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News of the Profession

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

New Connections Oral History: Izzat M. Idriss

EERI is pleased to release the thirty-first volume of Connections: The EERI Oral History Series, featuring Dr. Izzat (Ed) Idriss (M.EERI 1972), a pioneer in the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering.

Idriss headshotBorn in Syria in 1935, Idriss moved from Beirut, Lebanon to upstate New York in 1954, beginning a six-decade career in the United States as a scholar and practitioner. This oral history covers his wide-ranging contributions to the field, including the development of innovative procedures for evaluating the behavior of soil sites and structures, and recounts his participation in post-earthquake reconnaissance and investigations of many major earthquakes of the last half-century, beginning with Alaska in 1964. It discusses his public service as a member of the California Governor’s Board of Inquiry tasked to investigate the failure of portions of the Cypress Freeway and Bay Bridge in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, as an advisor to Caltrans, and as a consultant for seismic risk mitigation on major public works projects around the world.

Idriss coverBased on interviews conducted by Dr. Ross W. Boulanger, this oral history covers Dr. Idriss's wide-ranging contributions to the field, including the development of innovative procedures for evaluating the behavior of soil sites and structures, and recounts his participation in post-earthquake reconnaissance and investigations of many major earthquakes of the last half-century, beginning with Alaska in 1964. It discusses his public service as a member of the California Governor’s Board of Inquiry tasked to investigate the failure of portions of the Cypress Freeway and Bay Bridge in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, as an advisor to Caltrans, and as a consultant for seismic risk mitigation on major public works projects around the world. The volume recounts Idriss’s academic career, ranging from graduate studies at Caltech and Berkeley to his years as director of the Center for Geotechnical Modelling at the University of California, Davis, as well as his decades of engineering practice at the firm Woodward-Clyde. It also touches on his personal and family life, from recollections of his youth in Syria and Lebanon to his travels and hobbies in retirement. 

Download a free PDF copy of this oral history from the EERI Digital Library here (you will need to log in to your EERI member account or enter your name and email address to access the download link). Print-on-demand copies will also be available for purchase beginning later this week from Barnes and Noble for $19.95 apiece. A direct purchase link will be added to the news post on the EERI website and shared in the next issue of the Pulse newsletter.

EERI at WCEE2024 in Milan

EERI is participating in the 18th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (WCEE2024) in Milan, Italy, this week. EERI is proud to be part of this global forum and is showcasing several sessions highlighting our members' groundbreaking work and contributions to the field, along with an EERI Exhibit Booth where members can connect and relax together. To see a list of plenary lectures from EERI members and technical sessions organized by EERI committees, view the news post here.

We also invite you to visit the EERI exhibit booth (G23) in the conference exhibition hall to meet with distinguished members of the EERI community from 8:45am - 4:00pm daily and during the Sunday evening welcome reception. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss EERI’s latest initiatives, share insights, and explore ways to get more involved—and to pick up a free, exclusive member sticker!

EERI Leaders at the booth will include Janiele Maffei, Ellen Rathje, Ayse Hortacsu, Jim Malley, Mike Mieler, David Wald, Jack Baker, Mike Olsen, Judith Mitrani-Reiser, Steve Kramer, Veronica Cedillos, Helen Crowley, Jon Stewart, Svetlana Brzev, Kristen Ulmer, Rocio Segura, Maria Mohammed, Charlie Zhang, Lindsey Maclise, Debra Murphy, Aditya Jhunjhunwala, Heidi Tremayne, Maggie Ortiz-Millan, and others. 

Due Next Week! Applications for the EERI Board of Directors

This is your last chance to submit a Board of Director application for elected or appointed Director. The 2024 Nominating Committee will review applications and will identify four individuals for the two open Director positions to be candidates in the 2025 Board of Directors Election, which takes place in October 2024. The elected Directors will be announced in early December 2024. The EERI Board will select the appointed director in late 2024. The Director terms will begin at the first board meeting of 2025, typically in March.

To apply to be on the Board:

  1. Click here to learn more about the application process.
  2. Carefully read the EERI Board Member Roles and Responsibilities document.
  3. Submit the application form.

The application deadline is July 10, 2024, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Applications must include a brief written statement (no more than 750 words total) and a CV or résumé. Click here for details on what should be included in the written statement. Questions about the application process should be sent to

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Learning From Earthquakes

Housner Fellows Visit Taiwan to Study Functional Recovery

housner taiwanOn April 3, 2024, a magnitude 7.4 earthquake occurred in Hualien, Taiwan followed by a magnitude 6.3 aftershock on April 23, 2024. These earthquakes resulted in collapse of buildings in Hualien City, landslides and rockfalls in Taroko National Park, as well as many injuries and fatalities. EERI Housner Fellows Maria Mohammed (M.EERI 2012)  and N.Rahma Hanifa (M.EERI 2019), along with EERI members Wayne Chang (M.EERI 2018) and Leonardus Setia Budi Wibowo (M.EERI 2024) traveled to Taiwan on May 24, 2024. The purpose of this trip was to test a reconnaissance data collection tool that the Housner Fellows have been developing for the past two years. 

In partnership with National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE), the group visited damaged buildings throughout Hualien City. The group also visited buildings that did not sustain any damages from the earthquake. The reconnaissance data collection tool that the Fellows are developing gathers data to validate building recovery time estimation methods and also to inform development of recovery categories for Functional Recovery. The group was able to test this data collection tool through meetings with building owners and building managers who provided insights into loss of functionality to various building components, the group also met with government officials and various disaster preparedness and response agencies to understand the pre-disaster preparation and response to the earthquake and the aftershocks that followed.

The team’s visit to Hualien also overlapped with a group from New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineers (NZSEE). The groups were able to learn from each other and exchange experiences in gathering recovery data.

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Earthquake Spectra's New Policy on Sharing Data and Code

Earthquake Spectra has introduced a new policy regarding authors' sharing of data and code associated with published manuscripts. All research articles must now include a Data and Resources statement detailing how underlying data and resources can be accessed. Authors are expected to provide the data needed to understand and evaluate their research at the time of peer review. This data should ideally be published in a public repository with a DOI. While sharing of research code is strongly encouraged, it is not required unless the code is a key research output (e.g., for studies whose primary contribution is a machine learning model not replicable by reading the article). The journal's editorial board will evaluate authors' efforts to publish and document data and code during the peer review process.

"Sharing of data and code is critical for advancing earthquake hazards and risk research," said Jack Baker (M.EERI 2004), Editor-in-Chief of Earthquake Spectra. "Our new policy will enhance the reproducibility, credibility, and impact of work published in the journal. This change also aligns Spectra with broader trends in scientific publishing toward open data. It builds on the journal's existing Data Papers category and ability to publish supplementary materials." Authors are encouraged to plan for data and code sharing at the start of research projects, and the journal provides guidance on recommended repositories and best practices.

The journal's editorial board has published an Opinion Paper detailing context and motivations for this policy. For more information on the new policy, please visit the journal's author guide here.

Earthquake Spectra Announces New Special Collection on Systemic Earthquake Risk Modeling

EERI’s peer-reviewed journal Earthquake Spectra is opening a new special collection on “Forward-Looking, Equitable, and Systemic Earthquake Risk Modeling.”  Read on for more information about the collection and instructions for submitting papers. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2024.

Summary: Forward-Looking, Equitable, and Systemic Earthquake Risk Modeling

Urban populations continue to grow in many regions, new structures are being built on previously undeveloped land, the density of urban settlements is amplifying, and multiple infrastructure systems are being expanded or further interconnected to meet ever-increasing demands. Against this backdrop, climate change is exacerbating the occurrence of certain hazards, increasing the likelihood of destructive earthquakes coinciding with or triggering other types of catastrophes, resulting in compounding and cascading impacts. These changes fundamentally alter the exposure and vulnerability of people, their built environment, and the risks that their livelihoods could be impacted by earthquakes. Meanwhile, marginalized socioeconomic and demographic groups continue to suffer the most during disasters, even though economic loss estimates might suggest otherwise. While these problems are understood qualitatively, their consideration in earthquake risk modeling remains a rarity.

These challenges point to an urgent need for a paradigm shift in how we approach earthquake risk modeling, which this special collection will address. The range of topics to be covered includes methods for time-dependent earthquake risk assessment, network-level earthquake risk modeling, multi-hazard (or cumulative) risk analysis, and the development of equitable risk metrics.

Special Collection Editorial Board Members:

  • Dr. Gemma Cremen, Lecturer in Risk and Resilience Engineering, UCL, UK
  • Prof. Carmine Galasso, Professor of Catastrophe Risk Engineering, UCL, UK
  • Dr. Vitor Silva, Head of Risk Engineering, Global Earthquake Model Foundation, Italy

For more information on the collection, author guidelines, and instructions on how to submit, view the news post on the EERI website here.

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Regional Chapters

New England Chapter Webinar: Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction

EERI’s New England Regional Chapter is hosting a free webinar on “Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction: Lessons from Pakistan, New Zealand, Nepal, Albania and Syria” on Wednesday, July 18, 2024 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time (2:00 PM Pacific). Register here to attend the webinar.

Disasters—both natural and man-made—pose profound challenges to communities worldwide, significantly disrupting socio-economic structures and daily lives. Every disaster recovery presents specific challenges, yet common elements exist in rebuilding infrastructure and restoring daily life. For example, the M7.8 earthquake in Nepal in 2015 left 3.3 million people without homes, requiring a large effort to rebuild, often in hard-to-reach places with few resources. Similarly, the floods in Pakistan in 2022 meant that recovery plans had to be made for about two million homes spread across a wide area. These events underscore the multifaceted nature of disaster recovery, which extends beyond mere structural rebuilding to encompass socio-political, financial, and technical challenges within culturally specific contexts. Effective disaster recovery programs require a nuanced understanding of affected communities' unique needs alongside the implementation of customized solutions that facilitate a swift and sustainable return to normalcy. This presentation delves into the recovery initiatives in Pakistan, New Zealand, Nepal, Albania, and Syria, focusing on how local capabilities, international support, governance, and community engagement contribute to resilient outcomes.


  • Jitendra Bothara, Director, Resipro International Engineering Limited, and Fellow of Engineering from the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering and the Nepal Engineers’ Association.
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Structural Engineer Sought for San Francisco Building Inspection Commission

San Francisco Mayor London Breed's office seeks to appoint a structural engineer to the City's Building Inspection Commission to fill an upcoming vacancy. This presents a chance to draw on professional experience and expertise in service to the local community and have a citywide impact. If you are interested in this opportunity or have questions, please contact Jesse Mainardi, Director of Boards and Commissions, at or (415) 554-6588.

The basic requirements for consideration are:

  1. to be a licensed structural engineer in the state of California
  2. to be a San Francisco resident
  3. to have no conflicts of interest on projects where the City & County of San Francisco is the authority having jurisdiction

Note for requirement 3: initial interpretation of requirements and ethics policies is that an individual may work on a project that is in San Francisco, as long as they are not the engineer of record and their name does not appear on applications or contracts for projects where San Francisco is the authority having jurisdiction. You can find our more about the Building Inspection Commission on their website here

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Kinemetrics Webinar: Ensuring Accurate Displacement Measurements During Seismic Events—A Comparative Study of UCSD Shaking Tests of 10-Story TallWood Building

Kinemetrics is hosting a free webinar on July 17, 2024 at 9:00 AM Pacific Time on “Ensuring Accurate Displacement Measurements During Seismic Events—A Comparative Study of UCSD Shaking Tests of 10-Story TallWood Building.” Register here to attend the webinar.

Accurate displacement measurements are critical for the integrity of the buildings and underpin some of the key indicators, such as Interstory drift, of seismic performance of the buildings. Building codes and design guidelines have identified limits on parameters based on historical data from instrumented buildings and experimental evaluation in laboratories. It is also used as the main engineering demand parameter to conduct fragility analysis as structural damage and nonstructural damage correlates with this parameter. Engineers and other emergency decision makers can only make informed, responsible decisions when structural displacements be accurately measured.

In this webinar and Q&A session, Dr. Khalid Saifullah (M.EERI 2018) will describe the testing procedures and results from a comparative study of accelerometers in a controlled study using the world’s largest outdoor shake table, located at UCSD, during a larger test program led by the NHERI TallWood Team. His presentation focuses on displacement responses of the building under different types of seismic loadings to gauge the effectiveness of accelerometers with respect to benchmark direct contact displacement techniques.

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Subscribing Member Spotlight

RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Inc.

RenRe logoRenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Inc., a part of RenaissanceRe since 2007, focuses on modeling and quantifying risk from natural and man-made perils on a worldwide basis. Its team of advanced scientists draws upon expertise in oceanography, meteorology, wind engineering, structural engineering, and seismology to provide intelligence on hazards, vulnerability and risk management strategy.

Walter P Moore

WalterPMooreFounded in 1931, Walter P Moore is an international company of engineers, architects, innovators, and creative people who solve some of the world’s most complex structural and infrastructure challenges. Providing structural, diagnostics, civil, traffic, parking, transportation, enclosure, and construction engineering services, we design solutions that are cost- and resource-efficient, forward-thinking, and help support and shape communities worldwide.

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