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Earthquake Engineering Research Institute

Founded in 1948, EERI's mission is to reduce earthquake risk by (1) advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering, (2) improving understanding of the impact of earthquakes on the physical, social, economic, political, and cultural environment, and (3) advocating comprehensive and realistic measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes.

News of the Institute

2022 EERI Board of Directors Election Results

Many thanks to all EERI members who took the time to consider and choose from the exceptional candidates for the 2022 EERI Board of Directors! EERI would like to welcome our new President-Elect and two new Directors: 

election winnersPresident-Elect:

Janiele Maffei (M. EERI, 1992)
Chief Mitigation Officer, California Earthquake Authority 
Sacramento, California


Zahraa Saiyed (M. EERI, 2011)
CEO & Principal, Scyma Consulting, LLC 
San Francisco Bay Area, California

Nicholas Gregor (M. EERI, 1992)
Consulting Seismologist
San Francisco Bay Area, California 

Maffei, Saiyed, and Gregor will assume their new posts at the first Board of Directors meeting in 2022.

The Institute extends appreciation to outgoing board members, Past President Laurie Johnson (M. EERI, 1990), Vice President Judith Mitrani-Reiser (M. EERI, 2001), and Director Tara Hutchinson (M. EERI, 1995) for their service and dedication to the institute. EERI’s leadership and staff appreciate the insight and diligence that they brought to the Board during their tenure.

EERI would also like to thank the Election Tellers who were critical in the election process: Mostafa Badroddin (M. EERI, 2020), Shannon Casares (M. EERI, 2013), and Debra Murphy (M. EERI, 2007). Per the bylaws: "The President shall appoint three (3) tellers from the Membership-at-large who shall with the Executive Director to certify the electronic election results, and shall report their findings to the Secretary/Treasurer no later than November 10 of each year."

2022 Distinguished Lecture Award

Ken Elwood DLEERI is pleased to announce that Ken Elwood (M.EERI 1994) is the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Lecture Award. The annual Distinguished Lecture Award recognizes and encourages an EERI member for communication of outstanding professional contributions of major importance for earthquake hazard mitigation. Elwood’s Distinguished Lecture, “From Ductility to Repairability: Evolution of Building Design in the Wake of the Christchurch Earthquake,” will be presented at the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering.

Elwood received his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002, M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995, and BASc from the University of British Columbia in 1993. Ken served on the EERI Board of Directors and as the Chair of the Learning from Earthquakes Committee. Always seeking to work at the boundary of research and engineering practice, he has served as a member of several international code committees and currently sits on the American Concrete Institute Building Code (ACI 318) Committee. He is actively involved in research related to the seismic performance of existing concrete buildings, repairability, and post-earthquake recovery.

Elwood joined the University of Auckland in July 2014 after 11 years on faculty at the University of British Columbia, Canada. After experiencing the Christchurch Earthquake first-hand, he was drawn to New Zealand to pursue the numerous opportunities for research and implementation in earthquake risk reduction in the wake of the earthquakes. He served as the inaugural Director of Te Hiranga Rū QuakeCoRE: Centre for Earthquake Resilience, a New Zealand Government-funded Centre of Research Excellence. Elwood is excited to be starting a new phase in his career in November 2021 through a multi-year secondment to the New Zealand Government to serve as the MBIE/EQC Chief Engineer (Building Resilience). Through this role, he will champion the resilience of New Zealand’s built environment, by establishing strong stakeholder connections and promoting collaboration between relevant research, policy, and practice players.

To learn more, view the news post here.

2021 Shah Family Innovation Prize

EERI is pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2021 Shah Family Innovation Prize are Ashly Cabas and Samuel Yniesta. The Shah Family Innovation Prize rewards younger professionals and academics for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management. The intent of the prize is to stimulate further creativity and leadership in the earthquake risk mitigation community and EERI.

Ashly Cabas squareAshly Cabas (M.EERI 2013) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. She completed her undergraduate studies at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela, and earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech. Her group’s work has been recognized with the EERI best paper awards in 2014 and 2018. She recently served as guest editor of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America Special Section on Advances in Site Response, and joined NSF-sponsored GEER teams after the 2018 Mw 7.1 Alaska, and 2021 Mw 7.2 Haiti earthquakes; leading the ground motion characterization and site effects investigation. Her research program has been funded by the USGS, NSF, PG&E, and the Alaska DOT, and she has collaborated with international partners at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, and the IFSTTAR in France. Dr. Cabas was selected as a 2021 NCSU Impact Scholar, 2021 New Faces in ASCE Geo-Institute, 2020 Fellow for the NSF Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disasters Researchers Fellowship Program, and 2017 ASCE Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Fellow.

Samuel Yniesta squareSamuel Yniesta (M.EERI 2015) is an assistant professor in the department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, at Polytechnique Montréal, Canada. He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in 2012 and 2016, respectively. His expertise lies within the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering and seismic hazard characterization. His research aims at better understanding, quantifying, and modeling seismic hazard, to make civil and mining engineering projects safer. Some of his research projects developed in collaboration with his industrial partners include the simulations of geotechnical systems, such as dams and tailings impoundments, to assess their seismic stability, the development of new constitutive models, and the integration of simulations into probabilistic hazard analysis. Recently, he started studying earthquakes induced by mining operations and their consequences. He is also a co-author of the seismic chapter of the new edition of the Canadian Foundation Engineering Manual. 

To learn more, view the news post here.

2022 Younger Member Awards

EERI is pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2022 Younger Member Award are Jack English and Maha Kenawy. The EERI Younger Member Award is awarded to recognize early-career members of the Institute who have made outstanding contributions to the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the pursuit of its objectives in the early stages of their career—especially contributions that have improved opportunities for and increased the impact of younger members within the Institute.

Jack EnglishJack English (M.EERI 2019) is a Structural Designer at Holmes. He grew up in San Francisco's Richmond District, gaining an early interest in service through school and Boy Scouts. He earned a dual bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and Political Science from Case Western Reserve University, and went on to earn a dual master's in Structural Engineering and Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2021. Internships with four members of Congress enabled him to see the positive impacts sound policies make on people's lives, and the importance of involving the STEM community in policy making.

As a member of EERI's Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, English helped build the Citizen Advocate Toolkit, empowering every EERI member to advocate for seismic policies with their Federal, State, and Local representatives. He lives in San Francisco.

Maha Kenawy (M.EERI 2015) is an associate at Exponent, where she works on performance assessment of buildings and other Maha Kenawystructures. Her expertise is in nonlinear analysis of reinforced concrete structures, and assessment of earthquake risks to civil infrastructure. She holds a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Davis, and a M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Construction Engineering from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She is the recipient of the ASCE O.H. Ammann Research Award in Structural Engineering and the NHERI Summer Institute Grant for early-career researchers in natural hazard risk reduction from NSF. Kenawy has several publications on advancing the analysis of engineering structures, and has held multiple leadership positions in the earthquake engineering community.

Kenawy served as a chair of the EERI Younger Members Committee, where she led several initiatives to support the professional development of early-career EERI members. She currently serves on the EERI Student Awards Committee and the 12NCEE technical program committee.

View the news post on the EERI website here.

EERI Receives Groundbreaking Gift from Clarence Allen

clarence allen news The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is deeply grateful to announce a groundbreaking gift from the renowned geologist Clarence Allen (M.EERI 1966), who passed away on January 21, 2021. Allen, a longtime EERI member who served on the Board of Directors from 1985-1987, was recognized with four of EERI's highest awards and honors during his lifetime: the Alfred E. Alquist Special Recognition Medal (1993), the Distinguished Lectureship (1995), the George W. Housner Medal (2001), and an appointment as an Honorary Member (2005). He was also the subject of the tenth volume of Connections: The EERI Oral History Series. Allen’s generous contribution of $800,000, a bequest from his estate, is the largest individual gift in EERI’s history.

“We are honored to receive this profoundly generous gift from Clarence Allen, who also gave so much of his time and professional insight to EERI over the years,” said Executive Director Heidi Tremayne. “His gift means he will continue to support EERI’s mission to deepen the understanding of earthquake risk and increase earthquake resilience in communities worldwide for many years to come.”

The EERI Board of Directors has appointed a committee to explore avenues for how best to use the funds to support EERI activities and programs and contribute to the broader needs of the earthquake engineering community. “EERI is committed to ensuring the best possible use of this gift, in keeping with Clarence Allen’s commitment to interdisciplinary cooperation, and we look forward to sharing our plans for his gift with the membership in early 2022,” said Board President David Cocke.

To learn more about Clarence Allen’s life and career, read the news post on the EERI website here.

September 2021 Board Meeting Summary

The EERI Board of Directors held their September 2021 Board meeting on Friday, September 17, via video conference due to the ongoing pandemic. The meeting was chaired by President David Cocke.

The Board approved various meeting minutes, the slate of candidates in the upcoming election, award winners recommended by various selection committees, student chapter reports, and a charge for a new Fundraising Committee. The Board confirmed their positions on several pieces of federal legislation, including support for the Federal Disaster Mitigation and Tax Parity Act (HR 4675/SB 2432) as well as support for code adoption and implementation funding for FEMA in the federal reconciliation package.

The Board reviewed a preliminary version of the 2022 budget, considering various expenditures needed to advance the 2021-2025 Strategic Goals and other Institute initiatives, as well as revenue sources from donors and other sources. As a part of this budget review, the Board approved individual and subscribing member dues rates for 2022, as well as registration fees for the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering.

The Board reviewed and approved financial statements as of July 31, 2021, and reviewed and approved the investment policies and spend guidelines for each of EERI’s investment funds.

Earthquake Spectra Editor-In-Chief David Wald joined the Board for an update on the journal, including Board approval of the paper award winners, discussion of the impact factor that increased to 3.03, and recent recruitment efforts for new reviewers that has yielded a remarkable 228 new volunteers.

The next Board Meeting is scheduled in mid-December 2021.

12NCEE Update: Registration Opening Soon!

12ncee UtahSquare Red for emails margin Registration for the 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering will open in mid-December! Check out the 12NCEE website for more information about registration categories and deadlines. Information about exciting tours—from the Geology of the Wasatch Fault to the Salt Lake Temple Base-Isolation Project—will also be coming soon.

This milestone conference will bring together professionals from the U.S. and international earthquake community, across a broad range of disciplines: architecture, civil and structural engineering, seismology, geology, geophysics, geotechnical engineering, business, public policy, the social sciences, regional planning, emergency response, and regulation. Approximately 600 technical presentations, including a wide range of special sessions, are already confirmed. The 2022 EERI Annual Meeting and EERI’s Annual Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition will take place concurrently.

Don't Forget to Renew for 2022!

Renewal season is here, and we hope that you’ve found your EERI membership valuable this year. 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 2022, so that we can do more (and even better!) together in the years ahead. 

We have more in store for you in 2022, including a growing portfolio of virtual content and the highly anticipated 12th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering . If there’s anything that we can do to enhance your membership experience, drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There is still time to  renew your membership and remain a part of our passionate and dedicated community. It couldn’t be easier—just click here and login to renew

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Quick Quake Briefing: California M6.0 Antelope Valley Earthquake of July 8, 2021

Thursday, December 9, 2021, 12:00-1:00 PM Pacific Time


Learning from Earthquakes and the EERI Northern California Regional Chapter will host a FREE Quick Quake Briefing webinar on the M6.0 earthquake that struck Northern California on July 8, 2021. The earthquake was the largest to strike California since the M7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake in July of 2019. It was centered in Antelope Valley, California, close to Highway 395 about half-way between Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake. Strong shaking occurred in the epicentral area (MMI = VI) due the shallow source depth of 5 miles. Numerous rockslides caused the temporary closure of about 40 miles of California Highway 395. The earthquake was also felt as far away as the San Francisco Bay Area about 200 miles to the west (MMI = III). Fortunately, the built environment was mostly unscathed, thanks to the remote location. The webinar will be moderated by Donald Wells, Principal Engineering Geologist at Fugro. Speakers will include:

  • Brian Olson, Engineering Geologist, California Geological Survey
  • Austin Elliott, Research Geologist, United States Geological Survey
  • Richard Koehler, Associate Professor, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, University of Nevada
  • Richard Heninger, Senior Bridge Engineer, California Department of Transportation

The webinar will include time for participants to ask questions of the speakers.

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Regional Chapters

Sacramento Regional Chapter Webinar

The Upper and Lower San Fernando Dams: 50 Years of Advances in Seismic Analysis of Dams Potentially Susceptible to Seismic Soil Liquefaction

Thursday, December 2, 2021, 12:00-1:30 PM, Pacific Time

JOIN HERE (via Microsoft Teams)

The well-documented field performance case histories of the Lower San Fernando Dam (LSFD) and the Upper San Fernando Dam (USFD) during the February 9, 1971 San Fernando earthquake (Mw = 6.61) have been foundational to the development of the field of modern seismic geotechnical dam engineering, and to the inception of the U.S. national seismic dam safety programs still ongoing today. The liquefaction-induced upstream flow failure of the LSFD, and the only small to moderate deformations that occurred for the similarly constructed USFD, provide an unusually valuable pair of case histories for back-analyses of the behaviors of embankment dams subject to soil liquefaction and strong near-field seismic loading. In this webinar, UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus Raymond Seed will present key elements of these two important case histories, discuss early geoforensic studies and back-analyses, and then look ahead fifty years later to still ongoing developments in current practice with regard to seismic analyses of dams potentially susceptible to soil liquefaction.

San Diego Regional Chapter Webinar

Punctuated Resilience

Friday, December 3, 2021, 12:00-2:00 PM Pacific Time


Cornell Professor Emeritus Thomas O’Rourke and UC San Diego Professor Emeritus Christopher Wills will present on the concept of "punctuated resilience," building on the concept of punctuated equilibrium as a way to trace the evolution of key infrastructure policies. The speakers will introduce the concept of punctuated equilibrium as advanced by Stephen Jay Gould, and dicuss how infrastructure resilience is punctuated by its relationship to natural hazards and climate change. They will also discuss how punctuated resilience is an important mechanism for improving the engineering and management of critical facilities. The webinar will explore the agents of change that lead to improved policies and approaches, including the technical, institutional, and social challenges of introducing new technologies and engaging community support.

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Subscribing Member Spotlight

Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP

SOMSkidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP is one of the largest and most influential architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. SOM is responsible for some of the world’s most technically and environmentally advanced buildings, and significant public spaces.

Nabih Youssef & Associates

NabihYoussefAssociatesNabih Youssef & Associates provides specialized structural and earthquake engineering consulting. NYA has engineered high-rise buildings, medical centers, educational & athletic facilities, and has conducted seismic evaluations, historical preservations and strengthening of major landmark structures. It has offices in offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Irvine and South Carolina.

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Inaugural J.R. Choudhury Annual Memorial Lecture

On December 3, 2021, Lehigh University Professor Dan M. Frangopol will give the inaugural J. R. Choudhury (JRC) Annual Memorial Lecture, hosted virtually by the BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) Alumni Association of Bangladesh. Frangopol, the inaugural Fazlur R. Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering and Architecture in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lehigh, will discuss “Risk, Resilience and Sustainability of Civil Infrastructure under Lifetime Hazards including Climate Change.” The online event, which will be streamed via Facebook Live herebegins at 9 am EST (8 pm Bangladesh Standard Time).  

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Director, Center for Earthquake Research and Information (University of Memphis)

The University of Memphis College of Arts and Sciences is searching for Director of the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI). The Director is the administrative head of a Tennessee Center of Excellence (COE) research center that functions as an independent academic unit within the College of Arts and Sciences housing the MS and PhD Concentration in Geophysics of the Earth Sciences graduate program. CERI has academic and research ties with the Departments of Earth Sciences and Civil Engineering. CERI has an additional role as a State of Tennessee entity that is periodically reviewed by the State legislature. The Center is a core member of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC). 

The successful applicant must have a PhD in the fields of Geophysics or closely related disciplines with a record consistent with appointment at the Professor level; application for tenure occurs immediately on arrival. Previous administrative experience is desirable. The position begins in Fall 2022. For more information about the position and how to apply, visit the job listing here.

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