Dr. Howard Harary of NIST chosen as National Earthquake Conference Honorary Chair

The National Earthquake Conference (NEC2020) committee is pleased to announce that Dr. Howard H. Harary will serve as the Honorary Chair for the premier 2020 conference to be held March 4-6, 2020 in San Diego.

Dr. Harary is the Director of the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) where he previously served as the Acting Director in the Manufacturing Engineering Lab. He currently chairs the ISO TC213 working group on general requirements for dimensional measuring equipment. Dr. Harary is a Post-doctoral Fellow, Yale University, and holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics form Harvard University.

Dr. Harary and NIST’s Engineering Laboratory oversee the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), a four-agency program mandated by U.S. Congress to reduce the risks of life and property from future earthquakes in the United States.

“Due to Dr. Harary’s role with NEHRP — which requires coordination among diverse partner federal agencies, including Federal Emergency Management Agency, United States Geological Survey, and National Science Foundation — he deeply understands the connections among policy, practice, and research," said Heidi Tremayne, EERI Executive Director. “He knows that multidisciplinary sharing and collaboration, facilitated by conferences like the NEC, is critical to achieve the disaster-resilient buildings and infrastructure that are essential to our communities.” 

About Howard Harary: Howard H. Harary is the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Engineering Laboratory (EL), which promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology for engineered systems in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life.

A physicist turned measurement scientist, Harary began at NIST in 1985 as a bench scientist and steadily rose through the NIST ranks, from project leader to group leader to deputy director of the NIST Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory in 2004, and to director of the Engineering Laboratory in 2014. EL has a staff of nearly 400 people, including more than 100 guest researchers who are distributed among five major research divisions, including two divisions focused on one of EL’s four major laboratory goals -- Disaster-resilient Buildings, Infrastructure, and Communities. The goal comprises programs in: Earthquake Risk Reduction in Buildings and Infrastructure; Structural Performance Under Multi-hazards; Community Resilience; Engineered Materials for Resilient Infrastructure; Fire Risk Reduction in Buildings; and Fire Risk Reduction in Communities.

EL is also the home of NIST’s overall lead agency responsibility for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), a four-agency program, comprising: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); United States Geological Survey (USGS); National Science Foundation (NSF); and NIST. NEHRP, most recently reauthorized in 2018, was established by Congress to reduce the risks of life and property from future earthquakes in the United States.

A New York native, Harary received his bachelor’s degree in physics with honors from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1974, and a physics doctorate from Harvard University in 1983. He was a post-doctoral research fellow at Yale University from 1983 to 1985.