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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.

EERI Leadership Communiqué

A Message From the President

Johnson August 2017 5.125x180By Laurie A. Johnson (M.EERI,1990)

In my first communique as EERI’s President, I am elated to share an update on the progress we are making with the newly launched Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Endowment fundraising campaign. As of May 1st, 28 members have made cash pledges totaling $738,300 and testamentary/estate pledges of $845,000; but our work is far from done. I am appealing to each of you to consider how you might contribute in order to help EERI meet its $4 million goal of $2 million in cash pledges paid over a 5-year period and another $2 million in testamentary gifts.

Post-earthquake reconnaissance has been at the heart of EERI since the Institute’s beginning in 1948, and EERI earthquake investigations and reports have been crucial to advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering and risk reduction in the U.S. and internationally. EERI investigations were formalized into the LFE program in 1973 and the National Science Foundation (NSF) provided steady program funding for nearly 40 years in which time EERI responded to more than 200 earthquakes across the globe, uncovering lessons that enhanced the fundamental understanding of earthquake ground motions and fault mechanics, led to major changes in building codes and construction practices, and improved procedures in disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Since 2010, however, EERI has been funding the LFE program and individual event reconnaissance efforts from annual membership revenue, the Institute’s general endowment fund, Institute reserves, and event-specific grants. The funding uncertainty year-on-year has been a strain on the program and a concern for the health of the Institute as a whole since LFE is EERI’s signature program. Simply put, for many of our members, EERI is LFE.

But with challenge comes opportunity, and over the past five years EERI has developed a truly remarkable and innovative new suite of LFE products and initiatives to reinforce and expand EERI’s role as a multi-disciplinary convener and global leader in earthquake reconnaissance, and to engage more of our members, especially our younger members, in learning from earthquakes. For example, this month 24 young researchers and professionals from around the world will participate in LFE’s second travel study program to New Zealand, to learn directly from local experts involved in response and recovery following the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes and the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, and develop themselves as future leaders in the fields of earthquake engineering and earthquake risk reduction. Also, an LFE team is gearing up to go to Indonesia to study population displacement and relocation aspects of the September 28, 2018 Palu, Indonesia earthquake and tsunami which builds upon EERI’s ground-breaking research and development of the LFE Seismic Resilience Observatory framework to help expand our understanding and education on earthquake impacts over time, space, and societal systems.

In our fundraising efforts to date, many EERI members have recalled their first encounter with LFE as truly life-changing, whether or not they participated directly on an LFE team or just attended one of many EERI post-reconnaissance briefings over the years. Gaining that multi-disciplinary knowledge has had transformational impacts on individuals’ perspectives, as well as their careers and devotion to earthquake risk reduction here and abroad. If you are someone who has benefitted from LFE or you want to ensure that these learning opportunities continue, please consider making a pledge. A $4 million target will provide an estimated annual income of $200,000 that will be dedicated to the core activities of the LFE program as well as innovations for the future. All early donors who make a cash pledge prior to July 31, 2019 will be given the distinction of “LFE Endowment Founding Benefactor.”

In closing, I want to give special recognition to past-presidents David Friedman and Mary Comerio, LFE Executive Committee chair Charles Huyck and past-chair Ken Elwood, EERI executive director Heidi Tremayne and past director Jay Berger, and LFE program manager, Maggie Ortiz-Millan, for all of their hard work in developing and launching this campaign. I also want to thank all of the early donors for your input and guidance as well as your very generous pledges. This includes the entire EERI Board of Directors who have been steadfast and unanimous in their support.

I invite you to please read our full case statement online, or contact me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Past-President David Friedman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Executive Director Heidi Tremayne (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or call 510-451-0905 for more information.

I am excited about what we can collectively do to secure a robust and dynamic LFE program for many generations to come. Thank you for your membership and service to EERI.


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News of the Institute

EERI Annual Awards: Call for Nominations/Applications

Award Ribbon.EERIEERI is proud to announce the call for nominations and deadlines for the following awards, which will be presented at the 2020 EERI Annual Meeting in San Diego, California on March 3-6, 2020. Since 2018, EERI's  "call for nominations" announcement has consolidated all annual award categories into a single Pulse announcement, allowing members the opportunity to consider a complete suite of candidates whom they believe to be qualified and deserving.

Please view the following list of awards that are now open for nominations. Please continue reading the articles below for specific details about each award, including selection criteria and instructions for nominating a candidate and/or submitting an application.  

Nominations/Applications are due May 31, 2019 for:

2019-2020 EERI/FEMA Graduate Fellowships in Earthquake Hazard Reduction 

Nominations are due June 15, 2019 for:

The George W. Housner Medal
The Alfred E. Alquist Special Recognition Medal
The Bruce A. Bolt Medal
EERI Honorary Membership
EERI Distinguished Lecture Award
Outstanding Paper Award for Earthquake Spectra (2018, vol.34) 
2019 EERI Board of Directors Election Nominees

Nominations/Applications are due June 30, 2019 for:
2019 Shah Family Innovation Prize 

Nominations are due August 1, 2019 for:
The William B. Joyner Memorial Lecture Award

Coming Soon:
2020 Younger Member Award 
EERI 2019 Undergraduate Student Paper Competition


Submit Nominations for EERI's Housner, Alquist, Distinguished Lecture, Honorary Member and Outstanding Paper Awards; and 2019 Board of Directors Election

Deadline: June 15, 2019

The EERI 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. Please consider submitting nominations to the Honors Committee by June 15, 2019, for these prestigious awards: The Alfred E. Alquist Special Recognition Award, Distinguished Lecture Award, George W. Housner Medal, and EERI Honorary Membership.  Also due on June 15, 2019, are nominations for the Outstanding Paper Award for Earthquake Spectra (vol. 34), which will be reviewed by the Editorial Board of Earthquake Spectra.  

In addition, the EERI Nominating Committee seeks nominations for potential candidates to be considered for the 2019 EERI Board of Directors Election. Newly elected Board Members will begin serving their term in March 2020.

Process for Submitting Nominations: 

Housner medal 2019All nominations should be accompanied by a brief justification, and must be received by June 15, 2019, in order for the Honors Committee to complete deliberations and forward its recommendations to the Board of Directors. Please review the award description and criteria and complete the application form. For a list of past award recipients, please click here. To view descriptions of each award, please click here.

Please click here to access Nomination Forms for the following:

  • George W. Housner Medal 
  • Alfred E. Alquist Special Recognition Award 
  • 2020 Distinguished Lecture Award 
  • EERI Honorary Membership
  • 2018 Outstanding Paper Award for Earthquake Spectra (vol. 34)
  • 2019 Board of Directors election nominees 

Awards will be presented at EERI's 72nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, California on March 3-6, 2020.

Photo: EERI President Laurie Johnson (M.EERI,1990) presents the 2019 George W. Housner Medal to W.D. Liam Finn (M.EERI 1976).
Photo Credit: Sevil Baghban Karimi 


Nominations for the 2020 Bruce Bolt Medal are due June 15, 2019

The Bruce A. Bolt Medal is a distinguished honor 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.

The COSMOS, EERI, and SSA Joint Nomination Panel is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Bruce Bolt Medalist. Nomination packets must be received by June 15, 2019

Bolt Medal 2019Members 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 carefully review the nominee criteria and procedure.

The deadline to submit nominations for the 2020 award is June 15, 2019. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered by the Joint Nomination Panel.

Please submit nominations and direct all questions to the Chair of the Bolt Panel, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (M. EERI, 1975), via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo: 2019 Bruce Bolt Medalist Yousef Bozorgnia (M.EERI,1986).


Submit Nominations for the 2020 Joyner Lecture by August 1, 2019

Robert Graves.2019 Joyner LectureThe William B. Joyner Memorial Lectures were established by the Seismological Society of America (SSA) in cooperation with EERI to honor Bill Joyner's distinguished career at the U.S. Geological Survey and his abiding commitment to the exchange of information at the interface of earthquake science and earthquake engineering.

Joyner Lecturers are chosen on the basis of their work at this interface, whether they are contributions from earthquake science to earthquake engineering or from earthquake engineering to earthquake science. The nomination deadline is August 1, 2019. 

Sponsor Nomination
The sponsor of the nominee, with help from others, must clearly document the accomplishments of the nominee that foster and enhance communication at the earthquake-science/earthquake-engineering interface, and why their work makes a difference. The sponsor must prepare a written proposal providing a brief summary of the candidate’s professional history. It may include honors and awards, professional affiliations, lectures and publications, and professional service and experience that address the intent of the Joyner Award. 

Nominations for the 2019 Joyner Lecturer should be emailed to the Joyner Lecture Committee by August 1, 2019 to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Click here for more information on the William B. Joyner Memorial Lectures.

Photo: 2019 Joyner Lecturer Robert W. Graves (M.EERI,2000).


2019 Shah Family Innovation Prize

Nominations for the Shah Family Innovation Prize are due June 30, 2019

Reid ZimmermanDo you know a young academic or professional making a difference in reducing global earthquake risk? EERI members are encouraged to nominate candidates from government, private firms, academia, and the international community for the 2019 Shah Family Innovation Prize. The Shah Family Innovation Prize was created with a substantial gift to the EERI Endowment Fund by the Haresh C. Shah family of Stanford, California. The intent of the prize is to stimulate further creativity and leadership in the earthquake risk mitigation community and EERI. The selection process recognizes a combination of past accomplishments and future potential, emphasizing creative and innovative thinkers who have demonstrated at early stages in their careers the potential to make major contributions. EERI membership is not required for either the nominator or candidate, although it is strongly encouraged. Candidates must be less than 35 years of age on January 1, 2020.

For more information about the required nomination package including selection criteria and access to the nomination form, please click here.

EERI extends its appreciation to the Shah Family Innovation Prize Selection Committee: Jack Baker, Stanford University (Chair); Charles Menun, Consultant; Glenn Rix, Geosyntec Consultants; and Helen Crowley, Eucentre.

Photo: 2018 Shah Prize recipient Reid Zimmerman (M.EERI,2013) speaks at the 2019 EERI Annual Meeting awards ceremony.
Photo Credit: Sevil Baghban Karimi


Apply for an EERI/FEMA NEHRP Graduate Fellowship

 EERI Grad Fellow Anne Hulsey22019-2020 EERI/FEMA NEHRP Graduate Fellowship: Applications due May 31, 2019


fema logo 50

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is pleased to announce the availability of two Graduate Fellowships for the 2019-2020 academic year to support full-time students in a discipline contributing to the science and practice of earthquake hazard mitigation. The one-year fellowship, underwritten with funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is designed to foster the participation of capable individuals in working toward goals and activities of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. To learn more, please click here.

Applications must be submitted online by May 31, 2019. Click here to apply.

Photo: EERI/FEMA NEHRP 2018-2019 Graduate Fellow Anne Hulsey (M.EERI,2012) with Judith Mitrani-Reiser (M.EERI,2001). 
Photo Credit: Sevil Baghban Karimi


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Younger Members News

Now Available: Recording from EERI-YMC Webinar: Case Studies of Financial Decision-Making using Near–Real-time Post-Earthquake Information

LFE Webinar.5.1.2019
On January 30, 2019, the EERI Younger Members Committee hosted a webinar titled, “Case Studies of Financial Decision-Making using Near-Real-Time Post-Earthquake Information.” The webinar was presented by USGS seismologist David Wald (M.EERI,1988) and focused on how USGS earthquake information products like ShakeMap and PAGER are used to inform financial decisions in the insurance industry following earthquakes. A recording of the webinar presentation is now available at EERI’s YouTube channel.

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NHERI SimCenter Upcoming Workshops - Registration is now open!

simcenter1x.jpg 852x180 q85 subsampling 2
June 13 & 14, 2019
SimCenter Training in Natural Hazards Engineering
Location: UC Berkeley's Richmond Field Station
Cost: $20 in advance at registration with a full refund for 2-day attendance.

Are you a graduate student interested in various aspects of hazard analysis from modeling the hazard to structural analysis, probability, reliability analysis, loss and downtime estimation, and resiliency? Are you interested in the benefits of hands-on software training and instruction in SimCenter Tools and their useful applications in natural hazards engineering? This course will utilize 1) SimCenter educational applications to demonstrate the theory of natural hazards engineering and 2) SimCenter research applications to demonstrate their effective use.
Important dates:
May 10: deadline to apply for travel support
May 30: registration deadline (or sooner if venue capacity is reached)
Registration, more information, and application for travel support can be found here

July 22 – 26, 2019
SimCenter Programming Bootcamp
Location: UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station
Cost: $150 until June 21, $250 after June 21
Important dates:
May 24: deadline to apply for travel support
June 21: discounted registration ends
July 8: registration deadline (or sooner if venue capacity is reached)
Registration, more information, and application for travel support can be found here


USGS 2020 Earthquake Hazards External Grants Program Announcement

USGS logo green SQUARE


USGS External Grants Program: Call for Proposals
Deadline May 29, 2019

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides support for research that will assist in achieving the goals of the Earthquake Hazards Program. The goal is to mitigate earthquake losses that can occur in many parts of the nation by providing earth science data and assessments essential for land-use planning, engineering design, and emergency preparedness decisions.

The USGS External Grants Annual Program announcement is for competitive proposals for grants and cooperative agreements to support research in earthquake hazards, the physics of earthquakes, earthquake occurrence, and earthquake safety policy. To learn more, please click here.

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Georgia Tech School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Job Announcement


The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia is seeking qualified candidates for a full- or part-time non-tenure-track Professor of the Practice position in Structural Engineering, Mechanics, and Materials. A full description of this position may be found here.


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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

spectra 150Seven (7) preprint manuscripts have been posted to the Earthquake Spectra website prior to formal publication.

The papers to be published are:

  • "Earthquake-Induced Ground Deformations in the Low-seismicity Region: A case of the 2017 M5.4 Pohang, South Korea, Earthquake” By Sinhang Kang, Byungmin Kim (M.EERI,2014) Sungjin Bae, Hyejin Lee and Mirae Kim

  • "Deformation Capacity Limits for Reinforced Concrete Walls” By Alex V. Shegay (M.EERI,2018), Christopher J. Motter (M.EERI,2014) Kenneth J. Elwood (M.EERI,1994), Richard S. Henry (M.EERI,2014) 

  • "Seismic Reassessment of the Leaning Tower of Pisa: Monitoring, Site Response and SSI” By Gabriele Fiorentino, Giuseppe Quaranta, George Mylonakis, Davide Lavorato, Alessandro Pagliaroli, Giorgia Carlucci, Fabio Sabetta, Giuseppe Della Monica, Giuseppe Lanzo, Victoria Aprile, Giuseppe Carlo Marano, Bruno Briseghella, Giorgio Monti, Nunziante Squeglia, Raffaello Bartelletti, and Camillo Nuti (M.EERI,1990) 

  • "The Inelastic Displacement Spectra and Its Utilization of DDB Design for Seismic Isolated Bridges Subjected to Near-fault Pulse-like Ground Motions” By Yi-feng WU, Hao WANG, Jian LI, Ben SHA and Ai-qun LI

  • "Effects of Soil Parameter Variabilities on the Estimation of Ground-Motion Amplification Factors” By Bo Li, Mahesh D. Pandy, Kao-Shan Dai, Yang Lu, Yu-Zhou Zhou, Yuan-Feng Shi and Zhi-Bin Ding

  • "Z-Transferred Discrete-Time Infinite Impulse Response Filter as Foundation-soil Impedance Function for SDOF Dynamic Structural Response Considering Soil-Structure Interaction” By Yu-Chi Sung and Chieh-Cheng Chen

  • "70%-Damped Spectral Acceleration as a Ground Motion Intensity Measure for Predicting Highly Nonlinear Response of Structures” By Kenny Buyco (M.EERI,2016), and Thomas H. Heaton (M.EERI,1995) 

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

If you have questions about Spectra, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News & Views

Seven (7) recent news articles, stories, opinions and reports from around the web.

1onePhilippines Struck by Another Powerful Earthquake (New York Times) When a powerful magnitude-6.4 struck the Philipines on Tuesday afternoon, April 23, rescuers were still searching for people trapped in the Monday, April 22 magnitude-6.1 earthquake that killed at least 16 people and shook buildings in Manila, the capital. Read more

2twoA New Approach to Seismic Risk Analysis (Globe St.) The new US Resiliency Council standard hopes to institute consistency and transparency in seismic risk assessments.  In this article penned by Jay Kumar, PE (M.EERI,2017), the alternative approach for impartial, repeatable and building-specific risk analysis that uses “Next Generation” loss methodologies developed under the FEMA-P58 project is discussed. Read more

3threeAhmedabad: For Quake Zones, Confined Masonry is a Solid Idea (Times of India) The devastating earthquake of January 26, 2001 in Ahmedabad brought forth the issue of civil engineering for seismic safety and paved the way for new regulations. Dr. Svetlana Brzev (M.EERI,1995) and other experts have approached the authorities to amend the National Building Code to promote the CM method especially for high seismic zones of India. Read more

4fourGhana Far Away From Major Earthquake Zones – Engineer (GhanaWeb) Severe earthquakes struck the country of Ghana in 1906, 1939, 1964, 1969, 1997 and 2003. At a program to discuss the recent earthquakes in Accra, the Past President of GhIE, currently President-elect for Federation of African Engineering Organization (FAEO), Carlien Bou-Chedid (M.EERI,2011), suggested that the country put a deliberate plan in place to ensure that all public buildings are retrofitted to be able to stand earthquake and tremors. Read more

5fiveScientists Have Identified Almost 2 Million 'Hidden' Earthquakes Shaking California (Science Alert) California is notorious for its earthquakes, but a stunning new discovery reveals for the first time just how much we've underestimated its omnipresent earth-shaking potential...based off a new, unprecedented deep dive into 10 years' worth of seismic data, which isolated almost 2 million 'hidden' tremors in the region that scientists had never identified before. Read more

6sixThese Houses Will Not Burn: Epic 1906 Earthquake Story is Lost in Time (San Francisco Chronicle) The 3 San Francisco homes, on the south side of Green Street ... become easier to miss with each passing decade. But 113 years ago, they were all that was left on the top of this hill. In a fit of bravery or temporary insanity, a handful of civilians withstood the 1906 earthquake... Read more


All Types of Large Earthquakes Produce Prompt Gravity Signals (EOS) New observations of recently discovered gravity perturbations that precede seismic waves have the potential to improve earthquake early-warning systems in California and other tectonic settings. Read more


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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
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