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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

10th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering: Highlights

More than 1,100 attendees from nearly 50 countries participated in the 10th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (10NCEE) in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 21-25. The backdrop for the meeting was the 50th anniversary year of the 1964 Great Alaska earthquake and tsunami. By all accounts the meeting was a resounding success with many longtime national conference attendees calling it the best ever!

Alaska State Seismologist Mike West addresses 10NCEE attendees at plenaryParticipants, including more than 250 students, were immersed in a multidisciplinary program of 800 papers, 750 oral presentations, and 250 posters. Regional speakers included Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, Alaska State Seismologist Mike West, and former Alaska State Seismologist John Davies, all part of Tuesday morning’s opening session.

EERI Honorary Member Tom O’Rourke (M. EERI, 1980) and Kathleen Tierney (M. EERI, 1987) delivered presentations in Wednesday’s plenary session addressing mega disasters from the technical and social perspectives. Thursday’s plenary, as part of the 2014 NEES Quake Summit, featured Julio Ramirez (M. EERI, 2001) and EERI Honorary Member Bill Holmes (M. EERI, 1975) highlighting contributions of the NEES program in advancing knowledge and transforming practice over the first ten years of operation. On Friday, EERI Honorary Member Chris Poland (M. EERI, 1978) and Sjoerd Van Ballegooy (M. EERI, 2014) delivered plenary presentations on community resilience from two perspectives: building resilience into existing infrastructure and rebuilding resilience after the Christchurch earthquakes.

Shah Prize winners and Professor Haresh Shah (M. EERI, 1972) In addition to the technical program, many conference participants attended the Evening at the Native Heritage Center event and fieldtrips to Turnagain Arm and the Tsunami Warning Center near Hatcher Pass. Some attendees also learned to use the Clearinghouse Field Notes Application external link icon by capturing and recording photos of themselves with bears around Anchorage and contributing them to a virtual clearinghouse. Many attendees also watched the shaking of basal-wood tall building models during the 2014 EERI Seismic Design Competition and bid in the auction to raise funds for future competitions.

2014 EERI Annual Meeting Activities: Awards and Business Meetings
At the first luncheon, David Wald (M. EERI, 1988) delivered the 2014 EERI Distinguished Lecture "Challenges in Estimating Real-time Earthquake Shaking & Impact"  in which he discussed USGS’s near-real time earthquake information systems that provide rapid and automated alerting of estimated economic and human impacts following earthquakes. The Institute also presented 2014 EERI Awards and Honors external link icon to this year's recipients. At the second luncheon, EERI President Ian Buckle (M. EERI, 1989) reported on the State of the Institute, and EERI Secretary/Treasurer Janiele Maffei (M. EERI, 1992) delivered the financial report external link icon during the annual Business Meeting.

Photos external link icon are captured by longtime EERI member Marshall Lew (M. EERI, 1978) unless otherwise noted.

Professional Development Hours (PDHs)
10NCEE websiteConference attendees who would like to receive Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for attending the technical portions of the conference may register for them on the EERI website at external link icon.

Access to 10NCEE Proceedings
Conference proceedings were loaded on a thumb drive that was provided to conference attendees. Included on the drive are all accepted papers, the Conference Program, the EERI Brief to Members, and the NEES Retrospective. 

10NCEE Proceedings thumb drives are now available for purchase in the EERI Knowledge Center ($145 for non-members; 15% discount for members) at external link icon.

Conference registrants can still access all 10NCEE papers at the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) website at external link icon. Login and password are required. Please be sure to sign up with the same email address used to register for 10NCEE. NEEShub registration is free.

We appreciate our many sponsors, friends, and cooperating organizations for their generous support, and thank our colleagues at NEES for their collaborative spirit and exceptional contributions to the technical program.

2014 EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition: Results

Over 175 students participated in the 2014 EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition (SDC) external link icon, organized by the EERI Student Leadership Council (SLC), held during the 2014 EERI Annual Meeting and 10NCEE. Teams of undergraduate students from EERI Student Chapters at universities across the U.S. and from around the world brought their balsa wood high-rise structures to Anchorage to see if they could survive the 1940 El Centro earthquake, 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the SLC-designed UC Davis “extreme ground motions.”

The competition kicked off on Wednesday with team presentations and posters, followed by the 3rd Annual Calcutta Auction that evening. EERI Honorary Member Chris Poland (M. EERI, 1978) resumed his role as auctioneer, and the bidding was spirited. Nearly $6,000 was raised to ensure the support of future seismic design competitions.

Chris Poland (M. EERI, 1978) and the student team from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania)Thursday was filled with excitement as teams put their structures to the test on a shaking table. Those structures that did not fall after the three ground motions usually met their end with a final sine sweep.

On Friday, the competition students joined 10NCEE meeting attendees for the closing plenary session where the SDC awards ceremony was held. Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, who travelled to the competition all the way from Romania, won first place. Finishing in second and third places were teams from the University of California Berkeley and the California State University of Los Angeles, respectively.

The Romanian team scored well because they controlled seismic performance (by minimizing roof drift via a relatively stiff design) while dramatically minimizing structural model weight. The design used an overlapping X bracing lateral system with inclined mega-columns at the base of the model. The structural model itself was one of the lightest, being only 1.4 lbs. The other models that scored well this year that survived the third UC Davis ground motion were heavier, where structural model weight is detrimental for overall score. The other lighter models from the teams that typically do well, unfortunately, were not able to survive the third UC Davis ground motion this year, so they were placed in the collapsed category. The Romanian team's presentation and architecture rankings gave them performance bonuses that also increased the score gap.

Three additional awards were presented during the ceremony. The Kinemetrics Award for Spirit of the Competition was awarded to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona received the Degenkolb Award for Structural Innovation, and the CSI Communication Award was presented to the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca.

Generous support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Computer and Structures, Inc., Degenkolb Engineers, Oregon State University, California Earthquake Authority, Kinemetrics, and the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) made the 2014 EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition possible.

Call for Nominations for the 2015 Bruce Bolt Medal

The Bruce Bolt Medal is awarded jointly by COSMOS, EERI, and SSA to recognize individuals worldwide whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of strong-motion earthquake data and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety.

Bruce BoltThe COSMOS, EERI, and SSA Joint Nomination Panel is now accepting Nominations for the 2015 Bruce Bolt Medalist. Members of EERI, SSA, and COSMOS are encouraged to submit nomination packages for this distinguished award. Nominations will be reviewed in confidence by a six-person Joint Nomination Panel formed by two representatives from each of the three sponsoring organizations. The recommended nominee will be considered in confidence by each organization’s Board of Directors for their approval and joint selection of the medalist.

If you know of a colleague or peer that you would like to nominate for this prestigious honor, please go to the Bruce Bolt Medal webpageexternal link icon of the SSA website to view past recipients, the Nominee Criteria, and Nomination Procedure.

Note: The deadline to submit nominations for the 2015 award is October 31, 2014 (incomplete nomination packages will not be considered by the Joint Nomination Panel). Please direct all questions to Woody Savage (M. EERI, 1975) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EERI Annual Student Paper Competition: Call for Submissions

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is pleased to announce its Annual Student Paper Competition. The purpose of the competition is to promote active involvement of students in earthquake engineering and the earthquake hazards research community.

2014 EERI Student Paper CompetitionThe EERI Student Paper Competition is open to graduate and undergraduate applicants. Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited U.S. college or university and must be U.S. residents. Contest rules for graduate and undergraduate paper categories are available on the competition flyer (PDF) at external link icon.

Guidelines for preparing the manuscript are accessible on the EERI website at external link icon. All papers must be e-mailed by November 1, 2014, to Juliane Lane at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Up to four student authors will be invited to the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting in Boston, March 31 – April 3, 2015, and will receive travel support for this purpose. Their papers may also be considered for publication in Earthquake Spectra external link icon. The top paper in the graduate category may be presented at the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting.

Save the Date: 2015 EERI Annual Meeting in Boston, March 31 – April 3, 2015

Mark your calendar! The 2015 EERI Annual Meeting will be held March 31 – April 3, 2015 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.

 Boston Park Plaza HotelBoston is one of the United States most historic cities. The Boston Park Plaza is located just steps from top Boston attractions and activities ideal for virtually any visitor, including Boston Back Bay, Boston Common Park, Boston's Freedom Trail, and Boston's Charles River. The Boston Aquarium, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Boston Museum of Science are also nearby. Be on the lookout for more information in future email newsletters and on the EERI website.

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Earthquake Spectra Preprints

In late July and early August, several preprint manuscripts were posted on the Earthquake Spectra website prior to their formal publication. The list of new preprint manuscripts, including authors, follows:

  • Earthquake Spectra"Evaluation of Assumptions Used in Engineering Practice to Model Buildings Isolated with Triple Pendulum(TM) Isolators in SAP2000" by Anthony P. Giammona, Keri L. Ryan (M. EERI, 1999), and Nhan D. Dao
  • "Cyclic test data of six unreinforced masonry walls with different boundary conditions" by Sarah Petry and Katrin Beyer (M. EERI, 2010)
  • "Experimental Shake Table Testing of an Adaptive Passive Negative Stiffness Device within a Highway Bridge Model" by Navid Attary, Michael Symans (M. EERI, 1996), Satish Nagarajaiah, Andrei M. Reinhorn (EERI, 1986), Michael C. Constantinou, Apostolos A. Sarlis, Dharma T.R. Pasala, and Douglas P. Taylor (M. EERI, 1998)
  • "Transect Survey as a Post-Disaster Global Rapid Damage Assessment Tool" by Lisa Moon (M. EERI, 2014), David Biggs (M. EERI, 2011), Jason Ingham (M. EERI, 2012), and Michael Griffith (M. EERI, 1990)

To read preprint manuscripts or browse the complete list of preprint manuscripts, visit the Earthquake Spectra website at external link icon.

In addition, the Spectra editors also posted a Special Collection of Preprints of the papers that will be published in the NGA-West2 special issue (forthcoming, August 2014) external link icon.

EERI Brief for Members: Professionals and Researchers Working Together to Reduce Earthquake Risk

In a new publication created for the EERI membership titled EERI Brief for Members: Professionals and Researchers Working Together to Reduce Earthquake Risk, members will learn about some of the programs and projects that have expanded EERI’s network of professionals, and that continue the tradition of knowledge-sharing established by our first president, Professor Lydik S. Jacobsen, and continued by 23 subsequent presidents and boards.

eeri brief for members final 2 coverFor 66 years, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) has worked to fulfill its mission of reducing earthquake risk by gathering and disseminating information about the impacts of earthquakes and advocating for realistic measures to reduce their harmful effects.

Through its numerous strategic partnerships, EERI is (1) advancing the science and practice of earthquake risk reduction, (2) connecting networks of global earthquake professionals, and (3) developing future leaders and advocates in earthquake engineering.

Printed copies of the EERI Brief for Members will arrive in the mail in early August. Student members who would like to receive a hard copy of the EERI Brief for Members should contact the EERI office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To read the EERI Brief for Members (PDF) now, visit: external link icon.

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Program Updates

10NCEE Photo Contest Promotes Learning of Post-Earthquake Data Collection Tool

Attendees at the 10th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering learned to use the Clearinghouse Field Notes Application by capturing and recording a total of 65 photos with bears around Anchorage and contributing to a virtual clearinghouse.

Andrea NEES REU student at University at BuffaloThe contest was a fun way for attendees to learn about and use one of the California Earthquake Clearinghouse field data collection tools. You can view photo entries and the map of submissions and learn how to use the Clearinghouse Field Notes Application to participate in future activities.

Congratulations go to the winner of the 10NCEE Photo Contest: Andrea Sacco, a NEES REU undergraduate student at the University at Buffalo.

Clearinghouse Field Notes is one of the tools EERI is promoting to its members to use in the field to collect data after future earthquakes in California and worldwide. The California Earthquake Clearinghouse is a place to coordinate earthquake field investigations and share observations and knowledge among emergency responders and the engineering and scientific communities. For more information, visit external link icon.

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Member Spotlight

Hojjat Adeli Receives Caianiello Award for Excellence in Scientific Research

On June 23, 2014, longtime EERI member Hojjat Adeli (M. EERI, 1974) received the Eduardo Renato Caianiello Award for Excellence in Scientific Research from the Italian Society of Neural Networks for having realized the model of interdisciplinary scientist in the pursuit of the E.R. Caianiello Project and for the excellent results in engineering and neuroscience.

Hojjat AdeliAdeli is the ninth recipient of the Caianiello Award since it was established in 1997. He is also a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Neurological Association.

Adeli is a 1998 University Distinguished Scholar and the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Neural Systems.

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Chapter Spotlight

1st Workshop on Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering: Liquefaction Evaluation, Mapping, Simulation, and Mitigation

This workshop is organized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) San Diego Chapter. Presenters, distinguished leaders of the geotechnical earthquake engineering community, will discuss current procedures to evaluate liquefaction occurrence and consequences, map liquefaction hazards, mitigate liquefaction consequences, and numerically model the phenomenon.

EERI San Diego ChapterTarget audience includes geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists, researchers, agencies officials and students. Two panel discussions will promote exchange of ideas and clarification. This workshop intends to be the first of a series on annual workshops on the topic of geotechnical earthquake engineering and will be announced nationwide and internationally.

Friday, September 12, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • Dr. Gonzalo Castro (GEI Consultants, Inc.)
  • Prof. Ahmed Elgamal (UC San Diego)
  • Prof. Kevin Franke (Brigham Young University)
  • Prof. I.M. Idriss (Prof. Emeritus, UC Davis)
  • Prof. Geoffrey Martin (University of Southern California)
  • Dr. Mitsuo Nozu (Fudo Construction)
  • Dr. Peter Robertson (Prof. Emeritus, University of Alberta)
  • Prof. Jonathan Stewart (UC Los Angeles)

Chair of Organizing Committee:
Dr. Jorge Meneses (President, EERI San Diego Chapter; GEI Consultants, Inc.)

University of California San Diego Campus
Center Hall, Room 115
9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093
For driving directions and parking information, visit: external link icon .

For registration, agenda, and abstracts, visit the San Diego EERI Chapter website at external link icon.

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Student Spotlight

EERI Student Chapter Activities: Purdue University

EERI Student Chapters engage in technical and social activities year-round, including hosting EERI Distinguished Lecturers and practitioners as part of the Friedman Family Visiting Professional Program. Many chapters also enter the annual EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition (SDC). Described below are some of the student chapters' most energetic organizational and outreach efforts from their 2013–2014 annual report.

EERI Student Chapter at Purdue University
The officers of the EERI Student Chapter at Purdue University external link icon are: President William Lupher (M. EERI, 2012), VP Payden Johnson (M. EERI, 2013), Lucas Laughery (M. EERI, 2013), Quang Nguyen (M. EERI, 2011), and Qiaqia Zhu. Purdue University Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Ayhan Irfanoglu (M. EERI, 1994) is the student chapter’s faculty advisor.

EERI Student Chapter at Purdue UniversityThe student chapter hosted several seminar speakers during the school year:

Christopher Brown, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, presented “The Cayan Tower & Structural Engineering Computer Technology.” Brown spoke about his experience bridging the gap between various software packages employed in the consulting industry. He also detailed the development of Cayan Tower, a skyscraper renowned for its rotating floor plan.

David A. Friedman, Forell/Elsesser Engineers (M. EERI, 1988), presented the “Retrofit of California Memorial Stadium” as part of the Friedman Family Visiting Professional Program. Friedman spoke about the engineering challenges faced in the retrofit of California Memorial Stadium. The group discussed how best to maintain active EERI membership from student members as they transition into young professionals.

James Swanson, Halvorson and Partners, presented “Structural Challenges of the VietinBank Business Centre.” Swanson detailed the development of the VietinBank Business Centre in Hanoi, Vietnam. The structure comprises a 365 meters tall office tower and a 240 meters tall hotel tower connected at their bases by a podium. When complete, it will be the largest tower in Vietnam. Swanson’s presentation included discussion of the lateral load resisting system and special considerations for constructing in a flood plain. He also discussed cultural challenges faced in undertaking a project in a foreign country.

Read the EERI Student Chapter at Purdue University's 2013-2014 annual report at external link icon.

Call for Annual Report of Activities from EERI Student Chapters
EERI Student Chapter officers are encouraged to submit their annual report of chapter activities to Juliane Lane at the EERI Office via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The reports will be published on the Student Chapters section of the EERI website and will be featured in upcoming issues of The Pulse throughout the year. Submit your chapter's annual report of activities to EERI today!

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ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering Special Issue: Computational Simulation in Structural Engineering

A special issue of the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering on the “Computational Simulation in Structural Engineering,” guest edited by EERI members Michael H. Scott and Erol Kalkan (M. EERI, 2002) is now available online at external link icon.

This stand-alone reference contains 22 technical papers and one forum paper that reflect original research and technological advancements in simulating structural response to a wide variety of hazards using a wide variety of techniques. The technical papers fall into five broad categories: collapse simulation, simulation techniques, earthquake resistance, uncertainty modeling, and multi-physics simulation.

The Social Roots of Risk: Producing Disasters, Promoting Resilience

Kathleen Tierney (M. EERI, 1987), Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Director of its Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, has published a new book titled The Social Roots of Risk: Producing Disasters, Promoting Resilience (Stanford University Press, 2014).

The Social Roots of Risk: Producing Disasters, Promoting Resilience (Stanford University Press, 2014)In this book, Tierney argues against the widespread notion that cataclysmic occurrences are singular events, driven by forces beyond our control. Instead, Tierney contends that disasters of all types — be they natural, technological, or economic — are rooted in common social and institutional sources. Put another way, risks and disasters are produced by the social order itself — by governing bodies, organizations, and groups that push for economic growth, oppose risk-reducing regulation, and escape responsibility for tremendous losses when they occur.

For more details about Tierney's book, including access to the first chapter, visit the Stanford University Press website at external link icon.

NGA-East SSHAC Workshop Presentations and Video Now Online

The NGA-East SSHAC Workshop #2 was held on July 14-16, 2014 at UC Berkeley. PDF files of the presentations and video clips from the workshop are now available at external link icon.

Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER)NGA-East is a multi-disciplinary research project coordinated by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research center (PEER) with an objective to develop a new ground motion characterization (GMC) model for the Central and Eastern North-American (CENA) region. The project follows the SSHAC (Senior Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee) Level 3 guidelines.

Read more about the NGA-East program at external link icon.

International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 2014 Young Researcher Award

Technical Committee 203 (TC203) "Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering and Associated Problems" of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who have exceptional promise of excellence in research and significant contributions in the field of Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering.

Nominations are being accepted for the 2014 Young Researcher Award. The 2014 Young Researcher Award will be presented at the next TC203 conference, the 6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering in Christchurch, New Zealand, on November 2–4, 2015. 

Please submit nominations by September 30, 2014 to Professor Ellen Rathje (M. EERI, 1996), University of Texas at Austin, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Candidates must not exceed the age of 40 by December 31, 2014. A nomination package must consist of a letter of nomination, a CV containing a synopsis of the candidate’s achievements and contributions to the field, and a list of refereed publications. Nominations will be evaluated by a committee of five members of the Technical Committee TC203 and the recipient will be announced by November 30, 2014.

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