie Huyck, Executive Vice President, ImageCat, Inc., Long Beach, CA (M. EERI, 2002)
James Malley, Structural Engineer, Degenkolb Engineers, San Francisco (M. EERI, 1990)

Director B:
David Frost, Professor of Civil Engineering, Georgia Tech, Atlanta (M. EERI, 2007)
David Wald, Seismologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Lakewood, CO (M. EERI, 1988)

A full list of the candidates’ biographies and vision statements is available at . EERI members will be notified via email with voting instructions, including a unique link to an online ballot.

2013 EERI Technical Seminar on PEER NGA-West2 Project

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, in cooperation with the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) and partner organizations, will hold its 2013 Technical Seminar Series focusing on the PEER NGA-West2 Project. The technical seminar series is supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

2013 EERI Technical Seminar on PEER NGA-West2 Project brochure The PEER NGA-West2 Project external link icon addresses important ground motion hazard issues including: updating the popular database of recorded ground motion, developing new ground motion prediction equations, scaling of response spectra for a wide range of damping values, directivity and directionality of ground motion, and new recommendations for soil amplification factors for building code applications. The project is coordinated by PEER and financially supported by the California Earthquake Authority, Caltrans, and PG&E.

The technical seminar series will describe the NGA-West2 findings and their impacts for the earthquake engineering community.

Dates and Locations
Thursday, November 7: Salt Lake City, UT
Friday, November 8: Long Beach, CA
Thursday, November 14: Seattle, WA
Friday, November 15: San Francisco, CA

Register online, or download a registration form, for the 2013 EERI Technical Seminar Series at

10NCEE Updates: Papers and Sponsors

Final papers for 10NCEE must be submitted no later than Friday, November 1, 2013. Papers will be reviewed using the same criteria as for abstracts; however, the papers will also be reviewed for relevance to the topic for which they are proposed.

10NCEE websiteAn author’s fee of $200 must accompany the submission of each paper. To submit your paper, visit the paper submission website at external link icon.

For more information about the paper submission process, including paper formatting guidelines and template, visit the 10NCEE website at external link icon.

New Sponsors

State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) websiteThe State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) is a new Gold Sponsor of 10NCEE. The DGGS is charged by state statute to generate new, objective, peer-reviewed information about the geology of Alaska, the potential of Alaska’s land for production of minerals, fuels, and construction materials, and the potential geologic hazards to its people and infrastructure.

AIR Worldwide websiteAIR Worldwide is a new Bronze Sponsor of 10NCEE. AIR Worldwide (AIR) is the scientific leader and most respected provider of risk modeling software and consulting services. AIR models the risk from catastrophes in more than 90 countries.

Applied Technology Council (ATC) websiteThe Applied Technology Council (ATC) is a new Bronze Sponsor of 10NCEE. ATC develops and promotes state-of-the-art, user-friendly engineering resources and applications for use in mitigating the effects of natural and other hazards on the built environment. ATC also identifies and encourages needed research and develops consensus opinions on structural engineering issues in a nonproprietary format.

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Earthquake Spectra: August Issue and Preprint Manuscripts

The August 2013 issue of Earthquake Spectra (volume 29, number 3) is now available in print and online at, where you may browse the table of contents online for your favorite topics. This is the first Spectra issue led by Editor Jonathan P. Stewart (M. EERI, 1994) and Associate Editor Yousef Bozorgnia (M. EERI, 1986).

Earthquake Spectra, August 2013, coverBe sure to read the editorial written by the new editor in the beginning of this journal issue. Editor Stewart mentions some upcoming journal changes that will serve the Spectra community of authors and readers more efficiently.

Preprint Manuscripts
EERI is now publishing preprints of accepted Earthquake Spectra manuscripts prior to their formal publication. To view the full list of preprint manuscripts, visit the Spectra website at

Members Only Sale: EERI Knowledge Center and Online Store

As a thank you to EERI members, every item in the EERI Knowledge Center and Online Store is now on sale for a limited time at a 33% discount. This members only discount will be applied to all sale and regular priced items at check-out. Many PDFs are downloadable at no charge.

Stock up now before some items run out. Be sure to log-in with your EERI membership credentials to get the member discount (instructions found here). To browse the EERI Knowledge Center and Online Store, visit the EERI website at

The Members Only Sale ends on Tuesday, October 15. For orders over 30 pounds, customers will be prompted to download a form to scan and e-mail or fax for a shipping quote.

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Program Updates

Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program

EERI's Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program offers a unique opportunity for students and faculty to improve their understanding of the active professional earthquake engineering and risk reduction community. Every year, as part of this popular program, EERI student chapters welcome visiting professionals to their schools to hear them speak about their work. As the number of student chapters has grown, EERI has decided to formalize the application process for student chapters requesting visiting professionals.

Going forward, each spring EERI student chapters will have the opportunity to request a visiting professional for the next academic year through an online survey. At the beginning of the school year, EERI will fulfill requests based on availability of the professionals. In an effort to give every chapter the opportunity to participate in the program, the last time the school hosted a visiting professional will also be taken into account in the selection process. Chapters will be notified shortly after decisions are made. Notifications for the 2013-14 academic year will be sent at the beginning of October.

More information about the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program can be found on the EERI website at

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In Memoriam

Remembering Bill Byers

William “Bill” Byers (P.E., F.ASCE, and M. EERI, 1992) worked in the rail industry for more than 50 years and passed away on December 21, 2012 at the age of 84.

Born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1928, Byers obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1950 and a master’s degree in 1956, both in civil engineering and both from Iowa State College (today Iowa State University). While earning his undergraduate degree, he worked for the Santa Fe Southern Railway for four years.

He then began his graduate studies and while pursuing his master’s degree he taught engineering graphics to undergraduates. After graduate school he became a structural engineer for the Convair division of the General Dynamics Corporation and later worked at the research center operated by the Association of American Railroads.

In 1959 he returned to Santa Fe Southern (which merged with Burlington Northern in 1996), where he held the positions of assistant engineer, regional bridge engineer, director of structures, and general director of structures, retiring in 2003.

Over his long and distinguished career, he authored 14 peer-reviewed articles as well as 15 papers for technical meetings. He had a particular interest in the effects of earthquakes on rail infrastructure, and at the time of his death he was working on another article.

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Member Spotlight

Welcome New EERI Members

EERI would like to take this opportunity to welcome new members who have joined the Institute this past summer (from mid June to mid September).

If you want to connect with these new members, find them in the EERI online membership directory, which requires logging into the Member Resources Area of the EERI website.

New Bronze Subscribing Member
ETC Building & Design, Inc. (ETC) websiteETC Building & Design, Inc. (ETC) is a privately held corporation specializing in the design and construction of health care and life science facilities. ETC has completed over 3 million square feet of hospital tenant improvements over the past eight years and recently formed a Biotech Division with a seasoned team of professionals specializing in projects for the life science sector. Visit the ETC website at external link icon.

Regular Members
Jian Hu, Arcadis, Geotechnical Engineering
Roxane Foulser-Piggott, Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd, Risk Analysis
Leah Kleinman-Green, Seismic Switch Inc, Sales
Jerry Dodd, Dodd & Associates, Structural Engineering

Young Professional Members
Benjamin Blanchette, Hart Crowser Inc, Geotechnical Engineering
Jian Li, University of Kansas, Structural Engineering
Saeed Rehman, Pakistan

Student Members
Brijhette Farmer, SUNY Buffalo, Architecture
Xin Chu, Lehigh University, Civil Engineering
Duy Nguyen, CSU Long Beach, Civil Engineering
Sarah Welsh-Huggins, University of Colorado, Civil Engineering
Nam-Yi Yun, Waseda University, Civil Engineering
Joseph Harmon, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Geotechnical Engineering
Jonathan Hubler, University of Michigan, Geotechnical Engineering
Mahyar Sharifi-Mood, Oregon State University, Geotechnical Engineering
Alireza Haji Soltani, University of Memphis, Seismologist
Anahid Behrouzi, University of Illinois, Structural Engineering
Baiping Dong, Lehigh University, Structural Engineering
Jordan Jarrett, Virginia Tech, Structural Engineering
Payden Johnson, Purdue University, Structural Engineering
Sunai Kim, UCLA, Structural Engineering
Chin-Shiuan Lin, Columbia University, Structural Engineering
Yolanda Lin, University of Colorado, Structural Engineering
Cody Lomonaco, University of Kansas, Structural Engineering
Gerard O'Reilly, National University of Ireland, Structural Engineering
Frank Sanchez, SFSU, Structural Engineering
Venkata-Srivishnu Vemuru, Rice University, Structural Engineering
Meagan Young, University of Minnesota, Structural Engineering

Affiliate Members
Francisco Castellanos, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Structural Engineering

E- Affiliate Members
Tze-Liang Lau, Rice University, Civil Engineering
Mark Adom-Asamoah, Kwame Nkrumah Univ. of Science & Tech, Structural Engineering
Pavel Mora, Dominican Republic, Structural Engineering
Alfredo Urich, BRS Ingenieros CA, Structural Engineering

2013 EERI Membership Survey Update

From August 5 to September 5, 2013, EERI conducted its 2013 online membership survey to better understand the needs and interests of its members. EERI received 473 survey responses total, which is an 18% response rate. Thank you to all EERI members who participated in this survey; we appreciate your feedback.

The survey is designed to collect information about how EERI members value and use our many programs, projects, resources, and other offerings. A summary of the survey results will be posted in a future issue of The Pulse.

Congratulations to Martin Ramirez (M. EERI, 2011), who is studying Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. Ramirez won the membership survey drawing and the prize of an Amazon gift certificate.

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Student Spotlight

2013 EERI Student Leadership Council: Retreat and Elections

The EERI Student Leadership Council (SLC) held its annual retreat in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, on September 6-7, 2013. EERI SLC Co-President Erica Fischer (M. EERI, 2010) led a meeting at the new Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI) external link icon offices in Walnut Creek, California, on Friday afternoon.

2013 SLC RetreatSLC members, representing 14 universities, were in attendance. Other participants included Scott Brandenberg (M. EERI, 2001), UCLA Associate Professor and EERI Student Activities Committee Chair; Terri Norton (M. EERI, 2004), University of Nebraska Assistant Professor; Andreas Stavridis (M. EERI, 2004), University of Buffalo Assistant Professor; and Nima Tafazzoli (M. EERI, 2008), who studies geotechnical engineering at UC Davis and is past EERI SLC President.

The Council reviewed the past year’s activities, including the successes and challenges of the 2013 EERI Seismic Design Competition in Seattle (February 2013) and the Young Researchers Symposium at the 2013 NEES Quake Summit in Reno, Nevada (August 2013), and how to improve both events in the future. The Council also reviewed the accomplishments of its Transition Working Group, including the passing of new bylaws and the addition of new Council members and new schools.

Thinking forward, the Council discussed how they could improve the on-site implementation of the 2014 Seismic Design Competition at 10NCEE in Anchorage (July 2014). They also brainstormed educational and outreach activities that student chapters could share with each other in an online hub, which could be used as chapter models.

Election Results: 2013-2014 SLC Officers

On September 7, the SLC held its election for the 2013-2014 academic year. Below are the results of the election.

Manny Hakhamaneshi, UC Davis (M. EERI, 2009)
David Grilli, UC Davis (M. EERI, 2012)

Ezra Jampole, Stanford University (M. EERI, 2012)

Cristian Acevedo, Stanford University (M. EERI, 2012)

SDC Chairs:
Anahid Behrouzi, University of Illinois (M. EERI, 2013)
Jeffrey Dowgala, Purdue University (M. EERI, 2010)
Charles Mendoza, UC Berkeley (M. EERI, 2012)


EERI would like to thank Computers and Structures, Inc. for its generous support of the annual SLC retreat and year-round activities. In addition to donating a meeting space, CSI also provided a reception for the SLC members, hosted by CSI President and CEO Ashraf Habibullah (M. EERI, 1999).

EERI would like to thank the outgoing SLC Officers for the 2012-2013 academic year: SLC Co-Presidents Erica Fischer, Purdue University, and Tim Wright (M. EERI, 2008), Georgia Tech; SLC Members Lynne Burks (M. EERI, 2008), Stanford University; Charles DeVore (M. EERI, 2006); Jeffrey Dowgala; Omid Esmaili (M. EERI, 2009), UC Irvine; Evgueni Filipov (M. EERI, 2010), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Stephanie German (M. EERI, 2010), Georgia Tech; David Grilli; Manny Hakhamaneshi; Masood Kafash (M. EERI), University of Memphis; Maria Koliou (M. EERI, 2009), SUNY Buffalo; Kevin Mueller (M. EERI, 2008), University of Notre Dame; Nima Tafazzoli; and Hartanto Wibowo (M. EERI, 2007), University of Nevada, Reno.

We would also like to thank the SLC’s EERI Board Contact Ken Elwood (M. EERI, 1994), University of British Columbia Assistant Professor.

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Chapter Spotlight

Engineering Resilient Cities Through the Vision of Children: Commemorating One Year Since Hurricane Sandy

On October 24, 2013, the New York-Northeast EERI Chapter and the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen are co-hosting a Fall Networking Reception. Experience firsthand the power of art — in response to Hurricane Sandy — by students from the Center for Educational Enrichment at Gateway School of Manhattan and PS39 of Staten Island.

Gateway Student Artwork The Center’s Service Learning program engaged renowned NY sidewalk artist, “Hani,” to lead a collaboration with Staten Island students adversely affected by Sandy. Twelve narrative paintings will be displayed before moving to City Hall for the first anniversary.

Keynote Speakers
The event speakers include: Tom O’Rourke (M. EERI, 1980), Distinguished Professor of Cornell University, on the new norm for natural disasters and emergency response, and Cecil Scheib, Director of Advocacy of Urban Green Council, on NYC Building Resiliency Task Force findings and legislative actions post-Sandy.

Enjoy an evening of light refreshments, music, and artwork. Network with NYC engineers, agency representatives, educators, and artists. For more information, visit the NY-Northeast EERI Chapter website at external link icon.

Event Flyer
Download the event flyer (PDF) at external link icon.

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Consulting Opportunity with GFDRR of the World Bank: Assessment of Schools in Armenia

The Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction of the World Bank, one of EERI's grantor agencies, is currently looking for short-term consultants to work on a project assessing the seismic vulnerability of 10 to 20 school buildings in Armenia. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the effort of the Armenian government to improve the quality of schools by improving their structural resilience.

Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction of the World BankThe GFDRR is looking for professionals with a structural or earthquake background with at least 10 years of experience. The consultant would lead and work closely with a team of Armenian engineers. Responsibilities include undertaking structural vulnerability assessments of up to 20 schools, providing specific recommendations on how to improve the seismic resilience of each school building, and building the capacity of the team of local engineers.

More details are provided in the Terms of Reference (PDF). For further information, and to respond to the TOR, contact Alanna Simpson at the GFDRR: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Strategic Partnerships

Joint Policy for the Evaluation and Seismic Remediation of School Buildings

The Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC), with the support of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, recommends that each member state, province, and territory establish as a goal that all school buildings be seismically resilient.

Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC) websiteThis recommendation that seismically vulnerable school buildings be retrofitted or replaced by new earthquake resilient school buildings is an important part of a nationwide school earthquake resiliency goal. To learn more about the “Policy Recommendation 13-10,” visit the WSSPC website at external link icon.

NEEShub Project Warehouse: Data Updates

The Project Warehouse on the NEEShub is the centralized data repository for sharing and publishing earthquake engineering research data from experimental and numerical studies. The data in the Project Warehouse are associated with research projects funded by a variety of agencies and include experiments performed at NEES and non-NEES equipment sites.

One highlighted project, which takes advantage of data sharing and presentation within the NEEShub, is summarized:

High-Fidelity Site Characterization by Experimentation, Field Observation, and Inversion-Based Modeling

PIs: Jacobo Bielak (M.EERI, 1976) and Loukas Kallivokas

NEEShub Project: external link icon

NEEShub Project Warehouse: Data Updates, NEES@UTexas, NEES@UCSBThe aim of this project is to develop the capability for characterizing the detailed geological structure and mechanical properties of individual sites and/or complete basins by means of integrated in-situ field testing techniques, observation of ground motions from actual earthquakes, and inversion-based modeling.

The site characterization includes the seismic velocities of compression and shear waves, as well as the intrinsic attenuation of the various soils. To attain such characterization capabilities, the resources afforded by two NEES sites were exploited. These sites are the permanent and temporary instrumentation at Garner Valley, CA (NEES@UCSB) operated by the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), and the mobile shakers operated by the University of Texas at Austin (NEES@UTexas).

The central goal of the project was to demonstrate and validate algorithmic developments by characterizing a large portion of Garner Valley as well as a test site in Austin, Texas. The available data on the NEEShub includes the recordings across the sites from shaking by the NEES@UTexas shakers, as well as characterization of the Austin site using traditional methods (e.g., CPT, seismic CPT).

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UC Berkeley Academy of Distinguished Alumni Announces 2013 Class

On October 10, 2013, UC Berkeley’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department will host a banquet to celebrate and induct the 2013 class to its Academy of Distinguished Alumni. The new Academy inductees include the following EERI members: Gregory L. Fenves, Executive Vice President and Provost, The University of Texas at Austin, and Ashraf Habibullah, President & CEO, Computers & Structures, Inc.

The Academy welcomes inductees, members, faculty, sponsors, and the broader civil and environmental engineering community to the UC Berkeley Faculty Club for a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner. Tickets are $80 per person. Please contact Debbe DeCurtis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to RSVP. For more information, visit the UC Berkeley CEE Dept. website at external link icon.

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