Message from the President

David A Friedman-PulseWelcome to The Pulse of Earthquake Engineering, the bi-weekly email newsletter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.
— David A. Friedman, EERI President


Search The Pulse

News of the Institute

EERI 69th Annual Meeting Registration Now Open More >

Save the Date: 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, June 25-29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California More >

EERI Oral History on Edward L. Wilson, with Appendix on Ray W. Clough More >

What’s Your New Year Resolution? Here’s an easy one. Renew your EERI Membership for 2017! More >

Happy Holidays from EERI More >

Welcome New EERI Staff Member Rita Wilds More >

News of the Profession

First Building to Receive a USRC Rating - Roseville City Hall Annex More >

Links to Recent News and Views More >


The University of Minnesota MAST Laboratory is offering a free Online Training Session on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 More >


Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts More >

Welcome new members

Welcome New EERI Members More >


UB-EERI Chapter’s New York City Field Trip, November 2016 More >


EERI Endowment Donors More >


1st International Conference on Infrastructure Resilience
February 14-16, 2018

10th Gulf Seismic Forum for Seismology and Earthquake
Engineering Studies in the Arabian Plate Region
March 19-22, 2018
Muscat, Oman

PEER - MTS Hybrid Simulation Workshop
March 20-21, 2018
PEER Richmond Field Station, Richmond, CA

Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics Conference V
June 10–15, 2018
Austin, TX

16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering
June 18–21, 2018
Thessaloniki, Greece

11th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering
June 25–29, 2018
Los Angeles, CA

Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) 43rd Annual Conference
October 24–27, 2018
Anaheim, California

Sixth International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering (IALCCE2018)
October 28–31, 2018
Ghent, Belgium

GeoMEast 2018 International
November 24–28, 2018
Cairo, Egypt

EERI 71st Annual Meeting
March 5–8, 2019
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

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The Pulse is sent on the first and fifteenth day of each month (or the first business day after). Please contact us if you don't receive these issues.



News of the Institute

EERI 69th Annual Meeting Registration Now Open

EERI 69th Annual Meeting

EERI 69th Annual Meeting Registration Now Open

Join Us in Portland March 7-10

We are excited to announce that registration is now open for The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s 69th Annual Meeting to be held March 7-10, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. Sign up early to receive the best discounts

Registration, full program details, and fees are now posted on the 2017 Annual Meeting website. Highlights of the program include:


  • EERI Distinguished Lecture by Lucy Jones, USGS Retired
  • Joyner Lecture by William Lettis, Lettis Consultants International, Inc


  • Learning From Earthquakes (LFE)
  • Setting the Stage: Why the Pacific Northwest Matters and Why it is Different
  • NEHRP at 40: Where We Go From Here


  • EERI Strong Motion Forum
  • Seismic Smorgasbord: Hot Topics
  • Translating Resilience into Community Values and Beliefs
  • Case Studies in Seismic Design of Buildings
  • Oregon Tackles Cascadia: Acting Locally
  • Liquefaction I & II
  • Long-Duration Shaking in Structural Design/Response
  • It’s Not Just About Buildings: Earthquakes and People
  • Community Resilience Inside the Tsunami Inundation Zone
  • Schools as Leaders in Community Resilience
  • State of Resilience? Oregon’s Seismic Priorities
  • Challenges of Earthquake Design and Risk Communication for Pacific Northwest Projects
  • Lifeline Interdependencies
  • NEHRP Reauthorization


  • Portland State University campus and the Infrastructure Seismic Testing and Applied Research Laboratory (iSTAR)


Individuals interested in participating in one of the 2017 Annual Meeting poster sessions are invited to submit abstracts by Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Presenters will be notified in mid-January of acceptance. Academic posters that target advanced research nearing completion and focusing on technology transfer to practitioners are encouraged. Practitioner posters that target innovative applications of research in practice or identified code-based needs for research are also encouraged.

Each author of an abstract accepted as a poster will be provided with an easel to display their poster. Poster requirements will be provided following abstract acceptance.


Thanks to support from FEMA, several registration grants are available to assist EERI student and young professional members to attend the 2017 Annual Meeting by waiving registration fees. Grants will be contingent upon participation in one of the poster sessions, either through the applicant's own research project, or as a representative of a student chapter with a poster depicting the chapter's activities.

For full program, logistics, and registration details, visit the EERI 69th Annual Meeting.



Save the Date: 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, June 25-29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles CaliforniaMark your calendar! The 11NCEE and 70th EERI Annual Meeting will be held June 25-29, 2018, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

With a meeting theme “Integrating Earthquake Science, Engineering and Policy,” EERI is thrilled to have SCEC, the Southern California Earthquake Center, sign-on as a conference Technical Co-Organizer.

Conference co-chairs are EERI Board members Jim Malley (M.EERI, 3760) and David Cocke (M.EERI, 4321), and leading the Technical Program Committee are Christine Goulet, SCEC, (M.EERI, 10027) and Tara Hutchinson, UCSD, (M.EERI, 5696).

The Call for Papers is being prepared and scheduled for release at the start of 2017. Paper options will include both Extended Abstracts and Full Papers. As with the 10NCEE, the community will have an opportunity to propose Special Sessions. More to come soon!


EERI Oral History on Edward L. Wilson, with Appendix on Ray W. Clough

Edward L Wilson This month EERI members (Regular, Young Professional, Retired, Honorary, and Affiliate) are receiving the latest issue of Connections: The EERI Oral History Series, with Edward L. Wilson (M. EERI 1597) as the subject. Robert Reitherman (M. EERI, 1979) is the interviewer, with Ashraf Habibullah (M. EERI, 6979) providing a personal introduction. A special appendix on Ray W. Clough is included.

Prominent in the literature of earthquake engineering are the computer-related accomplishments of Ed Wilson, including the computerized development of the Finite Element Method and creation of structural analysis programs such as SAP and ETABS. Less well known are his origins on a dairy ranch in northern California, milking the cows, helping with the carpentry work, and climbing the family windmill to pump water when there was no breeze. He recalls that "the only engineers I ever knew about growing up were driving trains," and he took his first course in structural engineering at a junior college because it sounded "close to being a carpenter."

In addition to his teaching, research, and consulting work in the earthquake engineering field, Professor Wilson relates in this oral history his experiences in the aerospace field, in which he worked before joining the Berkeley faculty. Included in Wilson’s oral history is a chapter capturing a discussion with Ashraf Habibullah relating the early years of Computers and Structures, Inc. and how their collaboration resulted in engineering software being used by thousands of engineers worldwide.

Wilson’s mentor and PhD advisor, Ray W. Clough, is the subject of the second section of this volume, which contains the incomplete Clough oral history produced by Stanley Scott from interviews in 1993 and 1994. Clough is famous for helping to develop — and name — the Finite Element Method (and like Wilson, worked on that method while in the aerospace industry). Also similar to Wilson’s youth, Clough’s early years included the strenuous outdoor life, in his case mountain climbing. Hired in 1949 specifically to develop an earthquake engineering program at Berkeley, Professor Clough recalls that “I was not optimistic about the prospects of getting financial support for earthquake engi-neering research in those days. Nothing was being funded.” While known for his analytical accomplishments, Clough’s role as Co-Director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Center at Berkeley was to direct the shake table operation and research, an experimental role he felt complemented the use of increasingly complex analytical methods.

The Edward Wilson Oral History is also available online as a PDF download. from the EERI Knowledge Center and Online Store. This volume of The EERI Oral History Series was produced with financial support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Initiated by Stanley Scott, Connections: The EERI Oral History Series, serves to preserve the recollections of those who have had pioneering careers in the field of earthquake engineering. To see the full list of volumes in The EERI Oral History Series, visit


What’s Your New Year Resolution? Here’s an easy one. Renew your EERI Membership for 2017!

renew your eeri membership

We know everyone is extra busy this time of year. But please, if you’ve not gotten to it already, take a break and renew your EERI membership for 2017.

All EERI members (except student and honorary members) received an email renewal notice last month. The email provided a link to your personal renewal page with options for selecting chapter membership and making a voluntary contribution to the EERI Endowment Fund.

You can also renew for 2017 on the membership website.

If you did not receive an email reminder or cannot login to your membership record, please e-mail Membership Coordinator Juliane Lane at

We hope you will continue to support EERI and renew your membership for 2017.

Together, we can reduce earthquake risk for our communities.

Happy Holidays from EERI

happy holidays from EERI1

Welcome New EERI Staff Member Rita Wilds

rita wildsEERI continues to add new talent to the staff! The latest addition is Membership and Communications Manager Rita Wilds. As a full time staff member at our Oakland headquarters, Rita will be supporting EERI’s more than 3,000 members.

Rita comes to EERI with many years of experience leading membership organizations. In 2012, she built a new, 14,000 member-strong alumni association for the Chapman University System. Previously, she served as staff liaison to the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine alumni for nearly a decade. She has also held marketing and public relations positions at East Bay SPCA, RGB Spectrum, Brandman and Chapman University.

Rita holds a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and a Bachelors of Arts in political science from Hunter College of the City University of New York. She grew up in Garrison, New York and now resides in Alameda, California. She spends her free time hiking, travelling, cooking, and volunteering with the Alameda Community Emergency Response Team, as well as various animal welfare and rescue organizations.

Please visit Rita’s LinkedIn profile for more details about her history and accomplishments, and to connect with Rita online. Her email address is


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News of the Profession

First Building to Receive a USRC Rating - Roseville City Hall Annex

The Roseville, CA, City Hall Annex is first in many ways. Not only is it the first building rated by the US Resiliency Council (USRC) but it also received a USRC Platinum earthquake rating. It is also the first precast building built for the city of Roseville. The project structural engineering firm Buehler and Buehler Structural Engineers is a founding member of the USRC and Clark Pacific, the design-build supplier of the structural and architectural precast, is a sustaining member of the USRC.

city-of-rosevilleThe City of Roseville had outgrown their city hall building and because of a lease signed with Sierra College to begin classes in January 2017, it left city planners 12 months to design, program, build and prep the building for occupancy. Other building systems had been explored, including steel and cast-in-place concrete, but the Precast Hybrid Moment Frame system was decided on because it gave the architect flexibility in the design for this prominent building that sits in the Roseville city square. Also, the 4-story office building houses critical operations for the city and in the case of an earthquake they needed the reassurance that these mission critical city services would be housed in a safe, resilient structure.

The level of performance associated with the platinum rating is not something that every building project can achieve, but this project was able to achieve this due to the following features and conditions:

  • What may appear to simply be an elegant architectural facade actually doubles as an extremely regular and redundant structural system providing enhanced yet economical performance.
  • The structural system incorporates a high-performance precast hybrid moment-resisting frame that limited design level drifts to less than 1.25% and is designed to be self-centering after the design seismic event therefore eliminating residual drifts, limiting damage, and providing for reduced recovery time.
  • Roseville, and really the entire greater Sacramento region, has a moderately high seismic hazard (compared to the "high" or "extremely high" hazard in much of the rest of California) which provides opportunities to achieve high seismic performance for only a nominal, if any, increase in construction cost of new buildings.

Link to video for construction details and attribution of the project team:


Links to Recent News and Views

Eight recent stories, reports, or opinions from around the Web:

oneConstruction Corner: What’s shaking with earthquake resistant technologies (Journal of Commerce) An expressway off-ramp that will bend in a strong earthquake but remain standing — and usable — is under construction as part of a huge bridge/tunnel project in downtown Seattle. external link icon

twoIncreased risk of massive quake under central NZ (NZ Herald) The chance of a massive earthquake under central New Zealand has risen, however it still remains very external link icon

threeNearly 84,000 people made homeless by Aceh quake in Indonesia (Straits Times) Most of the displaced, or 82,122 people, were from the hardest-hit Pidie Jaya regency, and the rest from Bireuen regency. external link icon

fourEarthquakes and land movements double rate of sea-level rise in some areas (stuff) The impact of sea-level rises could double in some areas as a result of sinking land levels, according to a Victoria University study. external link icon

fiveSeveral buildings on Wellington CentrePort's land could be demolished following Kaikoura earthquake (NZ Herald) CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind said the port was working with stakeholders to reach a decision on the buildings, which had suffered significant damage. external link icon

sixMajor Earthquake Likely to Hit California in Next 30 Years: Residents Unprepared (IndiaWest) Northern Californians face a 76 percent chance of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, while Southern Californians face a 99 percent chance of an earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale within the next three decades, predicted Chris Nance, chief communications officer for the California Earthquake Authority. external link icon

seven Here's what 15 years of global earthquakes looks like in under four minutes (SF Gate) The creation of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers Nathan Becker and Leon Geschwind sequences all global earthquakes to give people a better perspective on just how rare major events are. external link icon

eightWashington State Woefully Unprepared for Megaquake (Seattle Times) A big earthquake may be coming, and Washington and Seattle are kicking the can down the road on common-sense seismic upgrades. external link icon

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The University of Minnesota MAST Laboratory is offering a free Online Training Session on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Online-Training-Session12-20-2016The University of Minnesota’s Multi-Axial Subassemblage Testing (MAST) Laboratory, a member of the George E, Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), will be hosting a 90-minute Online Training Session on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 from 1:00 to 2:30 PM CST. Researchers use the MAST Lab's equipment to twist, compress or stretch components of large structures such as buildings or bridges in order to study what happens to them during earthquakes and other extreme events.

As per NSF policy, researchers funded by the Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH) and the Structural and Architectural Engineering and Materials (SAEM) Programs can use the MAST Laboratory or any other experimental facility for their NSF-funded research. Participants will be provided with the knowledge necessary to plan research proposals utilizing the MAST Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. The Training Session will include:

  • Key issues related to the MAST Laboratory
  • Overview of the facility
  • Previous testing programs
  • Q&A

The session is scheduled from 1:00 to 2:30 PM CST, and will be delivered using WebEx. There is no fee for participating. If you would like to attend, please send your contact information to


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Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

spectra 150Two preprint manuscripts have been posted to the Earthquake Spectra website prior to formal publication. The papers to be published are:

  • Liquefaction-Induced Lateral Spread in Lo Rojas, Coronel, Chile: Field Study and Numerical Modeling by Gabriel de la Maza, Nicole Williams, Esteban Sáez (M.EERI,2016), Kyle Rollins (M.EERI,1988), and Christian Ledezma (M.EERI,2012).
  • Performance Assessment of Buried Pipelines at Fault Crossings by Vasileios E. Melissianos (M.EERI,2015), Dimitrios Vamvatsikos (M.EERI, 2002), and Charis J. Gantes

To read all current preprint manuscripts posted, visit Earthquake Spectra preprints. external link icon

If you have questions about Spectra, contact Managing Editor Liz Stalnaker at


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Welcome new members

Welcome New EERI Members

EERI welcomes the members who have recently joined the Institute. If you wish to connect with your fellow members, you can locate their contact information in the EERI online membership directory, which requires logging in to the Member Resources Area of the EERI website.

Sebastian Aedo-Quiliongo, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Meredith Butler, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Gonzalo Cortes-Neira, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Civil
Cristian Cortez, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Maya El Kortbawi, Virginia Tech, Geotechnical
Camilo Figueroa, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Xing Gao, Dalian University of Technology, Civil
Chloe Garcia, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Civil
Ignacio Guzman-Ossandon, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Venkatesh Kaka, University of Texas - Arlington
Fatih Saracoglu, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Geotechnical
Ryon Sommerer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Kelsey Stithem, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Peng Tang, Dalian University of Technology, Civil
Luca Urpi, FU Berlin, Seismologist
Wen Xin, Dalian University of Technology, Civil
Shuhan Yang, Dalian University of Technology, Civil
Xinyue Yu, Dalian University of Technology, Civil
Patricio Zavala, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Jiachen Zhang, Dalian University of Technology, Civil

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UB-EERI Chapter’s New York City Field Trip, November 2016


On November 17-19, 2016, twenty-five students from the University at Buffalo (UB) Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering (CSEE), visited three consulting engineering firms and two project sites in the New York City (NYC) area. The field trip was organized by Dr. Andreas Stavridis (M. EERI,2004), Assistant Professor at UB and member of EERI’s Student Activities Committee, in collaboration with the NY- Northeast Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI-NYNE), and members of the UB School of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council. Financial support was provided by the UB School of Engineering, UB Student Association, and the participating firms. The trip was attended by seventeen seniors enrolled in Reinforced Concrete Design (CIE429), and eight graduate student members of the UB-EERI chapter.

Following a successful pilot event in 2015, the purpose of the field trip is to: (i) introduce students to engineering firms and expose them to the consulting engineering culture; (ii) foster relations between universities and engineering firms to develop a direct link for internship and employment opportunities; (iii) enhance the learning experience through exposure to real-world, large-scale projects presented on-site by the designers and contractors; and (iv) provide students with the opportunity to network with practicing engineers and discuss career paths.

The students visited project sites at the World Trade Center (WTC) including Tower 4, Tower 7, and the 9/11 Memorial, as well as the Tappan Zee Bridge in Tarrytown, NY. The participating and sponsoring firms included WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff, HDR, and Exponent.

The event opened with breakfast and welcome remarks at WSP|PB, an EERI Silver Subscribing Member organization, from Mr. G. Diaz-Fanas (M. EERI, 2015), Geotechnical Engineer, on behalf of EERI-NYNE, followed by an introduction from EERI-NYNE Chapter President Dr. Sissy Nikolaou (M.EERI, 2004), who spoke about the firm’s history, services, and projects. Mr. M. Ferrucci, Senior Geotechnical Engineer, gave a technical presentation on the multi-disciplinary projects of LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal Building, Kosciuszko Bridge, LIRR Mainline 2nd Track, and MTA MNR Harmon Shop Replacement. Mr. D. Abrahams, Sup. Tunneling Engineer, presented highlights of the Geotechnical and Tunneling Technical Excellence Center with some major tunneling projects. Following the presentations, students broke into small groups to speak with consulting engineers and discuss career options.

Project Site Visits

World Trade Center Towers (WTC): Mr. M. Burton, WSP|PB Vice President, Building Structures, welcomed students to the tenth floor of WTC Tower 7. The students viewed scale models of the WTC towers, learned about the challenges faced during design and construction, and future developments. The tour continued to the top of Tower 4 which provided an excellent view of Tower 3 which is currently under construction. The site visit was followed by a networking event on Friday night at the Dark Horse Restaurant.

WTC 9/11 Memorial: On Saturday morning, the group visited the 9/11 Memorial. Professor Stavridis discussed the recovery process regarding the underground structures, repair and construction of the slurry walls, as well as design procedures for the new towers.

Tappan Zee Bridge: The students visited HDR’s project site to better understand the structural, environmental, social and political challenges that they had learned about the previous day. They also discussed design alternatives and construction innovations before heading back to Buffalo.

UB-EERI Chapter


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EERI Endowment Donors

EERI would like to thank donors to the Endowment Fund and acknowledge their recent contributions. EERI’s Endowment supports innovative projects that assure the Institute’s continuing leadership in the earthquake engineering profession.

The list below reflects recent donations to the Institute.

The Blume Foundation

The Faultline Foundation

Carl Josephson

$100 - $200
A.J. Eggenberger
Robert Hanson
Kazuta Hirata
Edward Kavazanjian Jr.
Maurice Power
T. Leslie Youd

Other Amounts
Sohrab Esfandiari
Gayle Johnson
Mohammad Joolazadeh

Thank you for your support!

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