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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 72nd Annual Meeting is the 2020 National Earthquake Conference – Submit an Abstract!

2020AnnualMeetingSTDSave the date for EERI’s 72nd Annual Meeting that will occur as an integral part of the 2020 National Earthquake Conference from March 4-6, 2020 in San Diego, California!

Preconference workshops, field trips, and activities (like our Welcome Reception and annual Seismic Design Competition Auction) will take place on March 2-3. A key highlight of the conference will be the sharing of results from a new earthquake scenario and risk study for the San Diego-Tijuana region that was launched by EERI’s San Diego Chapter. And don’t miss the opportunity to help us shape the program agenda by submitting an abstract by June 28!

The National Earthquake Conference (NEC) is a quadrennial event providing a unique opportunity for experts from a vast array of disciplines to share and discuss the latest advances in earthquake science and engineering, best practices for outreach and education, building science, and code advancement, and policy initiatives that improve earthquake resiliency.

EERI members will have the opportunity to participate in more plenary and breakout sessions than our typical annual meeting, while also enjoying our popular events such as the Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition, EERI Distinguished Lecture, EERI-SSA Joyner Lecture, and more. The integration with the 2020 NEC is expected to increase meeting attendance and diversity by the presence of the NEHRP agency leadership, U.S. State and Territorial Earthquake Program Managers, and many other experts and stakeholders.

Please help us shape the program agenda to best serve the needs of EERI and our community by submitting an abstract. The 2020 NEC Program Committee is seeking proposals for both presentation and session concepts in four broad focus areas - Engineering, Science, Policy, and Practice. The deadline for presentation submissions is Friday, June 28. All selected presenters will be asked to prepare a powerpoint presentation or poster, but NO conference papers will be accepted or required. Submit your presentation or session abstract today!

EERI is joining with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) to jointly plan and host the conference for the earthquake risk reduction community, with advisement and support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FLASH is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. The FLASH partnership includes more than 100 innovative and diverse organizations that share a vision of making America a more disaster-resilient nation.

Mark your calendar today so that you can join us at this important conference!


Farewell to Rita Ortiz

Rita Ortiz 2019This month, EERI says farewell to Membership & Communications Manager Rita Ortiz (M.EERI,2016). Rita joined the EERI staff 2 ½ years ago. She served as writer and editor of the Pulse newsletter, and was instrumental in creating and producing EERI’s print publication, Pulse Digest. Rita oversees EERI’s membership programs and will very much miss her daily interactions with EERI members. She especially enjoyed her roles as staff liaison to the Oral History Committee and Membership Advisory Board. Rita is leaving in anticipation of a move out of the area. If you’d like to stay in touch, she can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Photo by Ethan Jones



Welcome to EERI: Van Nguyen, new Membership & Communications Manager

EERI is pleased to welcome Van Nguyen as our new Membership & Communications Manager!

Prior to joining EERI, Van served in various roles in the nonprofit sector, including as a communications specialist, researcher, and organizer for labor unions and other social justice organizations. She is excited to bring her experience and passion in strategic communications to best respond to the diverse interests and needs of EERI members. Van holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago and a bachelors in Social Welfare and minor in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. In her leisure time, Van enjoys floral design, calligraphy, card-making, live music, and reading.

Van can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Learning from Earthquakes

EERI Successfully Wraps Up LFE Travel Study Program in New Zealand

EERI, in partnership with QuakeCoRE, just wrapped up its second Learning From Earthquakes Travel Study Program! This year’s program was held May 5-12 in Christchurch, Kaikoura, and Wellington, New Zealand. Through lectures, site visits, and group research projects, 24 graduate students and young professionals had the unique opportunity to learn directly from local experts in the field about the region's recovery from recent earthquakes.

"The LFE Travel Study Program in New Zealand showed me the phases and faces of resilience, and how culture played a tremendous role in the response and recovery of the cities," said program participant Ashley Morales (M.EERI,2015), a geotechnical engineer with the Dominican Republic's National Office for Seismic Evaluation, Infrastructure & Buildings Vulnerability and Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). "I was able to learn the best practices from three different scenarios (Christchurch, Kaikoura and Wellington) from practitioners, academic, and government agencies. It gave me practical tools and a clear knowledge of how to prepare my community for an earthquake but also how lessons on how to come back strongly. All this will help me to make a more safe and resilient Dominican Republic."

Stay tuned for reports from program participants at a later date, and in the meantime, please enjoy highlights from the trip below:

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Special thanks to colleagues at QuakeCoRE, without whom, this program would not have been possible. Information about the program goals and the outcomes of the 2017 LFE Travel Study Program in Chile can be found here. For general questions about the LFE Travel Study program, please contact Zoe Yin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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EERI Annual Awards

Last Chance! EERI/FEMA NEHRP Graduate Fellowship Applications Due May 31, 2019!

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


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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.


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
Click here to access nomination forms

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).


2019 Shah Family Innovation Prize: Call for Nominations

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


Nominations for the 2020 Joyner Lecture are due 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).


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Member Spotlight

Izuru Takewaki Elected President of the Architectural Institute of Japan

20191515 Member Spotlight Izuru TakewakiProf. Izuru Takewaki (M.EERI,1989) of Kyoto University was elected as the new president of the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) on April 11 and will serve a term from May 2019 through May 2021. Founded in 1886, AIJ is a nonprofit academic association with approximately 35,000 members, consisting of architects, building engineers, and researchers in every field of architecture.



Pradeep Ramancharla elected Vice President of the Indian Association of Structural Engineers

Ramchalra2Pradeep K. Ramancharla (M.EERI,2000) has been elected Vice President of the Indian Association of Structural Engineers. A Professor of Civil Engineering, Prof. Ramancharla is well known for his contributions in improving the quality of technical education and earthquake safety in India as he heads the Earthquake Engineering Research Center at IIIT-Hyderabad. As stated in the announcement, "Prof. Ramancharla brings a rare combination in India of an engineer trained in seismic hazard assessment, with a global view of both seismic hazard and seismic resistance capacity of buildings." Read the full article.


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Regional Chapter News

San Diego: Reserve Your Seat at the 2nd Ishihara Colloquium and Course

The EERI San Diego Chapter invites you to two exciting events this August, a short course on seismic analyses tools and the second Kenji Ishihara Colloquium, happening on the beautiful campus of San Diego State University. Registration is now open, so be sure to reserve your seat today!

Short course on USGS Software Tools, August 21: Drs. Nicolas Luco, Peter Powers, and Jorge Meneses (M.EERI,2006) will present on various USGS web-based interactive tools available for site-specific ground motion hazard analysis. For more information, please click here.

The second Kenji Ishihara Colloquium, August 22-23: With a theme of “Seismic Lateral Displacements,” this year’s event includes an extraordinary lineup of geotechnical and structural engineering speakers from USA, Japan, and Chile. We’ve confirmed several prestigious speakers and will continue to add others. Click here for a list of speakers, their bios, and abstracts. At the colloquium, we’ll also honor the lifetime contributions and achievements of Prof. T. Leslie Youd, Professor Emeritus, Brigham Young University with a gala dinner on August 22.

We look forward to seeing you all in beautiful San Diego!

Events sponsored by:

EERI SD August2019 Event Sponors

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NHERI SimCenter Upcoming Workshops - Registration is now open

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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.

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
July 8: Registration deadline (or sooner if venue capacity is reached)
Registration, more information, and application for travel support can be found here


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Job Alert: RWDI Seeks Senior Seismologist & Technical Director

RWDI, a global engineering consulting firm, is seeking a full-time Senior Seismologist & Technical Director to grow and lead its North American Seismic Hazard practice, position based on the US West Coast and/or British Columbia. Learn more about this opportunity here.

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News & Views

Recent news articles, stories, opinions, and reports from around the web:

1oneInternational Researchers Visit NZ to Study Earthquakes (NZ Scoop) EERI's LFE Travel Study trip is covered in this week's New Zealand Scoop! "The US-based Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) has partnered with QuakeCoRE, New Zealand’s Centre for Earthquake Resilience, to host the 2019 Learning from Earthquakes Travel Study Programme." Professor Thalia Anagnos (M.EERI,1982), LFE Travel Study Lead, San Jose State University, is interviewed. Read more

2twoOp-Ed: Hunting for Earthquake Early Warning Sites (Eureka Times Standard) Lori Dengler (M.EERI,1998), emeritus professor of geology at Humboldt State University, writes about the seismic network needed in early warning sites. Read more

3threeTwo Hurt as Magnitude 6.1 Earthquake Shakes Northern Panama (Associated Press) A strong earthquake struck a lightly populated area of Panama near its border with Costa Rica on May 12, injuring at least two people. Read more

4fourNew Budget Boosts Wildfire Spending, No Money for Retrofits (Associated Press) Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he wants to see Californians “harden” their homes to protect them from deadly wildfires, but he declined to endorse a proposed $1 billion fund to help homeowners pay for retrofits. Read more

5fiveMoonquakes Hint at a Tectonically Living Moon (New York Times) Some seismic readings from the lunar surface couldn’t be explained — until now. Read more

6sixCluster of Earthquakes Rattle Northern California Coast Over 24 Hours (San Francisco Chronicle) Seven earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or larger rattled around and off the coast of Northern California in within 24 hours in early May. Read more

7sevenOff the Coast of Portugal, the Earth's Crust Might Be Peeling in Two (Live Science) What's causing the rumbles under a seemingly quiet area? One idea is that a tectonic plate is peeling into two layers — the top peeling off the bottom layer — a phenomenon that has never been observed before, a group of scientists reported in April. Read more

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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
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