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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 - Earthquake Spectra Update

A Stronger Spectra: An Editorial by Jonathan P. Stewart

stewartjonA Stronger Spectra
By Jonathan P. Stewart, Editor (M. EERI, 1994)

In the August 2015 issue of Earthquake Spectra, I described the journal’s publication queue time problem. At that time, the queue, defined as the elapsed time between when a manuscript is accepted and when it appears in the printed journal, was as long as 20 months (approximately 6-7 issue cycles). This was damaging to the journal for reasons given in my earlier editorial.

As this problem came into focus in 2013-2014, I worked with EERI’s previous Executive Director Jay Berger and the Board of Directors to formulate a solution strategy that entailed publication of issues with significantly more papers (about 30) than our historical norms (about 15-20) during the 2015 and 2016 publication years. I am pleased to report that the strategy worked. Since the February 2017 issue, our accepted paper backlog is substantially reduced such that in the 2017 publication year, papers are being published within approximately one to two issues cycles (3-6 months) following acceptance.

As explained in my August 2015 editorial, publication queue time affects impact factor (as queue time decreases, impact increases). Whereas our impact factor in previous years had been suppressed by long queue times, we now stand at 2.9, which is the highest among earthquake engineering journals globally. I believe this better reflects the journal’s standing in the profession.

We have learned a valuable lesson through this experience regarding journal management, which is to work diligently to maintain equilibrium between rates of paper acceptance and publication. I encourage authors to submit their best work to Earthquake Spectra. By doing so, they benefit from the excellence of the Editorial Board during the review process, the timeliness of both the review and publication processes, and the exposure afforded their published work by the reputation and unparalleled breadth of our readership.


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News of the Institute

2018 EERI Board Election Nominees

The following candidates have been nominated for the 2018 EERI Board of Directors. EERI members will vote for their candidates from October 1 to November 1, 2017.

Laurie Johnson  Tara Hutchinson pulse  Keith Knudsen  Stephanie Chang  Judith Mitrani-Reiser

Laurie Johnson, Principal and Founder, Laurie Johnson Consulting/Research, San Francisco, CA (M. EERI, 1990)

Director A:
Tara C. Hutchinson, Professor of Structural Engineering, University of California, San Diego (M. EERI, 1995)
Keith Knudson, Deputy Director, Earthquake Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey (M. EERI, 2001)

Director B:
Stephanie Chang, Professor, School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) and the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability (IRES), University of British Columbia (M. EERI, 1994)
Judith Mitrani-Reiser, Director of Disaster and Failure Studies at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (M. EERI, 2001)

Additional nominations may be made by the membership in accordance with Article VII of the EERI Bylaws (Section 5), upon submission of a petition with signatures of at least 25 members for each elected Director's office and at least 50 voting members for the office of President-elect. See the Bylaws for full details. Petitions must be received before September 1, 2017. Biographies of the candidates and short vision statements will be published in a future issue of the Pulse and posted on the EERI website.

EERI thanks the Nominating Committee: Jim Malley (chair), Ian Buckle, David Frost, Sissy Nikolaou, and Laura Samant.

Become an 11NCEE Sponsor or Exhibitor!

11ncee bannerEERI is now inviting sponsors and exhibitors for the 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering to be held in Los Angeles on June 25-29, 2018.

With the theme of “Integrating Science, Engineering & Policy,” this unique conference will bring together professionals and researchers from a broad range of disciplines including architecture, civil and structural engineering, seismology, geology, geophysics, geotechnical engineering, business, public policy, the social sciences, regional planning, emergency response, and regulation.

The earthquake engineering community is excited about the event! Currently, EERI has received over 1,500 abstracts for this conference and anticipates most of the authors whose papers are accepted to attend. More than 35 proposals for Special Sessions have already been accepted and will be included amongst the ten concurrent sessions on various theme topics presented in a variety of interactive formats. The Organizing Committee has also secured four outstanding keynote speakers including Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Lucy Jones, Norm Abrahamson, and Ron Hamburger for the four-day action packed program.

The 11NCEE will be the perfect venue to showcase your organization amongst the leading firms and organizations in the earthquake engineering and earthquake mitigation communities. There is large range of sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities designed to meet the needs of your organization and provide you visibility so you can demonstrate and announce new technologies, products, capabilities, and innovations. Your organization will generate focused, highly qualified leads from more than 1,000 conference attendees and have visibility to key decision makers on local, state and federal levels. You will be able to recruit from over 400 students attending the conference and seismic design competition, and network with the foremost experts and leaders in the field.

Join us in making this conference a milestone in earthquake engineering and take advantage of an opportunity that comes only once every four years!

More information about sponsorship and exhibiting can be found at these links:

Honors Committee Seeks Award Nominations by August 1, 2017

EERI's Honors Committee is charged with developing recommendations for several awards. The committee greatly depends on nominations submitted by the members of the Institute and seeks help in identifying worthy members whose contributions should be recognized.

EERI (logo)Please consider nominating candidates for the Distinguished Lecture Award, George W. Housner Medal, the Alfred Alquist Special Recognition Award, and authors who deserve the 2016 Outstanding Paper Award for Earthquake Spectra (vol. 32).

Submit Your Nominations
All nominations should be accompanied by a brief justification, and must be received by August 1, 2017, in order for the Honors Committee to complete deliberations and forward its recommendations to the Board of Directors. Send your nominations to the EERI office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A list of all past awardees and complete descriptions of each award are accessible from

All awards will be presented at EERI's Awards Luncheon at the 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering and 70th EERI Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA on June 25-29, 2018. 

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Program Updates - July 15, 2017

The Pacific Northwest Scenario Archive is LIVE!

3 PNWSThanks to the efforts of the Pacific Northwest Scenario Archive Committee and the support of our test researchers, the Pacific Northwest Scenario Archive is live and available on the FEMA GeoPlatform.

View the Archive here: Pacific Northwest Scenario Archive

From 2016 to 2017, EERI and Pacific Northwest Scenario Archive Committee members representing state and local agencies worked to develop the scope and context for a scenario project that utilizes Hazus disaster models for use on the FEMA GeoPlatform. This collaboration produced the Pacific Northwest Scenario Archive Project, a repository for region-specific earthquake scenarios available for public use. Continued collaboration will produce useful archival materials for emergency responders, educators, and other state, local and federal government agencies in regions that are especially vulnerable to natural disasters. Select committee members continue to serve as expert reviewers for accompanying guidance documents as this Archive pilot is tested and tried.

The project may be complete, but because we hope this will serve as a pilot for broader future efforts, we welcome any and all feedback from our members. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve the usability of the Archive, or if you have any other recommendations.

California Earthquake Clearinghouse Update

logoThe California Clearinghouse Website has a new look! Check it out for recent earthquake responses, participation in exercises, and updated reports. We've also updated the calendar, bringing you a more streamlined view of what's to come -- like our upcoming July Stakeholder Training Workshop Series in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento!

The California Earthquake Clearinghouse is a multi-agency collaborative effort with EERI to coordinate earthquake field investigations and share observations and knowledge among emergency responders, engineers, and scientists.

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Member Spotlight

Retirement Symposium and Celebration Honoring Professor Anil Chopra

Chopra photographThe University of California Berkeley Department of Civil Engineering has announced a Retirement Symposium and Celebration honoring the career of Professor Anil K. Chopra (M. EERI, 1973), to take place on Oct. 2-3, 2017 at UC Berkeley.

Professor Chopra retired from the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2015 after 46 years of service, and currently holds the position of Emeritus Professor. He has made fundamental and important contributions to earthquake engineering in both research and teaching. He is well-known internationally for his popular and accessible textbook on structural dynamics, and received the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999.

Throughout his career, Professor Chopra has made significant contributions to EERI, having served on the Board of Directors from 1990-1993, and on the Earthquake Spectra Editorial Board. In 2002, he was awarded EERI's Housner Medal. He published the popular EERI monograph, Dynamics of Structures, a Primer, which was followed by his well-known textbook, Dynamics of Structures: Theory and Applications to Earthquake Engineering. In 2017, he was recognized with the EERI Honorary Member Award.

Professor Chopra has authored more than 330 published papers and has been honored extensively for his research. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1984, received the ASCE Newmark Medal in 1993, and was awarded the ASCE Norman Medal for the best paper among ASCE journals four times (2013, 2001, 1991, 1979). He is particularly well-known for his extensive work on dam analysis, and has been recognized as one of the most influential people in that area. He is also the long-time general editor of Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, the premier international journal of the field.

The symposium will feature a lineup of prominent national and international speakers who are former students and close collaborators of Professor Chopra who will share their research and experience in working with him. Please visit the symposium website for the most up-to-date information about the event. Space is limited by the capacity of the venue, so please check the website and be sure to register early once registration has opened.

Sissy Nikolaou receives the 2017 New Principal of the Year Award

Photo ACECNY Principal of Year PhotoThe American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York) presented the 2017 New Principal of the Year Award to Sissy Nikolaou, PhD, P.E.(M. EERI, 2004), Principal at WSP USA. The award is given to an ACEC New York member who has been a principal less than five years and who has made significant contributions in the form of ideas and service to the consulting engineering community.

Dr. Nikolaou, Principal of WSP USA with 20+ years of engineering experience, oversees the firm’s geotechnical earthquake engineering practice and leads the multi-hazard resilience initiative of the Geotechnical & Tunneling Technical Excellence Center. She is driven to find innovative solutions to protect populations and help them emerge stronger from natural disasters. Her structural and geotechnical engineering expertise focuses on performance-based design, soil-structure interaction and risk assessment using GIS. Her education includes degrees from NTUA, Greece (Diploma) and the University at Buffalo (MSc/PhD). Her consulting experience involves numerous NY infrastructure and building projects, high-rise structures in Mexico, and helping areas like Kobe, Christchurch, and recently Ecuador recover from major earthquakes. She is evaluating seismic risk of critical federal dams and consulting on California High Speed Rail, NY’s 2nd Ave Subway, and other projects.

Dr. Nikolaou is a member of the EERI Board of Directors and President of the NY-Northeast EERI Regional Chapter. She also holds Board positions in ACEC New York and ATC. She is serving on the advisory board for the Dean Folks of the Engineering School of the University of Buffalo. She has been volunteering with ACEC New York’s scholarship program since 1999, as well as other mentoring activities in an effort to pay forward the mentoring she has gratefully received. Click here for the press release

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July 21 Webinar: “Plan Your Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill”

ShakeOut-Government Webinar Save-the-DateSave-the-Date! Webinar for Government Partners: “Plan Your Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill” On July 21st at 9:00 am pst, learn how your organization can participate in the annual world-wide event: Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. Great Shakeout supports government agencies in promoting both internal and community-wide earthquake readiness. Participants practice the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” safety procedure and other aspects of their emergency plans. ShakeOut is designed so you can tailor the drill to your organization’s needs and is not a centrally managed exercise involving complex reporting and coordination requirements.

The “Plan Your Great ShakeOut Drill” webinar is hosted by FEMA Region X, the Southern California Earthquake Center, and State partners. On the “Plan your Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill” webinar you will learn:

  • The value of an earthquake drill to your organization and community
  • Earthquake risk in the Pacific Northwest
  • How to plan an earthquake drill
  • Government planning successes
  • How to join the Great ShakeOut Drill and find resources

The webinar audience is government organizations interested in participating in the Great ShakeOut both within and outside of the Pacific Northwest – all are welcome partake! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive future messages regarding the “Plan Your Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill” webinar. Visit for more information on the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills.


California Earthquake Clearinghouse and EERI Stakeholder Training Workshops

EERI CACH WorkshopsThe California Earthquake Clearinghouse and EERI are holding three Stakeholder Training Workshops this summer on July 19, 2017 (Los Angeles), July 20, 2017 (San Diego) and July 31, 2017 (Sacramento). The full-day workshops will cover the following topics:

  • An Introduction to the California Clearinghouse
  • Disaster Service Worker Training
  • Making Scientific Observations Actionable
  • Reconnaissance Data Collection Tool Demonstrations
  • Interactive Field Exercises
  • Information Sharing

For more information and to register please click here.


University of Pavia Master of Science in Civil Engineering for Mitigation of Risk from Natural Hazards (CivRisk)

Pavia logoThe University of Pavia and the University School of Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia (Italy) have announced a new international Master of Science in Civil Engineering for Mitigation of Risk from Natural Hazards (CivRisk). The program features two curricula:

  • Reduction of Seismic Risk (ROSE)
  • Hydrogeological Risk Assessment and Mitigation (HYRIS)

Courses are taught in English.The program is two years in duration, and is fully held in Pavia (with possibility of stages/internships for the dissertation). The Call for Applications is now open for the 2017/2018 academic year starting September 25, 2017. All information can be found at

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Opportunities - July 15, 2017

Job Posting: FEMA Building Science Branch

fema logo 50FEMA Building Science is Hiring an Architect or Engineer

Please see the links below for a vacancy announcement within the FEMA Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) Risk Management Directorate (RMD), Building Science Branch. This position will serve as an Architect or Civil Engineer responsible for the application of mitigating the effects of natural hazards through the Agency's efforts related to disaster-resistant building codes and standards.

Vacancy announcement for the position of Architect GS-808-12/13, please apply online:

FEMA-17-FF-167218-MP- (for status candidates that are current or former federal civilian employees)

Vacancy announcement for the position of Civil Engineer, GS-810-12/13, please apply online:

FEMA-17-FF-167212-DE -
FEMA-17-FF-167212-MP- (for status candidates that are current or former federal civilian employees.)

This position is located in Washington D. C. The opening/closing period of this vacancy announcement is July 6, 2017, through July 19, 2017.

Call For Participation: Crowdsourcing Post-Disaster Damage Assessment

Stanford StudyThe Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative and Blume Earthquake Engineering Center are researching ways to improve crowdsourced remote damage assessment, and need your help! They are looking at novel methods for assessing building damage from post-disaster satellite imagery, and need volunteers to test the crowdsourcing tools. Your participation will help improve recovery following earthquakes and other natural disasters.

To participate and learn more about the Crowdsourcing Post-Disaster Damage Assessment project, visit the project homepage.

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Welcome New Members - July 15, 2017

Welcome New EERI Subscribing Member

EERI would like to take this opportunity to welcome its newest subscribing member. Condon-Johnson & Associates, Inc. is now a Bronze subscribing member of the Institute.

New Bronze Subscribing Member
Condon Johnson full size logoCondon-Johnson & Associates, Inc. offers experience in geotechnical design and construction spanning more than three decades. Over that period of time we have grown from a small shoring and foundation company to the leader in geotechnical construction on the West Coast. We are underpinned by our core values of being a dependable, reliable, innovative, and honest family-owned Construction Company.

For more information about Condon-Johnson & Associates, Inc., visit

If you would like to connect with new members of the Institute, you will find them in the online EERI Membership Directory, which requires logging into the Member Resources Area of the EERI website.

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

Eight recent stories, reports, or opinions from around the web.

1oneEngineers in Favour of New Assessment Guidelines for Earthquake-prone Buildings (NZ Stuff) Engineers are welcoming new legislation they say means more consistency in the assessment of earthquake-prone buildings. Read more

2twoGuidelines to Reduce the Risk of Minor Earthquakes During Hydraulic Fracturing (Science Daily) Researchers are advising on new safety guidelines for hydraulic fracturing to help prevent minor earthquakes. Read more

3threeCongress Votes to Spare Earthquake Early Detection Warning System for California (ABC7 News) Members from both political parties in the House appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency voted to save an earthquake early warning system for California. EERI members, Laura Samant (M. EERI 2003) and Charles Scathorn (M. EERI 1981), are interviewed. Watch the video

4fourSecond Large Earthquake on Philippines Fault in Four Days (Temblor) On July 6 there was a M=6.5 earthquake on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. That earthquake resulted in two fatalities, 349 injuries, and over 1,700 partially to severely-damaged homes, according to the NDRRMC. At 9:41 a.m. local time on July 10, a M=5.9 aftershock shook the region, approximately 20 km southeast of the mainshock’s epicenter. Read more

5fiveDisaster Prevention Champion Legarda Calls for Resilience in Quake Zones (ReliefWeb)  UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction: International disaster prevention advocate Senator Loren Legarda has called for a strengthening of the resilience of critical infrastructure, in the wake of a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit Leyte in her homeland the Philippines last week. Read more

6sixMontana Hit by Strongest Earthquake in 12 Years; Minor Damage Reported ( A magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit a mountainous area of western Montana on July 6 producing minor damage near the epicenter. The quake, reportedly the strongest to hit the state in 12 years, was felt as far away as eastern Washington, southern Canada and Idaho. Read more

7sevenEngineers to Simulate 6.7 Earthquake at UC San Diego (San Diego Union-Tribune) Engineers will use UC San Diego’s shake table to subject a two-story structure to the forces produced by the 6.7 Northridge earthquake to look for ways to design tall wood buildings that can survive big temblors. Read more

8eightSurviving a Tsunami in the United States (Government Technology: Emergency Management) A tsunami striking the U.S. mainland might seem far-fetched, but scientists say preparation is crucial because it will happen — it’s just a matter of when. Read more


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