News of the Institute
Building officials are voting in October 2022 on proposed changes to the International Building Code, including three changes EERI specifically supports. EERI urges eligible voters to affirm three proposals to assign certain buildings to Risk Category IV, recognizing the need to limit damage and shorten the functional recovery time after earthquakes, hurricanes, and winter storms.
The three proposals, published at the International Code Council website here (PDF), are:
- S74-22, for medical care facilities without emergency rooms (Occupancy Group I-2)
- S75-22, for detention facilities with special security needs (Occupancy Group I-3)
- S76-22, for public utility facilities providing power, water, and wastewater treatment
The current round of voting is the final step in ICC’s code development process for the 2024 codes. All three proposals were approved at ICC’s Committee Action Hearings in April and at the Public Comment Hearings in September. As part of the public comment process, EERI submitted letters of support for the three proposals based on the unanimous recommendation of our Public Policy and Advocacy Committee.
In particular, EERI urges eligible voters to support proposals S74-22 and S76-22, which have been opposed by industry groups. The healthcare industry has argued that S74-22 will inhibit development of new facilities. At the Public Comment Hearings, supporters of the proposal argued that any incremental cost would be small compared with the benefit of having these medical care facilities available after an earthquake or hurricane. Similarly, energy industry groups argued that S76-22 will inhibit new wind and solar infrastructure, but could not deny that public utilities providing post-event water and power should be considered “essential facilities” by the code’s current definitions. For more information about any of the proposals, EERI members may contact David Bonowitz (M.EERI. 1994), who submitted them on behalf of the FEMA-ATC Seismic Code Support Committee.
The three proposals are consistent with EERI’s mission to increase earthquake resilience in communities worldwide, as detailed in several of EERI’s existing policy statements:
- Promote the Adoption and Enforcement of Effective Building Codes
- Resilient Communities
- Resilient Healthcare Systems (Relevant to S74-22)
- Improving Reliability of Lifelines and Infrastructure (Relevant to S76-22)
Eligible ICC members can vote via cdpACCESS between October 10 and October 24. We also encourage EERI members who are not ICC members to advocate for these proposals with your colleagues who are building officials and eligible to vote.
EERI is now accepting Board of Director applications for two Appointed Director positions to serve on the EERI Board of Directors beginning in 2023. Applications will be reviewed by the 2022 Nominating Committee. The committee will select two individuals, one to serve a 2 year term as an Appointed Director and the other to serve a 4 year term as an Appointed Director. Because this selection is for appointed directors, there will be no EERI Election this year. Instead, the EERI Board of Directors will make the final selection and appointment of the two Appointed Directors at their next meeting in December 2022. Each Appointed Director will begin their terms at the first board meeting of 2023, typically in March.
In addition, the Nominating Committee is encouraging applicants who have one or more of the following attributes:
- Have passion for and expertise in the Learning From Earthquakes (LFE) program.
- Are active in local or national professional societies with an emphasis on membership activism and recruitment.
- Enhance the racial/ethnic diversity of the Board, especially candidates who are Latina/o/x.
- Represent the following regions: Central/Eastern US, Intermountain West (UT, CO), or the Pacific Northwest.
- Represent the following disciplines: lifelines, geotechnical engineering, public health, public policy, economics, or social science.
- Are employed in Federal/State/Regional/Local government, or in engineering practice.
To apply to be on the Board:
- Click here to learn more about the application process.
- Carefully read the EERI Board Member Roles and Responsibilities document.
- Submit the application form.
Applications are due November 2, 2022 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Applications must include a written statement (about 750 words total) and a CV or résumé. Click here for details on what should be included in the written statement.
After COVID-19 delays for several years, the 2020 Class of Housner Fellows was able to conduct their in-person Leadership Training Retreat in August 2022, a critical program component used to kick off their two-year fellowship period. Following an initial meeting of the group at 12NCEE in June, the retreat was held from August 3-7 in Daly City, California. The retreat was hosted by the Housner Fellows Trainer Lucy Arendt (M.EERI 2008). During the retreat, the fellows met with Executive Director Heidi Tremayne to consider topics for their group project that could amplify EERI’s work. The remainder of the training consisted of group and one-on-one sessions with Arendt. The sessions were designed to grow the fellows’ leadership skills and plan for the work ahead. The retreat also allowed many of the fellows to meet in-person for the first time, and allowed them to work together collaboratively, especially in selecting their project focus area.
To learn more about the Housner Fellows program, visit the EERI website here. This is the fourth class of Housner Fellows, and includes:
- Nuraini Rahma Hanifa (M.EERI 2019), National Research and Innovation Agency, Indonesia
- Chiara McKenney (M.EERI 2011), Applied Technology Council, California
- Tadesse Meskele (M.EERI 2014), GRI, Oregon
- Maria Mohammed (M.EERI 2013), Structural Focus, California
- Siamak Sattar (M.EERI 2011), National Institute of Science and Technology, Maryland
Photo courtesy of Maria Mohammed.
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 2023, so that we can do more (and even better!) together in the years ahead.
Please take a moment to renew your membership and remain a part of our passionate and dedicated community. It couldn’t be easier—just click here to renew!Back to top >
Learning From Earthquakes
EERI Response to September 18, 2022 M6.9 Earthquake in Taiwan and September 19, 2022 M7.6 Earthquake in Mexico
On September 18, 2022, a M6.9 earthquake struck Eastern Taiwan and a day later, on September 19, 2022, a M7.6 earthquake struck Mexico. The EERI community extends its sympathy to the victims. In response to these earthquakes, EERI’s Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team (VERT) has activated to develop preliminary reports of impacts.
In response to the Taiwan earthquake, VERT Co-Chair Erica Fischer (M.EERI 2010) is leading a group of over 25 contributors, in collaboration with National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE) teams in the field, to develop a hybrid reconnaissance report. In response to the Mexico earthquake, LFE Co-Chair Eduardo Miranda (M.EERI 1987) is leading a joint effort with Sociedad Mexicana de Ingeniería Sísmica (SMIS) to develop a virtual reconnaissance report. Nearly 30 authors have contributed to this report. When complete, the reports, along with other resources about the impacts from these earthquakes, including the NCREE “Reconnaissance Report on Seismic Damage Caused by Guanshan Earthquake and Chihshang Earthquake, Taiwan, 2022,” will be available on the Learning from Earthquakes event pages below:
Members interested in joining VERT to contribute to future earthquake activations can join through the sign-up form here.
EERI’s Learning from Earthquakes program is supported by the generous contributions of donors to the LFE Endowment Fund.Back to top >
The EERI Student Leadership Council (SLC) met in Oakland, California from September 15-17 for their annual retreat, where they elected new officers and started planning next year's Seismic Design Competition (SDC). SLC outgoing co-presidents Ahmad Hassan (M.EERI 2019, University of California, Davis) and Khalid Saifullah (M.EERI 2018, University of Nebraska, Lincoln), led the meetings at EERI’s Oakland offices. 16 student members attended the retreat, meeting with EERI staff, evaluating the SLC’s activities over the past year, including the successful return to an in-person SDC at 12NCEE, and planning ahead for 2023.
The SLC thanks Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI), an EERI Visionary Subscribing Member, for its generous support of the annual SLC retreat and year-round activities. CSI held a fabulous reception for the SLC members in Walnut Creek, hosted by CSI President and CEO Ashraf Habibullah (M. EERI 1999).
The SLC elected the following officers for the 2022-2023 academic year:
- Co-Presidents: Kayla Sorenson (M.EERI 2021, Portland State University) and Charlie Zhang, (M.EERI 2016, UC San Diego).
- Secretary: Camila Lopez Ruiz (M.EERI 2018, UC Berkeley).
- Treasurer: Kate Rhoades (M.EERI 2019, University of Colorado, Boulder).
- SDC Chairs: Alaaeldin Soliman (M.EERI 2019, Oklahoma State University), Lead; Michael Morano (M.EERI 2015, UC San Diego); Aditya Jhunjhunwala (M.EERI 2022, UC Davis); Tricia Oleson (M.EERI 2022, Portland State University); Mohsen Akhani (M.EERI 2021, University of Memphis); Ahmed Gamal (M.EERI 2017, Polytechnic University of Milan); and Jessi Thangjitham (M.EERI 2018, North Carolina State University).
- PERW Chair: Gustavo Araujo (M.EERI 2020, Oregon State University).
- SESI Chairs: Pratiksha Dhakal (M.EERI 2022, Virginia Tech) and Nancy Ingabire Abayo (M.EERI 2019, North Carolina State University).
- Outreach Chairs: Alanna Joachim (M.EERI 2020, Stanford University) and Mostafa Mohammed (M.EERI 2021, Helwan University).
- Webmasters: Casey Rodgers (M.EERI 2017, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) and Abdurahman Abdulhadi (M.EERI 2019, University of Memphis).
Photos courtesy of CSI and the SLC.
The 2023 Student Design Competition season is fast approaching! While the rules and regulations are still being finalized by the Student Leadership Council’s SDC chairs, the SLC wants to know in advance how many undergraduate teams are interested in competing in next year’s competition.
Please fill out the interest survey here to let us know if your university is interested in taking part in the 2023 competition. Only one representative per university should complete the survey.Back to top >
GeoHazards International (GHI) is seeking a full-time Project Manager. GHI is a nonprofit organization with the mission to save lives by empowering at-risk communities worldwide to build resilience ahead of disasters and climate impacts.
The Project Manager will join GHI’s diverse technical team, which includes staff in six countries, and will report to GHI’s Chief Operating Officer. Work is typically virtual, and requires schedule flexibility as well as occasional travel to headquarters and project locations. Salary depends on qualifications, experience, and location. Preferred start is November 2022, but is flexible if needed.
For more information about the position, requirements, and instructions on how to apply, visit the job listing here.
Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS) is hiring a Senior Earthquake Modeler, to be based in Newark, California. RMS models and solutions help insurers, financial markets, corporations, and public agencies evaluate and manage global risk throughout the world.
RMS's Model Development group is seeking a Catastrophe Modeler to help build industry leading stochastic catastrophe models for the quantification and management of catastrophe risk. The position requires development and update of ground-motion models for RMS Global Catastrophe Risk Models. The applicant will lead the task of bringing in latest research results on ground-motion estimation and amplification of those motions at different site conditions for the global suite of RMS earthquake models. In addition, the position requires knowledge of characterization of building sites for applying the ground-motion amplification models. The successful applicant will hold a PhD in Engineering with a research focus in the area of characterization of ground-motions and soil amplifications.
For more information about the position, requirements, and how to apply, visit the job listing here.Back to top >
The California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program of the California Geological Survey will hold its annual seminar virtually on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. The SMIP22 Seminar will include various presentations on the analysis and utilization of strong motion data. The seminar program and online registration are available at the SMIP22 Seminar website here. Registration fees are waived for this year’s seminar.
The New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) invites participation in the NZSEE Annual Technical Conference, to be held at the University of Auckland from 19-21 April 2023. The conference theme is “Facing the Seismic Challenge.” As is customary for the NZSEE Annual Technical Conference, the event aims to address the full spectrum of issues facing earthquake engineering designers and industry practitioners, researchers, policy writers and implementors, and those tasked with preparations and recovery following earthquakes.
The call for abstracts is now open. Key dates are:
- Abstract Submission Deadline: October 28, 2022
- Presenters advised by: November 14, 2022
- Paper Submission Deadline: January 23, 2023
More information is available at the conference website here.
The UCLA Natural Hazards Risk and Resiliency Research Center (NHR3) and its partners are holding a free online workshop to present a new database and set of models for estimating fault displacement amplitude. The workshop will be held on Thursday, November 10th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (PDT). The goal of the workshop is to introduce the new database and models, provide recommendations to researchers and practitioners on applying the new models, and compare the new results with the commonly cited existing models. Please register (free of charge) by November 7, 2022 at the website here.
The Fall 2022 Fazlur Rahman Khan Distinguished Lecture at Lehigh University will be held on Friday, November 18, 2022, at 4:30 pm EST.
This year’s lecturer is Billie F. Spencer Jr, the Nathan M. & Anne M. Newmark Endowed Chair in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor Spencer will present on the topic of “Performance of Dynamically Excited Structures through Optimization and Monitoring.” This lecture provides an overview of two efforts directed toward assessing and improving the performance of structures conducted by researchers in the Smart Structures Technology Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The first focuses on topology optimization of structures subjected to random dynamic loads, and the second discusses recent advances in computer vision techniques as they apply to the problem of civil infrastructure inspection and monitoring. For more information about the event, visit the website here.
The lecture will be held on campus in-person and via Zoom. Register here to attend the Zoom webinar.
Registration is now open for the Fifth International Workshop on Seismic Performance of Non-Structural Elements (SPONSE), organized by the Applied Technology Council (ATC), the European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering (EUCENTRE) and the International Association for the Seismic Performance of Non-Structural Elements (SPONSE). The workshop is hosted by the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center, and will take place at Stanford University (USA), December 5-7, 2022.
The preliminary program is available here. More information is available at the ATC-SPONSE website here. Information about sponsorship opportunities at the Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels is available here.
Subscribing Member Spotlight
Structural Focus is a structural engineering consulting company specializing in the design of complex and innovative buildings. Since its founding in 2001, the firm has designed several million square feet of new structures and rehabilitated hundreds of existing buildings, including numerous historic projects, dozens of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Forell/Elsesser Engineers Inc. is an award-winning San Francisco-based structural and earthquake engineering firm. The firm brings substantial experience in the design of new and rehabilitated facilities of various types of construction, with expertise on all aspects of structural engineering and seismic design, including cost-effective and innovative design solutions.Back to top >
News of the Profession
- Why the next big Bay Area earthquake could happen on a fault many don't even know exists (San Francisco Chronicle)
- New study reveals fault zone off Santa Monica coast could cause up to 7.8 magnitude earthquake (Santa Monica Daily Press)
- Major earthquake shakes Mexico on anniversary of two previous tremors (The Guardian)
- Strong nighttime earthquake jolts sleeping Mexicans, at least one death reported (Reuters)
- Man dies as strong earthquake topples building in Taiwan (The Guardian)
- Severe damage as 6.8 quake strikes (Taipei Times)