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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

EERI Public Policy & Advocacy Committee Update on Key California Bills

In addition to their ongoing NEHRP reauthorization efforts, the EERI Public Policy & Advocacy (PPA) Committee has been actively tracking two pieces of seismic-safety related legislation, AB1857 and AB2681, introduced earlier in the year by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D) California State Representative - California Assembly District 46.

The first bill, AB1857 requires the investigation and creation of a necessary “functional recovery” standard to be incorporated in the California Building Code for all or some building occupancy classifications in the state. Through the dedicated involvement of the PPA Committee, EERI has taken a position of support for this bill. The second bill, AB2681, requires a statewide inventory of vulnerable buildings in California to be created and maintained. EERI has taken no position on this bill, but is working closely with Assemblymember Nazarian's office as this legislation develops.

Follow these bills, view letters of support, and more at EERI's new Legislative Action Center launched this week. Want to get involved with the Public Policy & Advocacy Committee? Join the PPA!

Direct any questions about the Public Policy & Advocacy committee and our work to


11NCEE - Countdown to the Conference

11NCEE Program Cover

Register Now

The US National Conference on Earthquake Engineering is hosted by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) every four years in conjunction with federal and local partners. Now in its eleventh year, the 11NCEE will be held in downtown Los Angeles, California, beginning Monday, June 25 and concluding on Friday, June 29.

This milestone event will bring together 1,200 professionals representing 47 states and 37 countries from 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, along with 350 students on 40 teams from around the world competing in the 15th Annual Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition.

The theme of this year's conference is "integrating science, engineering, and policy," with plenary, concurrent theme and concurrent oral sessions addressing the daily themes: "Creating Change in Southern California and Beyond" (Tuesday); "Seismic Hazard" (Wednesday); "Seismic Risk" (Thursday); and "Seismic Policy" (Friday). In addition, there will be two poster sessions (Tuesday and Wednesday evenings) presented in a lively exhibit hall with 50 exhibitors, 67 Technical Topic Sessions, and 43 community-proposed Special Sessions which will cover a broad set of topics in unique formats.

In planning your conference experience, please consider attending these Special Sessions:

  • A Session to Remember Mete Sozen - This special session will honor Mete Sozen and his contributions from nearly six decades of work for the profession. Moderated by Jack Moehle, UC Berkely and Santiago Pujol, Purdue University. (Thursday, June 28, 3:30 - 5:00pm, San Pedro Room)
  • A Steve Mahin Retrospective - Six panelists from throughout Steve's career will share reflections on his many important contributions to the earthquake engineering profession and members of the community. Members of the audience will also be able to share their reflections on their relationship with Steve and the impacts he made.  (Thursday, June 28, 10:30am - 12:00pm, Santa Barbara Room)
  • New Seismic Resilience Activities for Ports & Harbors - The Port Special Session provides perspectives from port authorities, consultants, and a researcher on seismic analysis and design topics that impact the planning, protection, design, and retrofits of development and redevelopment projects of piers and wharves at west coast ports. Generously co-sponsored by Moffatt & Nichol, Earth Mechanics, Inc., ASCE, BergerABAM, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, and Sage Engineers. (Tuesday June 26, 3:30 - 5:00pm, Room: Beaudry A)
  • Theories of Owner Liability for Earthquake Losses: A debate by lawyers for non-lawyers -  1. When does the owner’s liability begin? As soon as construction is done? When the design becomes obsolete as codes change? When buildings just like it perform poorly in earthquakes far away? When it’s put on a list as potentially hazardous? 2. When does the owner’s liability end? When it gets evaluated as “safe” by a standard lower than the code for new construction? When it’s retrofitted to comply with a program with limited goals? This session will invite legal experts to answer these two questions in a debate-like format. (Tuesday June 26, 3:30 - 5:00pm, San Fernando Room)
  • Seismic Resiliency Assessment Of Urban Regions And Lifelines (Part 1 & 2)  This 2-part Special Session aims to bring together academic researchers and industry practitioners with policy makers and planners to identify key research needs as well as critical pathways that will enable the implementation of research outcomes into real-life applications. Several invited talks will be followed by panel discussion and audience participation. (Wednesday, June 27, 10:30am - 2:00pm and 1:30 - 3:00pm, Room: Beaudry A)
  • Puebla, Mexico Earthquake Session - Members of reconnaissance teams that studied the impacts of the September 19, 2017 earthquake will present their observations. Generously sponsored by WSP. (Tuesday, June 26, 10:30am - 12:00pm, San Gabriel Room)
  • Comprehensive Disaster Resilience Begins To Take Shape  - This session will examine comprehensive strategies of holistic community resilience emerging in west coast cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica and Portland. Mitigation has traditionally focused on large cities enacting retrofit ordinances for high risk buildings such as URMs. Recently, soft-story wood and non-ductile concrete ordinances have been promulgated by these and smaller communities. (Friday, June 29, 10:30am - 12:00pm, Room: Beaudry A)

To access a list of all events during the conference, download the Conference Web App.


11NCEE Highlight - CSI Reception - Additional Tickets Now Available

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The 11NCEE CSI Reception on Thursday night, June 28, 2018, from 7 pm till 12:00 am, is the conference event you won’t want to miss! If you have already registered for the conference but did not purchase tickets, we have good news. More event tickets have just become available!  Click here to purchase tickets now. 

CSI is graciously covering the costs for the event, so 100% of all proceeds will be considered a donation to support EERI’s Learning From Earthquakes Travel Study Program. This new LFE program provides early career and student EERI members a unique, immersive reconnaissance training and learning experience in a country that is recovering from a major earthquake in its recent past. Your ticket will help and inspire the next generation of earthquake risk reduction professionals, while also giving you access to an incredible, exclusive networking social event.  

CSI has planned an unforgettable evening to celebrate the invaluable contributions of Ray Clough and Edward Wilson to the earthquake engineering profession. The numerical methods they conceived and implemented changed and advanced the course of engineering analysis—not only for earthquake engineering and structural dynamics—but also for structural engineering, mechanical engineering, automobile engineering, aeronautical and aerospace engineering, and geotechnical engineering. There is hardly an engineering specialty that has not benefited from their work.

csi ashraf friendsGuests will be treated like stars, enjoying a decadent dinner and cocktails as we honor the lives and accomplishments of these pioneers of our profession.  CSI’s official band—The Ashraf Allstars—will crank out your favorite hits from the 80s, 90s and beyond. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

Dress code: Fashionable, upscale attire fitting for a night out in Hollywood. Here is your chance to step out of your comfort zone!  Because it’s probably the most common look on the red carpet, you can never go wrong with formal: Tuxedo, dinner suit and a black tie for men, fancy dress and heels for women. If that's too much of a stretch, toe the line between business wear, cocktail attire, and trendy chic (don't forget your fedora). Accessorize with a little sparkle and pizazz! Universally “not allowed” at the CSI reception per "official Hollywood dress codes" are jeans, tee shirts, sports hats, tennis shoes, shorts, sweat pants, cut-offs, capri’s and sports jerseys.

Tickets are $100 / $25 students. Conference attendees may purchase one additional guest ticket.

Click here for more information about the event. Click here to purchase tickets.


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Young Members Spotlight

Ezra Jampole and Ashly Morales-Cartagena to recieve EERI’s Inaugural Younger Member Award

The EERI Board of Directors and EERI Younger Members Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural EERI 2017 Younger Member Award. Due to the unique characteristics of applicants this year, the selection committee has decided to award two outstanding individuals, Ezra Jampole (M.EERI,2012) and Ashly Morales-Cartagena (M.EERI,2015).  The awardees will be recognized at the EERI 70th Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 28, at the 11NCEE in Los Angeles.

Ezra JampoleEzra Jampole is an Associate at Exponent in New York City, where he investigates design deficiencies and damage from earthquakes, hurricanes, settlement, adjacent construction, and structure collapse for litigation and arbitration. Ezra holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. from Stanford University, and a B.S. from Northeastern University. The Selection Committee has recognized Ezra as follows:

“Ezra Jampole is recognized for his long-time commitment to EERI, starting with his leadership role withthe EERI Student Leadership Council, his continuous contributions to the Younger Members Committee throughout the years, his dedicated work in the New York Northeast chapter and his collaboration inearthquake reconnaissance through VERT and LFE. Ezra is also recognized for guiding EERI student members in their transition from EERI student chapter participants to active EERI younger members.”

Ashley CartegenaAshly Morales-Cartagena is an Assistant Professor in the CEE Department of the Pontificia Universidad Católica in the Dominican Republic. She also serves as Risk Management Analyst at the Dominican National Bureau of Seismic Evaluation, and works with communities throughout her country to assess multi-hazard risk and community resilience. The selection committee has recognized Ashly as follows: 

“Ashly Morales-Cartagena is recognized for her contributions and initiatives within the Younger Members Committee in the past year. Ashly has also played an instrumental role in the creation,promotion and expansion of the EERI student chapter of her institution in the Dominican Republic,bringing over 24 new members to the organization and the student chapter, created last year, will participate for the second year in the Seismic Design Competition at 11NCEE. Her contributions to the YMC and EERI over the past year are living proof of the leadership and dedication that EERI supportsand motivates in younger members.” 


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Mete Sozen Oral History Now Available Online

Book coverEERI members (Affiliate, Regular, Retired, Young Professional, and Honorary) will soon be receiving their printed copies of the Mete Sozen oral history, Connections Vol. 26: Mete A. Sozen. The pdf version has been posted on the EERI website in its entirety. As announced in the April 10, 2018 edition of Pulse, Mete Sozen passed away on April 5, 2018, when his oral history was being indexed in preparation for printing.

At the 11NCEE, a Special Session to Remember Mete Sozen will be held on Thursday, June 28, from 3:30 to 5:00 pm in the San Pedro Room.  Books will be available for purchase at this session. On Tuesday morning, June 26, at 10:30 am, there is a Theme Session on the EERI Oral History Series in room Santa Monica B. 

This is the twenty-sixth volume in the EERI Connections Oral History Series. EERI began this series to preserve the recollections of some of those who have had pioneering careers in the field of earthquake engineering. Significant, even revolutionary, changes have occurred in earthquake engineering since individuals first began thinking in modern, scientific ways about how to protect construction and society from earthquakes. The Connections series helps document this important history.

Click here to view the full series.


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Call for Papers: 12th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering

12CCEEThe Canadian Association for Earthquake Engineering (CAEE) is proud to announce the 12th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering that will be held in Quebec City, June 17-20, 2019. This is the most important international conference on seismic engineering to be held in Canada. It brings together researchers, structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, architects, seismologists and regulatory bodies from all over the world every four years.  The conference theme is "Improving Seismic Infrastructure Performance and Community Resilience." Topics include Seismic hazard, Seismology, Codes and standards, Seismic geotechnical issues, Seismic structural behaviour and design (bridges, buildings, dams, energy transportation lines, …), Seismic rehabilitation, Seismic mitigation systems, Societal impacts, Risk management, Dam safety, Machine learning applications for seismic reliability of structures and Structural health monitoring.

You are invited to submit abstracts through the submission system of the conference from now until September 15, 2018. Note that English will be the only official language of the conference. For more information, please visit the website.

Natural Hazards Reconnaissance Facility Intensive User Training Workshop: July 24 - 27

workshop 18Jul24 uw V2The RAPID facility supports and provides tools for the collection of perishable field data relevant to natural hazard events. On July 24-27, 2018 the RAPID will host a hands-on, intensive workshop at the University of Washington, Seattle, providing attendees with the opportunity to develop expertise in: using the RAPID equipment to collect data, processing the data, and integrating the data and associated metadata through the use of the RAPID software (the RApp) and DesignSafe.

A more detailed description of the training is provided on the application website.

To register for the workshop please click here.
To learn more about the RAPID facility please click here.
Questions? Please email Jake Dafni at


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Welcome New Members

Welcome New EERI Members (May 10 - June 11, 2018)

eeri logo square 2018 2.5x2.5E-Affiliate
Mario Pino Mendoza, PUCP, Structural
Abdollah Shafieezadeh, Structural
Kinzang Thinley, Civil
Bapi Birbanshi, Bolpur Municipality, India

Peter Duvigneaud, Haley & Aldrich, Inc., Geotechnical
Matt Evans, Oregon State University
Adam Jongeward, DCI Engineers, Structural

Young Professional
David (Jared) DeBock, California State University, Chico, Structural
Kenneth Hudson, Wood PLC, Geologist
Patrick Le, Southern California Edison, Geotechnical
Weian Liu, John A. Martin & Associates, Inc., Structural
Devin Pettipas, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Structural
Adam Zsarnoczay, Stanford University, Structural

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Welcome New Student Members

EERI Welcomes New Student Members (May 1 - June 11, 2018)

Ruben Alvarado Cedillo, UCLA, Civil
Elif Ecem Bas, University of Nevada-Reno, Structural
Paul Calderon, Stanford University, Civil
Darren Choy, University of California,Irvine, Civil
Nathan T. Davis, Tufts University, Structural
Stephanie K. Dow, University of Alaska,Anchorage, Geotechnical
Francisco Galvis, Stanford University, Civil
Carlos Garcia, Cal State Fullerton
Anna Gorgogianni, University of Minnesota, Civil
Kali Ann Gustafson, University of Minnesota, Structural
Ali Hammad, University of Nevada-Reno
Insuk Han Hanyang, Geotechnical
Donghyuk Jung, University of Illinois, Structural
Ajith Karunanithi, University of Surrey, Geotechnical
Ravi Kumar, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Structural
Anjali Kumar, CSU Sacramento, Civil
Eden Lee, University of Toronto, Civil
Sergio Lobo-Aguilar, University of Connecticut, Civil
Hessam Madanipour, University of Memphis, Civil
Teng Man, University of Minnesota, Civil
Taku Obara, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Loss Reduction
Jayant Patil, Rice University, Structural
Erandy Perez, CSU Sacramento, Civil
Gabriel Pierce, University of Alaska, Anchorage, Geotechnical
Jessica Fernanda Sarango, Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE, Civil
Mohamed Sayed, University of Toronto, Civil
David Alfredo Silva, UCLA, Structural
Rajprabhu Thangappa, North Carolina State University, Structural
Agam Tomar, UCLA, Risk Analysis

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News & Views

Seven (7) recent articles, stories, opinions, or reports from around the web.

1oneThe San Francisco Tower Housing Facebook's New HQ is Being Hailed as 'Earthquake-Proof' — Here's Why One of its Engineers Says That's Not Entirely True (Business Insider) The high-rise mixed-use tower has come to be lauded as being invincible to earthquakes. But risk and resilience engineer Ibrahim Almufti (M.EERI,2011) at Arup, the company that designed the tower, told Business Insider that's not entirely true. "Every time I read [earthquake-proof] I cringe," Almufti said, a sentiment he said is echoed by most engineers.  Read more


From Earthquake's Destruction, a New San Francisco Rises Three Decades Later (Los Angeles Times) The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake battered the gritty South of Market district, damaging the Embarcadero Freeway that walled off downtown San Francisco from the bay and left city leaders with a choice: Do they repair and retrofit it, or envision something bolder? Read more

3threeThe Big One Could Leave 250,000-400,000 Quake Refugees in California. Where Will They Go? (Los Angeles Times) When a catastrophic earthquake hits California, buildings will topple and potentially thousands could be killed. But what gets less attention is the aftermath of such a huge temblor, which will leave whole neighborhoods uninhabitable. Read more

4fourAntarctica Is Being Rumbled by Hidden Earthquakes We Never Even Knew Existed (Science Alert) in 1982, scientists confirmed the first earthquake in Antarctica. As the decades passed, researchers detected eight more seismic events in East Antarctica. And then all hell seemingly broke loose. Read more

5fivePhotos Show Quake-Hit Lesvos Village Still in Ruins a Year Later (Greek Reporter) The village of Vrisa on Lesvos island was hit by an earthquake on June 12, 2017 by a tremor measuring 6.3. It was on the same rift that also destroyed Vrisa 130 years ago. The village is still in ruins one year later with more than 800 people displaced. Read more

6sixHuge Spike in Quakes Badly Damages Kīlauea Observatory (EOS) Earthquake activity soared at the summit of Kīlauea last week, with seismologists detecting around 500 temblors in a 24-hour period, the highest rate ever recorded at the volcano. Read more

7sevenDisaster Recovery Requires Rebuilding Livelihoods (Science Daily) Areas rich in biodiversity raise those stakes even more as people's needs compete with environmental protections, according to a new study of the 2008  Wenchuan Earthquake recovery in China that focuses on the "livelihood portfolio" of families when evaluating disaster recovery. Read more






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EERI Staff on the Move

Farewell and Thank You Program Manager Beki McElvain

beki mAfter nearly two years with the Institute, EERI Program Manager Beki McElvain will be leaving her role on staff this August to begin a PhD in City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley.

Her PhD research interests include disaster planning, community resilience, seismic hazard mitigation, earthquake early warning, and the "social science side" of disaster risk reduction. She plans to study discontinuities between community-led, grassroots resilience efforts going on in high-inequity countries and informal places operating in the periphery of state-sanctioned programs. By investigating the impacts of seismic safety policy and mitigation approaches in communities vulnerable to earthquake hazards, she expects to advance our knowledge of what makes communities resilient.

During her time at EERI, Beki has supported our Learning From Earthquakes program by the development of several clearinghouse training workshops, developed GIS products for visualizing earthquake scenario results, and lent her expertise to EERI's Public Policy and Advocacy Committee. Her time managing multidisciplinary projects at EERI has influenced her academic pursuits, so members can expect to see Beki remain an active and engaged member of the EERI community. 

Beki holds both an Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Mills College.  Prior to her time at EERI, Beki worked for the City of Oakland, the City and County of San Francisco, rural water resource non-profits, for policymakers, and as an educator. Before focusing on international disaster planning specifically, she participated in cross-disciplinary research on cultural sustainability and urbanization at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and worked with a research team in Lagos, Nigeria assessing the UN's mandated "Human Right to Water" in practice, using LIDAR technology to map infrastructure in densely populated terrain. In addition to a wide range of professional experience, she has over 7 years of practical experience teaching GIS and sustainable planning both in the public sector and in academic settings.

Thank you, Beki, for your support of EERI and best of luck in your academic endeavors!


Welcome new Administrative Coordinator Silvana Cobos

silvana cobosEERI is pleased to welcome Silvana Cobos as our new Administrative Coordinator.  Silvana is a recent graduate of Tulane University, School of Science and Engineering, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Minor in Spanish. Her academic experience with survey development, data collection, and analysis, will be a true asset to EERI and enhance the robustness of our membership database.

In her role as Administrative Coordinator, Silvana supports various staff members and numerous activities of the Institute.  She serves as the initial interface with many members and members of the public via phone and email. Her primary responsibilities are maintenance of membership data, publication order fulfillment, financial processing, communications support, and facilitation of smooth office operations.  Members can expect to find Silvana a pleasant and helpful addition to the EERI team.  

Welcome, Silvana!

Welcome new EERI Meetings Coordinator Rebecca Singh

Rebecca SinghMany members may have interacted with 11NCEE Coordinator Rebecca Singh on conference matters over the last several months. In these interactions Rebecca has shown herself to be gracious, organized, and thoughtful, so EERI is pleased to welcome her to our permanent staff as our new Meetings Administrative Coordinator.  In this role, Rebecca will be supporting the planning for our 71st EERI Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada from March 5 - 8, 2019. She will also serve as the primary liaison with EERI’s subscribing member firms and is looking forward to meeting many of you in person at the 11NCEE.

Rebecca has a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a Bachelors of Arts in Business, Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University. She has a wide range of experience including marketing, logistics, and events management.

Welcome, Rebecca!

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