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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

EERI Response to the Nepal Earthquake

nepal 2015
On April 25, 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal 48 miles northwest of Kathmandu, resulting in major damage and casualties across Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Tibet. EERI created a Nepal Earthquake Virtual Clearinghouse website as a repository for technical resources, media reports, and updates about earthquake reconnaissance efforts in Nepal. The website will serve to link and collect reconnaissance observations, data, and photos from the scientific and engineering community.

EERI is actively gathering information from media reports, US agencies, and colleagues in Nepal and India as part of the Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Program. The LFE Executive Committee is developing reconnaissance plans for EERI, including assembling a team of EERI members with knowledge or professional experience in Nepal and other impacted regions. It is impossible for every interested member to join the reconnaissance team, but all EERI members can help to inform reconnaissance activities by contributing in the following ways:

  1. Share Technical Resources
    Field observation reports or technical literature about Nepal earthquake risk is extremely useful in informing reconnaissance efforts. Relevant resources can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for posting on the virtual clearinghouse website. See what resources are already available here:
  2. Suggest Research Topics
    Suggest research topics to help guide reconnaissance field teams. To suggest a topic to be posted on the virtual clearinghouse website, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a topic description of no more than 250 words and please note if you would like your name and email address listed alongside the topic listing. See what research topics have already been suggested here:
  3. Contribute Photos and Notes
    Contribute relevant pre- and post-event images of the impacted area and field observation notes. Visit the Contribute Photos and Notes page ( to learn how to share your photos and notes. Once reconnaissance teams begin to share their photos and observations, they will be shown on the virtual clearinghouse Maps and Photos page here:
  4. Curate Topical Information
    Gather and glean information from media reports and technical resources into curated summaries. Well-crafted summaries are expected to help inform reconnaissance activities, identify impacted regions, and help document the timeline of earthquake response/recovery. Summaries will be posted as updates on the virtual clearinghouse site under topic channels/categories. Anyone interested in helping to curate a topic should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. Initial topic areas include:
  1. Emergency Response, Social Impacts, and Community Resilience
  2. Seismology and Aftershocks
  3. Geotechnical Impacts: Landslides, Liquefaction, etc.
  4. Lifelines, Dams, Hydro-Power, Transportation
  5. Impacts in remote communities
  6. Buildings, especially those retrofitted or involved in mitigation programs pre-quake.
    1. Schools
    2. Hospitals
    3. Heritage/Historic Buildings
    4. Housing

EERI will continue to keep members informed of earthquake response efforts.

Reminder: EERI/FEMA Graduate Fellowship Application Deadline May 29, 2015

The deadline for applications for the 2015-2016 EERI/FEMA Graduate Fellowship in Earthquake Hazard Reduction is May 29, 2015.

fema logo 50The one-year fellowship, underwritten with funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is designed to foster the participation of capable individuals in working toward goals and activities of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. A nine-month stipend of $12,000 with an additional $8,000 for tuition, fees, and research expenses will be provided. Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university and must hold U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.

Read more about the EERI/FEMA Graduate Fellowship criteria and application requirements.

Candidates may apply online at Deadline for submission of all application materials is May 29, 2015. Announcement of the award will be made on July 1, 2015.

Request the 2015 Distinguished Lecture

olshansky captionEERI Student and Regional chapters are encouraged to request a presentation of the 2015 Distinguished Lecture by Robert Olshansky (M. EERI, 1987).

Professor Olshansky's lecture was a highlight of the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting, examining the relationships of earthquakes to time and the policy implications thereof. The EERI Distinguished Lecture Award is given to members of the Institute to recognize and encourage communication of outstanding professional contributions of major importance for earthquake hazard mitigation. Groups should request a presentation early, as opportunities fill fast. The 2014 Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. David Wald (M. EERI, 1988), presented to fifteen groups and over 2,500 individuals.

Earthquakes occur suddenly, in a brief instant of time. But their effects—and the actions we take to reduce their effects—stretch over many years. In this talk, I explore some of the characteristics of the relationship between earthquakes and time. More importantly, I explain how these various time characteristics affect policy decisions. I draw four policy conclusions from this rumination on time, relating to: mitigation, speed and quality of recovery, planning for resilience, and construction standards.

Requests should be sent to Professor Olshansky at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EERI Endowment Donors

EERI would like to thank donors to the Endowment Fund and acknowledge their recent contributions. EERI’s Endowment supports innovative projects that assure the Institute’s continuing leadership in the earthquake engineering profession.

The list below reflects donations that the Institute received from February to the end of April 2015.

David Sykora

Kazuta Hirata
Ignatius Po Lam
John A.R. Oakley
Jelena Pantelic
Shamsher Prakash
Keri Ryan
Heidi Tremayne

Other Amounts
JoAnn Browning
Huseyin Darama
Andrea Dargush
Guillermo Franco
David Frost
Thomas Heausler
Richard Klimczak
James LaFave
Jean Meuris
Keith Porter
Esmaeel Rahmanishamsi
Kenneth Topping

Thank you for your support!

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News of the Profession

Gregory L. Fenves Named President of University of Texas at Austin

fenves gregory 75 captionThe University of Texas System Board of Regents has named Gregory L. Fenves (M. EERI, 1985) the next president of The University of Texas at Austin. Fenves will assume the role leading the UT System’s flagship university on June 3, 2015.

Fenves is an internationally recognized structural engineer whose research is focused on computational simulation of structures during earthquakes and technology for earthquake engineering. He led the development of an open-source software platform in structural and geotechnical engineering that has been widely used in universities and industry across the world.

Fenves has served as UT Austin’s provost and executive vice president since 2013. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest national honor awarded to engineers in the United States. Prior to being named provost, Fenves served for five years as dean of UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering. Before coming to UT Austin, Fenves, 58, served as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was on the faculty for more than 20 years.

EERI Board President Mary Comerio (M. EERI, 1988) responded to the announcement: "I am thrilled to see the appointment of Professor Greg Fenves as President of UT Austin. Greg was a colleague and a friend here at UC Berkeley where he led the development of OpenSees as part of the PEER development of performance based earthquake engineering. He is a brilliant researcher and administrator. Having someone with Greg's expertise, someone from the earthquake engineering community, take on a leadership role at a major university will certainly shed light on the importance of seismic risk reduction."

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Professional Opportunities

PEER Seeks Communications Specialist

peer logo 75The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), an EERI Bronze-level Subscribing Member, is seeking a Communications Specialist.

Qualifications of the ideal candidate include the ability to write for target audiences while adhering to PEER’s vision, and skill with electronic communications including design and production, publishing, presentation preparation, posting and other state-of-the-art web communication capabilities. Visit the PEER website external link icon for more information and how to apply.

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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

spectra 150Three preprint manuscripts have been posted to the Earthquake Spectra website prior to formal publication. The papers to be published are:

"Assessing the Collapse Probability of Base Isolated Buildings Considering Pounding to Moat Walls" by Armin Masroor (M. EERI, 2009), and Gilberto Mosqueda (M. EERI, 2001)

"Full-Scale Seismic Testing of Piles in Improved and Unimproved Soft Clay" by Bradley J. Fleming (M. EERI, 2011), Sri Sritharan (M. EERI, 1994), Gerald A. Miller, and Kanthasamy K. Muraleetharan

"Damping Reduction Factors for Crustal, Inslab, and Interface Earthquakes Characterizing Seismic Hazard in Southwestern British Columbia, Canada" by Poulad Daneshvar (M. EERI, 2010), Najib Bouaanani (M. EERI, 2009), Katsuichiro Goda (M. EERI, 2009), and Gail M. Atkinson (M. EERI, 1981).

To read all current preprint manuscripts posted, visit Earthquake Spectra preprints. external link icon

FEMA P-1024 Now Available

FEMAP-1024coverFEMA has recently announced a new publication, FEMA P-1024: Performance of Buildings and Nonstructural Components in the 2014 South Napa Earthquake is now available online.

On August 24, 2014, a magnitude-6.0 earthquake occurred in Napa, California. In response to this earthquake, the Special Projects task of the National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP) was used to fund an investigation. Work was focused on documenting the observed performance of buildings and nonstructural components in order to lead into future improvements in future building codes, and to do so within six months. This project focused on performance of seismic retrofitting, particularly for unreinforced masonry buildings; nonstructural components; residential construction; manufactured housing; modern commercial buildings; healthcare facilities; and schools.

FEMA P-1024 is available for download in the FEMA library at:

New PEER Reports

The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) external link icon has published several new additions to its PEER Report series:

"Concrete Column Blind Prediction Contest 2010: Outcomes and Observations" (PEER Report 2015/01) — Abstract and link to free PDF external link icon

"A Full-Scale, Single-Column Bridge Bent Tested by Shake-Table Excitation" (PEER Report 2015/02) — Abstract and link to free PDF external link icon

"Single Series Solution for the Rectangular Fiber-Reinforced Elastomeric Isolator Compression Modulus" (PEER Report 2015/03) — Abstract and link to free PDF external link icon

"NGA-East: Median Ground-Motion Models for the Central and Eastern North America" (PEER Report 2015/04) — Abstract and link to free PDF external link icon

The complete list of PEER Reports, all available for download, can be viewed at external link icon

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Member Spotlight

Welcome New EERI Members

EERI welcomes the members who have recently joined the Institute. If you wish to connect with your fellow members, you can locate their contact information in the EERI online membership directory, which requires logging in to the Member Resources Area of the EERI website.

Juan Pestana, Geotechnical
Steven Shekerlian, Structural

Suvash Dhakal, Structural
Luis Gutierrez-Urzua, Structural
Michael Harris, Civil
Brian Schwartz, Geotechnical
Yumeng Tao, Geotechnical
Xiaoyue Wang, Geotechnical
Boqin Xu, Geotechnical

Christine McCabe, SRK Consulting, Geotechnical

Carlos Mendez-Galindo, Structural
Seetha Poduri, , Structural

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25 Ways to Get Involved

Get Involved with EERI

25 waysLooking to be more involved with EERI? We've come up with a list of opportunities for members. Each edition of The Pulse will highlight a way to do more.
Download the 25 Ways flyerexternal link icon (PDF)

#8: Conduct remote reconnaissance through virtual clearinghouse contributions.

Visit the EERI Nepal Earthquake Virtual Clearinghouse to learn how to contribute. We need help curating and contributing technical resources, photos, and notes, and suggesting research topics to inform reconnaissance field teams.

Nepal Earthquake Virtual Clearinghouse: How to Contribute

Nepal Earthquake Virtual Clearinghouse: Contribute Photos and Notes

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Follow these steps to add EERI Calendar to your own Google calendar.

  1. Open Google Calendar
  2. On the left, above "My Calendars," click Add + and then From URL.
  3. Enter the EERI calendar's address in the field provided. EERI Calendar ics link
  4. Click Add Calendar. The calendar will appear on the left side under "Other calendars."

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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
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