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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

Get Ready to Go Beyond the Epicenter

sfThe Earthquake Engineering Research Institute will hold its 68th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, April 5–8, 2016.

Registration will open soon for the 2016 meeting, which has a theme of "Beyond the Epicenter: Expanding Our Risk Perspective." The program will explore unanticipated effects, blind spots, and new insights. Sessions planned include:

  • Community Resilience: What Are the Objectives and Outcomes?
  • Using Legal Action to Improve Earthquake Safety
  • Earthquakes & Social Justice: Protecting Vulnerable Populations in the U.S.
  • Moving from ideas to action: public policy for earthquake resilience

Tours will include a Napa Earthquake and Winery field trip, a Geotechnical/Geologic Overview of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill and Waterfront, a walk focused on downtown San Francisco in earthquake, fire, and recovery, and a boat tour of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.

Mark your calendars, and keep an eye out for special emails in the next two weeks linking to the full meeting program and the opening of registration.

2016 EERI Board Election Results

Thanks to all the EERI members who took the time to consider and choose from exceptional candidates for the 2016 EERI Board of Directors.

friedman david  deierlein  ross boulanger

We congratulate and welcome David Friedman (M. EERI, 1992), Senior Principal, Forell/Elsesser Engineers, who will serve as President-Elect of the Board, and Gregory G. Deierlein (M. EERI, 1989) Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, and Ross Boulanger (M. EERI, 1992), Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, who will each serve four-year terms. The new directors will assume their posts at the first 2016 Board of Directors meeting in April. We thank candidates Sri Sritharan (M. EERI, 1994) and Youssef Hashash (M. EERI, 1999) for their support and dedication to the Institute.

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 mid November to December 2015.

Joe Hollstein

Goutam Bagchi
Stephen Kadysiewski
Richard Quittmeyer

Linda Emery
Cynthia Perry

Bruce Douglas

Anthony Shakal

Mehri Ansari

Thalia Anagnos
Ali Bakhshi
Ted Christensen
Mary Comerio
John Hayes Jr.
Annie Kammerer
Edward Kavazanjian Jr.
Darell Lawver
Roger Sharpe
Jim Swaisgood

Other Amounts
William Elliott
Guillermo Franco
Sigmund Freeman
Henri Gavin
Ronaldo Luna
Chiara McKenney
Chikahiro Minowa
Yoshiaki Nakano
Irving Oppenheim
Satwant Rihal
Tom Schacher
Nilesh Shome
Fred Turner
Tao Wang

Thank you for your support!

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

Ten recent stories, reports, or opinions from around the Web:

oneCloaking buildings from earthquakes and tsunamis (Nova Next) Could simple rows of boreholes make base isolation obsolete? external link icon

twoCanterbury builders lose rebuild contracts to earthquake cash settlements (Business Day) Building specialists say some are banking the cash instead of building new again. external link icon

threeItaly’s supreme court clears L’Aquila earthquake scientists for good (Science) Six convicted of manslaughter for advice are definitively acquitted. external link icon

fourDisaster recovery: How to reduce the business risk at distance (Cloud Computing) What is an adequate distance between data centers in order to ensure that business goes on? external link icon

fiveApp tracks risks, ranks hazards of nearby earthquake faults (SF Gate) System aims to link earthquake data and rank seismic hazard everywhere and anywhere in the world. external link icon

sixWhy can't we predict when earthquakes will strike? (BBC) Predicting earthquakes and magnitude continues to prove difficult. external link icon

sevenTen good things about post-quake Christchurch (Stuff) A list of changes that feel like improvements. external link icon

eightEnforcing the building code in Nepal (The Himalayan Times) Local bodies are told to enforce standards. external link icon

nineFonterra starts production at "earthquake-proof" whole milk drying plant (Food Ingredients) NZ plant designed to withstand a 1/2500-year event without damage. external link icon

tenSaga comes to an end for earthquake victims at Napa Self Storage (Extra Space) Finally able to retrieve their belongings after August 2014 quake. external link icon

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Learning from Earthquakes

Charles Huyck Selected as Vice Chair of LFE Program

huyck charlie photoCharles Huyck (M. EERI, 2002), Executive Vice President of ImageCat Inc., has been selected to serve in a new Vice Chair position for EERI's Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) program.

The Executive Committee of the EERI Board of Directors created the Vice Chair role to complement, support, and expand the work of the LFE Chair, a position currently held by Kenneth Elwood (M. EERI, 1994), director of the New Zealand National Centre of Research Excellence on earthquake resilience (QuakeCoRE) and professor at the University of Auckland.

As a founding partner of ImageCat, Mr. Huyck has been instrumental in developing operational strategies for spatial technologies, and has 20 years of GIS analysis and application development experience integrating advanced geospatial technologies into disaster simulation tools and CAT modeling programs. He is currently a member of the LFE Program Committee, actively involved on the LFE subcommittee on reconnaissance tools and training, and has participated as an EERI reconnaissance field team member for the 2004 Niigata Ken Chuetsu Earthquake in Japan and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.

Mr. Huyck will immediately assist with identified LFE priorities for 2016, including a continued focus on resilience reconnaissance over time, securing baseline funding for LFE operations, and furthering EERI's status as a leader in reconnaissance data collection and visualization.

2015 Nepal Quake: Watch the EERI Briefing Videos and Send Input for Special Spectra Issue

video briefingsA reminder that the briefing videos from EERI's 2015 reconnaissance mission to Nepal are online. If you just watch one, Summary of Findings is an excellent overview.

EERI is considering the publication of a special issue of Earthquake Spectra on the 2015 Gorkha, Nepal Earthquake, pending the acquisition of financial support to produce and publish the issue. After careful deliberation, the Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Executive Committee and Earthquake Spectra Editorial Board have decided to develop this special earthquake issue in a new way. Instead of an open call for abstracts, an editorial team will be established to develop a comprehensive outline for the issue and then select authors for the chapters. The resulting chapters, with a lead and co-authors, will then undergo the traditional, rigorous blind peer review process, similar to all other Spectra submissions.

Earthquake Spectra special issues on earthquakes are seminal publications summarizing the most important findings and lessons from an event, and should have little or no information gaps or overlaps. With past special issues, there have been concerns that publication came too long after the event and that issues contained incomplete or uneven topical coverage due to the lengthy abstract submission process. This new procedure aims to address these deficiencies while retaining the archival journal stature of publication within Earthquake Spectra.

To avoid missing important topics, research efforts, implementation programs, or studies that can contribute to the thoroughness of the special issue, we are asking all EERI members and colleagues to share contacts and ideas for the issue with the editorial team via a community input form. The editorial team will carefully review your submissions, and follow up on leads or ideas that could influence or supplement the design of the issue. Authors need not be EERI members. EERI is planning a comprehensive special issue and is seeking the best ideas, topics, and authors possible.

Please share your input and ideas for the 2015 Gorkha, Nepal Earthquake Special Issue by completing the community input form.

EERI is also seeking financial sponsorship to facilitate production, publishing, and distribution of the special issue. If sponsorship is not found by January 2016, the special issue will not be produced. Please contact Jay Berger (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to obtain an issue prospectus and discuss how you or your organization can contribute financially to the publication of this needed special issue of Earthquake Spectra.

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US Resiliency Council Launches Building Rating System

USRChplogoOn November 30, 2015, the US Resiliency Council (USRC), of which EERI is a founding member, launched the USRC Earthquake Building Rating System. The rating system assigns buildings one to five stars for three expected-performance measures during and after an earthquake: safety, damage (repair cost), and recovery (time to regain basic function). This first-of-its-kind performance rating is based on decades of earthquake engineering research and observations of earthquake damage.

The USRC process is voluntary, and there are two types of ratings. A USRC Verified Rating is used by building owners for promotional, marketing, and publicity purposes. A USRC Transaction Rating is used for transactional due diligence that accommodates both the schedule and cost demands of the leasing, sales, finance, and insurance markets for commercial real estate.

More on the council and its rating system, including information on becoming a new supporting member or a certified rater is available at link icon

Abstracts for 7th China-Japan-US Trilateral Symposium due Dec 15

The 7th China-Japan-US Trilateral Symposium on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering, a symposium organized by the International Society of Lifeline and Infrastructure Earthquake Engineering, Tongji University in China, Kanazawa University in Japan, and ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division in the USA, will be held in Shanghai, China, June 1–4, 2016.

The objective of the symposium is to provide a forum for Chinese, Japanese, and US professional lifeline engineers and researchers for the mutual exchange of recent results of investigations on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering, including water, wastewater, inundation protection, gas, liquid fuel, transportation, electric power, and communication systems and related components. Abstracts are due December 15, 2015 and should be submitted to Professor Haizhong Wang (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). For more information, please visit http://www.tslee2016.orgexternal link icon

Open Position—National Institute of Building Sciences Building Seismic Safety Council

The National Institute of Building Sciences in Washington, DC, is seeking an individual to support the Institute’s nationally-prominent Building Seismic Safety Council, which develops the NEHRP Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures and conducts related projects. Responsibilities include assisting with the management of the Multihazard Mitigation Council. Candidates should have at least an undergraduate degree in structural engineering with a background in seismic engineering and at least three years of experience in project management. Above average communication and writing skills are essential to this position. Send resumes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UW PhD Research Assistant Position Available

A Ph.D. research assistantship is available at the University of Washington to study critical infrastructure disaster resilience using natural language processing, expert elicitation, machine learning, and simulation modeling. Stipend and tuition waiver is available for a minimum of three years. Deadline for application is December 15, 2015. Anyone interested in the opportunity should contact Dr. Scott Miles (principal investigator) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The RAship will be funded by a multi-investigator, multi-institution National Science Foundation grant. A strong preference is for the RA to be enrolled in the Ph.D. program in UW's Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE). However, students enrolled in a different UW department will be considered (e.g., Computer Science and Engineering, iSchool, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geography, or Urban Design and Planning). Minimum responsibilities will include 1) expert workshop design and facilitation, 2) qualitative and quantitative data compilation, 3) qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and 4) programming of a simulation of model of how various critical infrastructure are restored and recovered after minor and major disturbance events. Knowledge of Python is required (or evidence that the language can be learned quickly). Some knowledge or past coursework related to some or all of the following topics is preferred but not required: disasters, infrastructure, urban planning, machine learning, simulation modeling, facilitation. Evaluation of applications will emphasize technical ability, as well as demonstrating some background or potential related to social science or qualitative methods. Applicants may be admitted to the HCDE Ph.D. program after completing either an undergraduate degree or a master's degree in HCDE or a relevant field (up to 30 credits of master's work may be applied toward the 105-credit Ph.D. requirement). Since HCDE is a relatively new discipline, applicants can be expected to represent a wide range of backgrounds. For this project, some relevant degrees are computer science, geographic information science, civil engineering, applied math, and urban planning.

More information about the NSF grant can be found here: link icon

More information on the HCDE Ph.D. program can be found here: link icon

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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

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

  • "Ground Motion Parameter Sensitivity to Shear Strain Ratio in Equivalent Linear Analyses" by Brian Carlton

  • "The 2014 United States National Seismic Hazard Model" by Mark D. Petersen (M. EERI, 2002), Morgan P. Moschetti (M. EERI, 2015), Peter M. Powers, Charles S. Mueller, Kathleen M. Haller, Arthur D. Frankel (M. EERI, 1994), Yuehua Zeng, Sanaz Rezaeian, Stephen C. Harmsen, Oliver S. Boyd (M. EERI, 2005), Ned Field (M. EERI, 1992), Rui Chen (M. EERI, 2011), Kenneth S. Rukstales, Nico Luco (M. EERI, 2001), Russell L. Wheeler, Robert A. Williams (M. EERI, 2003), and Anna H. Olsen (M. EERI, 2007).

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

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Member Spotlight

Welcome New EERI Members and Chapters

The EERI Board of Directors recently approved the applications of five new EERI student chapters. Our sincerest welcome to California State University, Sacramento; Technical University of Civil Engineering, Bucharest; Technical University of Malaysia; University of Toronto; and University College London.

EERI also 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.

Amine Aboufirass, University of California San Diego, Structural
Orlando Arroyo, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Structural
Cuirin Cantwell, McMaster University, Civil
Zoe Chan, Cornell University, Systems/Operations
Christine Cheng, University of Texas - Austin, Civil
Berfin Ceren Ercanli, Cankaya University, Civil
Amardeep Gill, McMaster University, Civil
Anant Hariharan, Cornell University, Geophysicist
Bryan Hong, UCLA, Civil
Maha Kenawy, University of California Davis, Structural
Minkyun Kim, UCLA, Civil
Kasey Murakami, UCLA, Civil
Amith Neelagiriyappa, Clemson University, Structural
Andres Perez, California State University Los Angeles, Civil
Andrew Philpott, University of Texas - Austin, Civil
Valentina Putrino, University College London, Structural
Olivia Scott, Cornell University
Ben Sitler, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Structural
Adarsh Subramani, Cornell University
Kendrick Tong, University of California Irvine, Geotechnical
Austin Wang, University of California Irvine, Civil
Michael Weyant, UCLA, Civil

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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)

#16: Join EERI social network on LinkedIn (and more!)

Engage with EERI beyond The Pulse. Join our LinkedIn group, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook for the latest update on EERI activity and earthquake engineering news and views.

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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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