The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is pleased to announce that the 2022 Alfred E. Alquist Special Recognition Medal has been awarded to Barry H. Welliver (M. EERI 2002). The Alquist medal is presented to an individual, company, or organization that has made substantial contributions to the field of seismic safety and earthquake risk reduction, having directly affected the seismic safety of the general population.
Barry Welliver has served as vice president of the EERI Board of Directors and is the past chair of EERI’s School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI). He was invited in 2015 as the representative of SESI to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Second Safe Schools Leaders meeting in Tehran, Iran where he reported on SESI’s activities and learned about the international efforts for school hazard safety.
Welliver graduated from the University of Connecticut and moved to Northern California in the early 1970’s to study earthquakes and become involved with the newly emerging field of earthquake engineering. There he worked for several prominent structural engineering firms before establishing his own private practice in 1979. After twenty-two years of residency in California, he moved with his family to Utah in 1995, where he continues his practice. His interests in earthquakes lead to his involvement with the Utah Seismic Safety Commission (USSC) beginning in 1996 as an observer, then delegate for the Structural Engineers Association of Utah and finally as Chair of the commission from 2002-2006. He has also served as president of the Structural Engineers Association of Utah and the Utah Regional Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.
As chairman of the USSC, he was instrumental in endorsing the need for the seismic retrofit of the University of Utah Marriott Library helping to capture Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supplemental funds for the project. He has a long history of interest and advocacy for school earthquake safety.
Welliver was Project Director for the Applied Technology Council’s ATC 122-1 project Safer, Stronger, Smarter: A Guide to Improving School Natural Hazard Safety FEMA P-1000 (2017) and has also helped author FEMA P-420 Engineering Guidelines for Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation and FEMA P-154 Rapid Visual Screening for Potential Seismic Hazards: A Handbook Third Edition. In Utah, he was a member of the teams producing the first Putting Down Roots In Earthquake Country and Scenario for a Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake on the Wasatch Fault—Salt Lake City Segment publications.