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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.

2016 Annual Meeting

Next Week in San Francisco

ucla-2015The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute's 68th Annual Meeting is next week April 5-8, 2016, in San Francisco. With a theme of "Beyond the Epicenter: Expanding Our Risk Perspective," the meeting program will delve into unanticipated effects, blind spots, and new insights in earthquake engineering.

Full program details are available on the 2016 Annual Meeting website, and just a few days out, this is a good time to find ways of adding to your meeting experience.

Add a Friend
If you know of members of the San Francisco Bay Area earthquake engineering community who should join us, let them know there's still time to register for the meeting.

Add the 2016 Annual Meeting Mobile Site
Bookmark the mobile version of the 2016 Annual Meeting website on your phone or tablet for easy viewing of session, tour, and program information while on the move in San Francisco:

Add the Strong Motion Forum to Your Schedule
On Thursday morning, April 7, the Strong Motion Forum will convene at the Annual Meeting in the Embarcadero room from 7:00-8:30 AM. The forum is open to all attendees and will cover:

  • ShakeMap: Scenario Collection and Characterizing Ground Motion Spatial Variability
  • PG&E Smartmeter Accelerograph Project
  • New Seismic Instrumentation Projects: Treasure Island and In-Pile Instrumentation
  • COSMOS Tools and Update on the CESMD Data Center

Add a Tour to Your Visit
tower2015There is still space on some of the Annual Meeting tours. Sign up for one of the local walking tours, the field trip to Napa on Tuesday, or the San Francisco Bay cruise on Friday. Call or email Juliane Lane at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 510-451-0905, to join us.

Add Your Opinion
A working group of EERI members, board members, and staff has been formed to examine all aspects of the EERI Annual Meeting model. Our goal is to improve program relevance and the overall meeting experience for our attendees. In the packet you receive after checking in at the meeting registration desk will be a very short survey designed to help us understand the demographics and interests of our community. We thank you for taking a few minutes to complete and return the survey during the course of the Annual Meeting.

Add Your Support for the SDC
The live auction for the Seismic Design Competition is back! Place a bid on your favorite and support the next generation of earthquake engineers. Come to the model presentation, auction, and poster session held by the 33 student teams on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 6:00-7:30 pm. The auction and the model testing will take place in the hotel foyer, bringing excitement and action to the very heart of the Annual Meeting.

Add Professional Development Hours
Up to 24 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) will be available at the 68th Annual Meeting. We will email you a website form link at the conclusion of the week to self-report your hours and generate a certificate of your PDHs.

We look forward to greeting you in San Francisco! For full program, logistics, and registration, visit the 2016 Annual Meeting website.

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Learning from Earthquakes

EERI Taiwan Earthquake Reconnaissance Briefing Webinar on April 19

Briefing-Webinar-Reconn-BannerEERI will host the Taiwan Earthquake Reconnaissance Briefing Webinar, as a part of its Learning from Earthquakes program, on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, from 11:30 am to 1:15 pm Pacific Time.

During this free event, reconnaissance teams that traveled to Taiwan to study the February 6, 2016, earthquake will present their observations. Briefing content will be a collaboration from more than five teams that traveled to the impacted region, and will provide key insights into the various aspects of shaking characteristics, earthquake damage, response, and performance of pre-event mitigation measures.

The topics to be discussed include:

Seismology and Ground Response
by Joseph Sun, PG&E (representing GEER Team)

Liquefaction Impacts and Other Geotechnical Effects on Buildings and Infrastructure
by Tara Hutchinson (M. EERI, 1995), Professor, UC San Diego (representing GEER Team)

Building Response
by Daniel Zepeda, Principal, Degenkolb Engineers (representing Degenkolb Team)

Community Response: Infrastructure Damage, Tainan Resilience
by Kevin S. Moore, Principal, Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger (representing SGH Team)

Please register for the webinar using the following link: external link icon

After registration, you will be sent a confirmation email with more information on how to join the webinar.

Questions? Please email EERI intern Shizza Fatima at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Special NCREE Taiwan Earthquake Reconnaissance Report Available in English for EERI Members

ncree-reportThe National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE) in Taiwan has prepared a summary report describing observations and lessons learned from the Meinong, Taiwan Earthquake on February 6, 2016.

This 37-page special report was prepared in English for the benefit of EERI's Learning from Earthquakes Program and all EERI members. It includes an event summary along with assessments of thirteen buildings, a damaged bridge, and several instances of land subsidence and liquefaction.

Download the NCREE Report external link icon (PDF)

Special thanks to NCREE's Dr. Chiun-lin Wu for coordinating this for EERI and to the many Taiwanese colleagues who contributed content, observations, and findings to this report.

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

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

oneEarthquakes in Maine: It's Enough to Scare you Blue (The Ellsworth American) 2% probability of a large earthquake isn't zero. external link icon

twoEarthquake threat to California may be greater than thought, warn scientists (The Guardian) San Andreas and San Jacinto faults might have ruptured together in the past. external link icon

threeOf Rumors and Tremors (Undark) Is a large carbon monoxide cloud a harbinger of a big West Coast quake? NASA says no. external link icon

fourScience on the Hill: Can we someday predict earthquakes? (Santa Fe New Mexican) Los Alamos supercomputers to search for hidden patterns of predictability. external link icon

fiveNew study shows widespread risk of quake damage in Taiwan (Los Angeles Times) Soil liquefaction study prompted by February quake suggests risk greater than previously recognized. external link icon

sixCalifornians, this is what you need to know about earthquake insurance (Daily Breeze) Only about 10% of state's homeowners have quake insurance. external link icon

sevenThe kids are all right (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) California schools say they’re prepared for earthquakes. external link icon

eightReckoning on quakes: Software model will help build safe, cheaper buildings (The Post and Courier) Assessing site-specific shake potential in the Eastern states of the USA. external link icon

nineCalifornia Takes Earthquakes Seriously. Why Don't We? (KUOW) Wringing out retrofit and replacement dollars for seismic safety in Washington State. external link icon

tenLucy Jones is leaving her job - to shake up more than just earthquakes (Los Angeles Times) Profiling the "universal mother for rattled Southern Californians." external link icon

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National Earthquake Conference Early Bird Registration Ends Today

nec logoThe 2016 National Earthquake Conference external link icon (NEC) will take place on May 4-6, 2016, in Long Beach, California. Early registration pricing ends today, April 1, 2016. Special hotel rates for government and non-government attendees may only be available until April 4, 2016.

Register Now

The National Earthquake Conference occurs every four years. The 2016 theme is What’s New? What’s Next? What’s Your Role in Building a National Strategy? NEC brings together an interdisciplinary audience of earth scientists, engineers, emergency managers, first responders, policymakers, practitioners, subject matter experts and many more to examine new science, new theories and new best practices. (View conference agenda PDF external link icon)

Questions about the conference may be directed to Barbara Harrison, NEC Program Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Post-Doctoral Opportunity from USGS

mendenhallThe U.S. Geological Survey’s Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program has an open post-doctoral opportunity in Golden, Colorado: Developing building fragility/vulnerability data and analytical vulnerability functions for PAGER and ShakeCast systems (RO #16-22) external link icon.

The Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for postdoctoral fellows to conduct concentrated research in association with selected members of the USGS professional staff, often as a final element to their formal career preparation. The program is also intended to provide research experiences that enhance their personal scientific stature and credentials. Mendenhall Fellows are appointed to the USGS for two years, receive full salary and benefits at the GS-12 level, and are expected to publish their results in peer-reviewed scientific outlets.

Candidates for this fellowship are expected to have experience in structural analysis, design and earthquake engineering. As part of the application, a research proposal is required. (Complete instructions can be found here.) Applications will be accepted through May 2, 2016.

More information and an application link for this opportunity, and other research openings in the program, can be found at external link icon

USGS Offers $7 Million in Earthquake Grants

usgs logoThe U.S. Geological Survey announced it will award up to $7 million in grants for earthquake hazards research in 2017.

"The USGS has a long-standing grants program that supports innovative earthquake research, and we are currently soliciting project proposals for 2017," said Bill Leith, who is the USGS Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake and Geologic Hazards. "We seek proposals to better characterize earthquake sources, reduce uncertainty in earthquake hazard assessments or improve forecasts and other efforts to reduce risk. In addition, we also welcome proposals that provide more accurate and timely earthquake information or aim to better inform the public about earthquakes and earthquake safety."

Interested researchers can apply online at GRANTS.GOV external link icon under funding opportunity number G16AS00024. Applications are due May 25, 2016.

Build Change Seeks Lead Structural Engineer for Haiti

Build Change LOGOBuild Change external link icon, a non‐profit social enterprise whose mission is to save lives in earthquakes and hurricanes, has an opening for the position of Lead Structural Engineer to work in Haiti. The successful candidate will work with a team of engineers and technical consultants to lead the technical development of Build Change Haiti's safer school program, among other duties.

Women and citizens of Haiti are encouraged to apply. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received and accepted until the position is filled. Visit external link icon to learn more and apply for this position.

5th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in May 2017

unisdrThe United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has announced the Fifth Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will take place in Cancun, Mexico, May 24-26, 2017 (with May 22-23 as preparatory and consultation days).

Hosted by the Government of Mexico in cooperation with UNISDR, the Global Platform will review progress made and the early successes in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 external link icon, adopted by UN member States one year ago. It will also share experiences on the road to meeting the Sendai Framework’s seven global targets. More information will continue to be made available on external link icon

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Chapter Spotlight

EERI-NYNE Co-Hosts Professional Women in Construction Event

On March 10, 2016, the New York-Northeast Chapter of EERI co-hosted a reception and panel discussion event with the Deep Foundation Institute and the General Society Library of Mechanics & Tradesman of New York on "Professional Women in the World of Construction."


About 100 attendees enjoyed a program moderated by EERI Director Sissy Nikolaou (M. EERI, 2004) and Helen Robinson of Schnabel Engineering, who is Chair of the DFI Women in Deep Foundations Technical Committee. The panel consisted of four successful individuals with diverse backgrounds ranging from academia to law to practice:

  • Mary-Jane Augustine, Partner of Construction Law at McCarter-English, LLP
  • Liesl Folks, Dean of Engineering of the University at Buffalo
  • Ramon Gilsanz (M. EERI, 2011), founding partner of GMS, Director of EERI-NYNE chapter
  • Aspa Zerva (M. EERI, 1992) professor at Drexel University, lead member of the NSF program ENHANCE for career of women in earthquake engineering, Director of EERI-NYNE chapter.

Each panelist addressed questions related to professional women in the world of construction, touching on keys to success, stereotyping of skill and leadership ability, and work/life balance.

At least 30 students and young professionals participated, and discussion among participants continued long after the conclusion of the formal program. Sponsorship for the event was provided by Gilsanz Murray Steficek (EERI Bronze Subscribing Member), Hinman Consulting Engineers, and Langan Engineering, with a number of local professional societies and chapters acting as outreach partners. The number of people, organizations involved, and the interest and passion that the event generated, indicated to representatives of EERI-NYNE that similar events nationwide would be valuable.

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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:

  • "Downtown Los Angeles 52-Story High-Rise and Free-Field Response to an Oil Refinery Explosion" by Monica D. Kohler (M. EERI, 2014), Anthony Massari (M. EERI, 2015), Thomas H. Heaton (M. EERI, 1995), Hiroo Kanamori (M. EERI, 1987), Egill Hauksson, Richard Guy, Robert W. Clayton, Julian Bunn and K. M. Chandy.
  • "VS30 in the NGA GMPEs – Regional Differences and Suggested Practice" by Ronnie Kamai (M. EERI, 2010), Norman A. Abrahamson (M. EERI, 1984) and Walter J. Silva (M. EERI, 1988).

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

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  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
499 14th Street, Suite 220, Oakland, CA 94612-1934 USA
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