News of the Institute
The 2021 EERI Annual Meeting is going virtual — March 23-25, 2021! The new virtual format will provide an interactive experience with timely and engaging content to help you connect, learn, and lead — all from the comfort of your home or office. Help us shape the program agenda to best serve your needs and our community by submitting a session proposal! The deadline to submit is Friday, October 16, 2020.
We’re seeking proposals covering diverse disciplines, such as structural and geotechnical engineering, seismology and earth science, risk modeling and insurance, policy, social science, and planning. We’re particularly interested in sessions that approach a topic with a multidisciplinary lense and/or merge perspectives from academia and practice. Sessions will be 50 minutes in a variety of formats, including but not limited to:
- 3-4 person moderated panel discussion with audience participation.
- Facilitated audience (or small group) discussion on interesting and timely topics.
- Three 15-minute presentations or two 25-minute presentations with Q&A.
- Lightning format of 3-5 slide presentations within 5 minutes each for a total of ~10 presenters.
- 3-4 mini-presentations (total of ~20 minutes) or single presentation (~20 minutes) followed with interactive discussion and audience sharing on the topic.
- A highly interactive format such as a debate or game.
Renewal season is here, and we hope that you’ve found your EERI membership valuable this year. With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting us, both in big and small ways, we understand that you might be navigating a lot of uncertainty, and possibly financial challenges. We’ve heard from many of you, so we’re reducing membership dues.
With your EERI membership, you’ll continue to gain opportunities to build community and connections, expand your knowledge of the earthquake risk reduction field, and grow your leadership skills. We hope you take a moment to renew your membership for 2020, so that we can do more (and even better!) together in the years ahead.
Don't forget to cast your vote for the 2021 EERI Board of Directors election! You can view the candidate bios and vision statements here. The election will close on Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm PT. Please check your email for your secure ballot.
Ayse Hortacsu (M. EERI, 2000)
Director of Projects, Applied Technology Council
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Keith Knudsen (M. EERI, 2001)
Deputy Director of the Earthquake Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Carlien Bou-Chedid (M. EERI, 2011)
Independent Consulting Structural and Earthquake Engineer
David Johnston (M. EERI, 2013)
Professor of Disaster Management and Director of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research, School of Psychology at Massey University
Wellington, New Zealand
Join us for a special three-part webinar series, “Applying Lessons Learned from COVID-19 to Earthquake Preparedness,” presented by the EERI San Diego Regional Chapter. Speakers include Jorge Meneses, Principal Geotechnical Engineer at RMA Group, and Kristen Chang, Associate Engineer at Group Delta Consultants.
Global pandemics and large earthquakes don’t occur often, yet they can produce enormous human and economic losses. Current experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic can be useful for discussing and preparing for these “low frequency/high risk” events. Although our scientific knowledge and technology are better now than they have ever been, COVID-19 has posed tremendous challenges for the world in the past six months despite attempts to prepare for events such as this. This webinar series will explore lessons from the pandemic that can help us prepare for earthquakes. EERI’s webinar series is made possible with support from FEMA under cooperative agreement EMW-2020-CA-00029-S01. The series is also sponsored by RMA Companies.
First webinar: Using Scenarios for Preparedness: Comparing Pandemics and Earthquakes
Friday, October 16, 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET. | REGISTER HERE
Scenarios are useful planning tools to help us prepare for future events, particularly events that have a low frequency of occurrence, but a high risk of losses, such as large earthquakes and global pandemics. Several public health scenarios were developed in recent years to better understand and prepare for a global pandemic, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar discusses the outcomes and conclusions of these scenarios, comparing our current experiences with COVID-19 and existing earthquake scenarios to improve earthquake preparedness in our community.
Second Webinar: Common Challenges Preparing for Low Frequency/High-Risk Events (Earthquakes and Pandemics)
Friday, October 30, 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET | REGISTER HERE
Preparing and planning for events that have a low frequency of occurrence, but a high-risk of loss associated with them can have a number of obstacles. These obstacles include changing public perception of risk, communicating information to a non-scientific population, obtaining sustained political and financial support, amongst many others. Panelists will discuss these challenges in the context of our current experiences with COVID-19. The webinar will also discuss how learning from the failures and successes of our experiences with COVID-19 will help counter similar challenges in planning for earthquakes and developing more seismically resilient communities.
Wednesday, October 28 at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET | REGISTER HERE
Cost: Free (PDH hours included upon request)
Presented by the EERI Younger Members Committee, this webinar will introduce how you may take steps to become a seismic safety policy advocate. While getting started in advocacy may seem daunting, advocating for seismic safety policy and advocacy is an important facet of EERI members' expertise and professional practice. The discussion will cover the recently released Citizen Advocate Toolkit, explaining government structures and guides for interacting with representatives and policy makers. We will review case studies of past and current seismic safety related laws, ordinances, and bills, and provide information on how to best communicate science and engineering concepts to non-technical audiences. The webinar will also cover what it’s like to work with and for a public agency on various types of policies, and leave you with actions you can take today in progressing seismic safety in your locale and state. Speakers include Jack English, the University of Texas at Austin and Zahraa Saiyed, Scyma Consulting LLC.
Thursday, November 19 at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET | REGISTER HERE
Cost: Free (PDH hours included upon request)
The EERI Northern California Regional Chapter is hosting a webinar series on how the current COVID-19 pandemic can affect the earthquake community. This upcoming webinar will feature a panel discussion on the impacts of earthquakes on infection rates and actions immediately following earthquakes in Europe (Portugal and Croatia). Attention will be placed on lessons learned that may be important for the United States. Two of our panelists will give a brief summary of their recent article in Earthquake Spectra titled, “Potential Impact of Earthquakes during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.” Another two of our panelists were in Zagreb during the March 2020 earthquake (M5.5) and will provide eye-witness accounts.Back to top >
EERI is pleased to announce the Student Leadership Council (SLC) Co-Presidents for the 2019-2020 academic year: Mike Morano and Preetish Kakoty. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the reality of distance learning, Mike and Preetish have been working hard to create opportunities for students to connect virtually. One of their goals for the SLC this year is to expand their outreach efforts to provide regional opportunities for student chapters to connect and learn from each other. And as always, they’re looking forward to coordinating a great Seismic Design Competition, bringing new and creative ideas to this unique moment we’re in.
Mike is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Structural Engineering Department at the University of California San Diego. His research focuses on the design and analysis of concrete anchorage systems in the support of seismic resiliency, specifically in column base plate connections of steel, braced-frame structures. Mike has been involved with EERI throughout his undergraduate career at at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with the Seismic Design Competition in Boston, San Francisco, and Portland and has served as the EERI Student Chapter president at two different universities. Most recently, Mike served as the chair of the Seismic Design Competition at the National Earthquake Conference in San Diego.
Preetish is a third-year PhD student in the Civil Engineering department at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. His research explores the impacts of sedimentary basin effects and Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes on tall buildings and consequence on post-earthquake housing recovery. For the past several years, Preetish has been involved in various EERI activities, including at the EERI student chapters at UC Irvine, Johns Hopkins University, and UBC Vancouver, and participating in the first-ever Learning from Earthquakes travel study program in Chile in 2017. He has served on the Student Leadership Council as the Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance Workshop Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.
EERI is pleased to announce the launch of a completely virtual Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program for the 2020-2021 academic year! Generously funded by the Friedman family, this year’s program will match professionals with universities for a virtual visit, including a lecture, Q&A sessions, and informal discussions over video calls. The goal of these interactions is to foster better understanding and communications between earthquake practitioners and academics.
This year, the program will include a total of 19 professionals. EERI Student Chapters must complete the application form here for a visit from a Friedman Family Visiting Professional. The application deadline is Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. With no travel costs this year, we hope to match more universities than in typical years. All chapters, no matter your location, are encouraged to apply!
Review of applications will begin after November 1. Universities will be notified of their match in mid November. Virtual visits will take place in the first half of 2021. For more information about the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals program, click here.Back to top >
Subscribing Member Spotlight
Founded in 1961, Kleinfelder is a leading engineering, design, construction management, construction materials inspection and testing, and environmental professional services firm. Kleinfelder operates from over 70 office locations in the United States, Canada, and Australia and is headquartered in San Diego, California. Poised for growth, Kleinfelder continues to provide high-quality solutions for its diverse client base.
Kleinfelder staff includes structural, seismic, and geotechnical earthquake engineers, as well as engineering geologists, geophysicists, and earth and computer scientists. Its earthquake engineering services include ground motion hazard assessments, time history development, site response analyses, earthquake damage assessment, fault-rupture potential, geomorphology, geologic and seismo-tectonic characterization, air photo analyses and imagery, geologic mapping, GIS desktop mapping, data analyses, and liquefaction and lateral spreading assessments, among others. Kleinfelder has worked on an array of projects throughout the United States and internationally providing these quality services. These projects range from dams and levees to hospitals and school buildings to bridges and electrical transmission lines to water and gas pipelines to high rise structures and more.
Lettis Consultants International, Inc. (LCI) is entering its 10th year as an earth sciences consulting firm with expertise for solving the world’s most complex and challenging geoscience problems. Its practice focuses on evaluating geologic conditions and hazards that potentially impact critical and engineered structures such as dams, pipelines, levees, nuclear power plants, transportation infrastructure, and LNG facilities. LCI is a certified small business headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and with offices in Sacramento, southern California, and Augusta, Georgia and a professional staff of 34 geologists, seismologists, and earthquake engineers. LCI technical personnel have advanced degrees and many years of experience in their specialty areas. Senior principals have national and international reputations for advancing the state of knowledge and state of practice in their respective areas of expertise.
LCI is proud to announce APEX, its new state-of-the-art code for performing probabilistic seismic hazard (PSHA) and related analyses. APEX is an improved and modularized C#-based code that takes advantage of parallel computing, which decreases the PSHA running time substantially, and allows for the implementation of complex logic trees and the most-recent ground motion models, including NGA-West2 and NGA-East without causing undue project delays. APEX was developed and qualified under LCI’s nuclear QA program for safety-related analyses.
LCI’s specialized practice areas include: engineering geology; GIS spatial analysis; site characterization; fault studies; seismology; probabilistic seismic hazard analysis; earthquake engineering; landslide and slope stability analysis; geomorphic analysis; natural and anthropogenic land subsidence; coastal hazards; nuclear safety; technical peer review; knowledge transfer (providing technical advice and training to engineering professionals); project due diligence; and assistance with licensing issues.Back to top >
The Great California ShakeOut Press Conference took place on October 14, focusing on the urgency of earthquake resilience. Leaders across California came together to encourage businesses and individuals to get involved. We encourage EERI members to watch the press conference and webinars. Consider sharing them with your local clients and business representatives in Los Angeles County to encourage them to increase the resilience of their business to earthquakes.
Speakers included: Fiona Ma, California State Treasurer; Adrin Nazarian, Assemblymember, District 46; Glenn Pomeroy, Chief Executive Officer, California Earthquake Authority; Maria S. Salinas, President & CEO, LA Area Chamber of Commerce; Tracy Hernandez, Founding CEO, LA County BizFed; Evan Reis, Executive Director, U.S. Resiliency Council; Ali Sahabi, Chief Operating Officer, Optimum Seismic, Inc.; Stephen Cheung, Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC); Aaron Gross, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Los Angeles.
A new webinar and video series for businesses “The Resilience Advantage” starting on October 28 will be announced as well as the announcement of a new report, “Economic Benefits of Earthquake Retrofits and Resilient Design” prepared by U.S. Resiliency Council and Optimum Seismic, Inc.
The GEM Foundation recently released several national and regional earthquake hazard and risk models, and global model digital data products in the observance of this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction theme - the role of national and local disaster risk reduction strategies on good disaster risk governance.
The models are composed of Arabia, Caribbean and Central America, Indonesia, South America, Southeast Asia, Taiwan and South Africa, while the global digital products are composed of global comprehensive earthquake hazard, global exposure model and global vulnerability (buildings). The updated models are part of the Global Earthquake Hazard and Risk Models mosaic launched in December 2018. Almost all of the models and global digital products are open access, and can be downloaded from GEM's new Products page.
The California Earthquake Authority is teaming up with the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) to host the 2020 Research Forum on Residential Seismic Retrofits, to be held virtually October 26-27. CEA’s annual Research Forum invites subject matter experts across risk and resiliency disciplines to come together and discuss groundbreaking ways to improve the safety and security of our communities. Learn more
Explore these upcoming webinars from Kinemetrics in October. Click on the links below to learn more and register for each webinar.
October 21, 10 am PT: The Rockhound Platform: A View from 30,000 Feet
This webinar + Q&A will help operators, researchers, and engineers understand the multitude of implementations possible with the Rockhound platform. Rockhound is a software platform designed to implement real time data acquisition from digitizers and perform vital functions based upon that data to meet the needs of the end user.
October 28, 10 am PT: Kinemetrics Open Systems & Service Division: Who We Are - What We Do - Where We Operate
This webinar + Q&A will provide a detailed understanding of how OSS develops solutions, manages projects, and continually delivers value to clients.
Lehigh University's Fazlur R. Khan Distinguished Lecture Series is pleased to offer its final lectures virtually this year. Learn more about the lecture series here.
Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 1:30 pm PT/4:30 pm EST
Aftab A. Mufti, Emeritus Professor, University of Manitoba: "Intelligent Sensing for Innovative Structures: Development of the New Discipline of Civionics"
Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 1:30 pm PT/4:30 pm EST
Gregory Deierlein, John A. Blume Professor in the School of Engineering: "From Performance-Based Engineering to Urban Resilience"
The California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP) in the California Geological Survey (CGS) of the California Department of Conservation established a Data Interpretation Project in 1989. Each year CSMIP funds several data interpretation projects for the analysis and utilization of strong-motion data. The objectives of the Data Interpretation Project are to further the understanding of strong ground shaking and the response of structures, to increase the utilization of strong-motion data in post-earthquake response, and to improve seismic design code provisions and design practices.
As part of the Data Interpretation Project, CSMIP holds annual seminars to transfer recent research findings on strong-motion data to practicing seismic design professionals, earth scientists and earthquake response personnel. The purpose of the annual seminar is to provide information that will be useful in seismic design practice, post-earthquake response, and the improvement of seismic design codes and practices. Learn more and register here.Back to top >
News of the Profession
- Earthquake hazard hanging in the balance (Eos)
- Weaving earthquake risk into city resiliency plans (Smart Cities Dive)
- Southern California’s crustal motion tells of earthquake hazards (Eos)
- Earthquakes reveal how quickly the ocean Is warming (Eos)
- More than 600 earthquakes strike small California town in swarm around Salton Sea (Los Angeles Times)