Shah Family Innovation Prize


With a generous gift from the Shah family, EERI annually awards the Shah Family Innovation Prize. This prize rewards younger professionals and academics for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management. A cash prize is awarded to recognize and honor one individual who has/have been involved in the development of cutting-edge, innovative solutions to problems in earthquake engineering and related disciplines. The individual(s) should be in the developing or expanding stage of his or her career, with the promise of important contributions ahead. The intent of the prize is to stimulate further creativity and leadership in the earthquake risk mitigation community and EERI.

Selection Criteria

The Shah Prize is awarded to early- to mid-career individuals under 35 years of age. Candidates for the 2021 Shah prize must be born on or after January 1, 1987. Nominees will have emphasized creative and innovative thinking and demonstrated the potential to make major contributions to the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management at early stages in their careers. The Selection Committee particularly encourages the nomination of candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to activities that will help reduce the loss of life from earthquakes. Individuals are recognized for a combination of past accomplishments and future potential.


Nomination letters for Shah Family Innovation Prize candidates should provide examples of how individuals have:

  • undertaken innovative research for which the outcomes have potential to significantly influence the practice of earthquake risk mitigation;
  • shown public entrepreneurship through the advocacy, design, or delivery of risk mitigation programs;
  • demonstrated creative solutions to problems in engineering or other fields related to earthquake risk mitigation; and/or
  • shown leadership within an earthquake-related profession.

Past accomplishments will be considered with respect to the degree that they demonstrate social relevance, an intellectual contribution, and viability to earthquake risk mitigation and management. The award will be based on the degree to which the individual fits the desired overall profile of creativity, innovation, and a demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit, rather than based on a single accomplishment or product. View a list of those recognized with the Shah Prize and other EERI awards and honors.

Nomination and Selection Procedures

Individuals in government, private firms, academia, and the international community are encouraged to nominate eligible candidates. EERI membership is not required for either the nominator or candidate, but is strongly encouraged. A nomination package consists of the following:

  • A one to two page Nomination Statement, succinctly summarizing the accomplishments and background of the candidate by addressing the four criteria points above as appropriate, written by the nominator.
  • A CV or resume of the candidate (maximum 10 pages).
  • A statement indicating the birthdate of the candidate.
  • Two reference letters (letters should come from individuals other than the nominator).

Note: additional materials beyond the above requirements need not be submitted and will not be reviewed.


The Shah Family Innovation Prize Selection Committee will review the nominations and may, as a second step in the process, contact the nominator and references for further information. The selected recipient of the Shah Family Innovation Prize will be invited to receive the prize at EERI’s Annual Meeting the following year.