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Subscribing Member Spotlight

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

Leadership Communique from David Friedman: LFE Endowment Completion Campaign

david a friedmanIn 2019, EERI launched a wildly ambitious campaign to raise $4 Million for a Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Endowment Fund, at the end of my term as EERI's President. The campaign has been successful beyond our wildest imagination as EERI raised $2.8 million in cash and testamentary pledges to date. With the support of over 250 donors, we have made great strides towards ensuring a bright and robust future for LFE.

In 2023, EERI is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of LFE and the EERI Annual Meeting, in San Francisco in April, is themed around this anniversary. Along with that exciting milestone, the EERI Board has committed to completing our fundraising campaign for the LFE Endowment by raising the remaining $1.2 million towards our goal.

As Chair of EERI’s Fundraising Committee, I’m working with EERI staff and volunteers to realize this goal by launching EERI’s LFE Endowment Completion Campaign. This campaign aims to raise the remaining $1.2 million before the end of 2023 through a combination of one-time cash gifts, multi-year cash pledges, and commitments for planned testamentary/estate gifts.

As we kick off this ambitious effort, I’m asking each member to consider making a 2-3 year final cash pledge at a level that is significant to you in support of EERI and this acclaimed and critical program.

With a fully funded $4million endowment, LFE can respond to earthquakes more quickly, comprehensively, consistently, and with certainty into the future. With this complete permanent endowment EERI will be able to:

  • Quickly decide to deploy reconnaissance teams, both after major earthquakes to observe ephemeral damage, and over the recovery time period for topic-focused longitudinal studies.
  • Expand opportunities for early career members, such as the travel study program, virtual reconnaissance work, and skill development workshops.
  • Conduct regular reconnaissance exercises for improved response and coordination amongst many reconnaissance partners.
  • Accelerate the work of our new LFE Reconnaissance Advisory Subcommittees and increase the topics covered.
  • Increase staffing support levels to better advance and support volunteers leading all ongoing EERI LFE activities.

I hope you agree that these future possibilities show a bright and promising future for LFE in service of our members and the broader community. As LFE responds to the devastating earthquake affecting Turkey and Syria, the importance of the program’s mission is clearer than ever. Without the stability of a fully-funded endowment however, this vision for a robust LFE program is at risk.

As you consider the type of gift that is possible for you, please contact me ( or Devon Clayton, EERI’s Membership and Donor Manager, at, with any questions. You can also make your pledge online.

Thank you for your consideration. You can track our progress and learn more about our campaign here.

David Friedman
M.EERI 1988; Chair, Fundraising Committee

David Friedman and Polat Gülkan Elected to National Academy of Engineering

EERI congratulates David Friedman (M.EERI 1988) and Polat Gülkan (M.EERI 1993) on their election to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). As part of the NAE class of 2023, they will be formally inducted into the academy this coming October. David Friedman was honored "for leadership in the development of innovative solutions for the seismic retrofit of historical structures." The former CEO of Forell/Elsesser, Friedman was EERI President from 2017-2018, and currently serves as chair of the Fundraising Committee. He and his family also endowed the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program, which brings EERI members who are practicing engineers to visit EERI student chapters on university campuses each year. Hakkı Polat Gülkan was honored as an international member "for improving earthquake safety of buildings and seismic resilience worldwide." Currently a Professor of Earthquake Structural Engineering at Başkent University in Ankara, he is also an Honorary Member of EERI and a former editor of Earthquake Spectra, and served on EERI’s Board of Directors from 2005-2008. 

For more about both members and their election to the NAE, view the news post on the EERI website.

EERI Welcomes Two New Board Members: Keith Knudsen and Ashley Morales-Cartagena

EERI is pleased to welcome Keith Knudsen and Ashley Morales-Cartagena to the Board of Directors! Both were selected by the 2022 Nominating Committee from the applicants for the Appointed Director board positions last fall, and appointed at the December 2022 Board Meeting. Keith Knudsen will serve a 2-year term, and Ashley Morales-Cartagena will serve a 4-year term. They will begin their terms in March 2023.

keith knudsenKeith L. Knudsen (M.EERI 2001) has served as the Deputy Director of the USGS Earthquake Science Center for about a dozen years, and has also served as the Earthquake Hazard Program’s Northern California Coordinator. He is a Quaternary geologist and geomorphologist who specializes in the assessment of earthquake hazards. Prior to joining the USGS, he led and worked on projects characterizing seismic hazards for large engineered facilities at URS Corporation in Oakland. Before joining URS, for eight years, Keith managed the Liquefaction Zoning Unit and the Bay Area Regional Geologic Mapping Unit of the California Geological Survey’s Seismic Hazards Zoning Program. He served on the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Northern California Chapter Board as a Director and as President spanning the 2006 anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. He also served as Secretary of the Seismological Society of America for nine years. In his roles in the public and private sectors, he has been successful in identifying partner organizations and building relationships so that innovative projects get supported and completed. He lives about a kilometer from the Hayward fault.

2023 Morales Cartagena PhotoAshley Morales-Cartagena (M. EERI 2015) is a disaster risk reduction professional with 15 years of experience working in academia, industry, the public sector and international development. She is a professor and researcher at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), where she served as Director for the past four years and founded the EERI PUCMM student chapter. She also served as head of the Disaster Risk Management and Geotechnical Engineering departments at the Domincan Republic’s National Bureau of Seismic Evaluation and Infrastructure Vulnerability (ONESVIE). Ashley co-chaired the EERI Younger Members Committee from 2019-2021 and received the EERI’s Younger Members Award in 2018. Ashley pursued her graduate studies (MS) as a Fulbright Scholar in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She also holds an MS in Construction Management from the Santo Domingo Institute of Technology (INTEC) and a BS in Civil Engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra. Most recently she founded Mujeres en la Ingeniería (MIRD), the first NGO focused on supporting women to pursue careers in engineering in the Dominican Republic.


AM2023: Early Bird Deadline Today!

Today is the early-bird deadline for EERI's 2023 Annual Meeting in San Francisco from April 11-14! Registration rates will increase in all categories tomorrow, so register now to get the best price and sign up for the workshops and reconnaissance exercise. Visit the meeting website to learn more, and register here for 2023AM!

A late-breaking interdisciplinary special session on the February 6, 2023 Turkey/Syria Earthquake Sequence has been added to the 2023 EERI Annual Meeting Program. The special session will take place on the evening of Tuesday, April 11, 2023, and will be included in the registration rate for the technical program. The call for abstracts is now open, and you can submit an abstract via the form here

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Learning From Earthquakes

LFE Response to Turkey/Syria Earthquake Sequence

EERI continues to develop our response to the devastating February 6, 2023 M7.8 and M7.5 earthquakes affecting Turkey and Syria. Our thoughts remain with the victims, and with those of you among the membership who have family, friends, and colleagues in the region, as the relief and rescue work continues. EERI has established a virtual clearinghouse on the LFE website here, including links to World Housing Encyclopedia resources, reconnaissance reports from previous earthquakes in Turkey, and selected media reports. More information will be added there as our response develops.

A joint EERI and Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association (GEER) advance reconnaissance team is now in the field, joining colleagues from Turkey. The team is surveying earthquake impacts on the ground to capture ephemeral data and inform future Learning From Earthquakes (LFE) reconnaissance efforts. Advance Team Members include Ayşe Hortacsu (M.EERI 2000) of the Applied Technology Council, Ayhan İrfanoğlu (M.EERI 1994) of Purdue University, Robb Moss (M.EERI 2003) of California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, and Özgür Kozacı of Mott MacDonald.

EERI is coordinating with several groups planning reconnaissance and will be scheduling coordination calls to help share information between teams. If you are planning to conduct reconnaissance, have other information to share, or wish to support LFE's response, please let us know via this Google form.

For more information about LFE's response and other ways to get involved, visit the news post on the EERI website here.

Read on below for a roundup of EERI members' media appearances about the earthquakes.

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Quick Quake Briefing: Indonesia M5.6 Cianjur Earthquake of 21 November 2022

Thursday February 16, 2023
4:00-5:00 PM Pacific Time

The EERI Northern California Regional Chapter is hosting a FREE webinar on the M5.6 earthquake that struck West Java in Indonesia. 

Cianjur earthquake damage

The earthquake struck near Cianjur in West Java. Between 330 and 640 people died, and over 7,700 were injured. More than 63,000 homes were damaged across the region. The earthquake was strongly felt in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, over 100 km (63 mi) to the North. It is the deadliest earthquake to hit Indonesia since the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake.

Damage evaluated after the quake indicated a maximum Modified Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). According to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG), the earthquake had a strike-slip focal mechanism at a depth of 11 km (7 mi), classifying it as a shallow event. Despite the moderate size of the earthquake, its shallow depth caused strong shaking. The National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure (BNPB) described the damage to homes and buildings as "massive."

Two speakers will be joining from Indonesia:

  • Dr. Nuraini Rahma Hanifa, a previous EERI Housner Fellow now with the Research Center for Geological Disaster, Research Organization of Earth Sciences and Maritime, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), will present an overview of the earthquake and its aftermath.
  • Dr. Sigit Pramono of the Engineering Seismology Earthquake Early Warning System Division, Meteorological Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) will present on the engineering seismology aspects.

YMC Webinar: Real-time Hybrid Simulation for Earthquake Induced Motions and Cascading Earthquake and Tsunami Events

Wednesday, March 8, 2023
12:00-1:00 PM Pacific Time

Join EERI’s Younger Members Committee for a FREE webinar on Real-time hybrid simulation for earthquake induced motions and cascading earthquake and tsunami events, featuring two speakers:

  • Dr. Barbara Simpson, Assistant Professor, Stanford University
  • Dr. Liang Cao, Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Research Center, Lehigh University

The first presentation will focus on real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS), a cost-effective cyber-physical simulation method that can be used to examine the behavior of systems too large or complex to test fully in a laboratory setting, alleviating the aforementioned constraints. Hydrodynamic-RTHS, or hydro-RTHS, couples physical waves and a partial structural specimen with a computational structural model in the NHERI-EF Large Wave Flume and Multi-Direction Wave Basin at Oregon State University (OSU). The second presentation will focus on recent developments of new types of high-performance control systems (HPCSs), including robust semi-active friction devices. The vibration mitigation performance of HPCSs is investigated through Real-time Hybrid Simulations (RTHS) on an earthquake-excited two-story reinforced concrete building.

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Don't Miss the February Issue of Earthquake Spectra!

Spectra Feb 2023 coverVolume 39, issue 1 (February 2023) of Earthquake Spectra is out! Past Editor David Wald has selected “Seismic safety of informally constructed reinforced concrete houses in Puerto Rico,” by Polly B Murray, Dirsa Feliciano, Briar H Goldwyn Abbie B Liel, Orlando Arroyo, and Amy Javernick-Will as the Editor’s Choice paper for this issue.

According to Wald, “Murray et al. examine the characteristics of seismically vulnerable reinforced with concrete houses to fully assess their seismic risks and recommend risk-reducing design and construction strategies. After characterizing an architype building following local interviews with builders and store owners, the authors develop seismic collapse functions that account for the local building practices and materials. They quantify the effects of these building characteristics on collapse risk applied for housing in the U.S. Caribbean Islands of Puerto Rico. Their analysis showed that heavy construction, most often attributable to a second story, and the presence of an open ground story leads to a high collapse risk, and that corroded steel bars naturally worsen performance. They also assessed retrofit options for open-ground-story houses.” 

View the rest of the February issue at the Earthquake Spectra website here. Make sure you are logged into your EERI member account on the EERI website for full access!

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2023 Liu Huixian Earthquake Engineering Scholarships

The Huixian Earthquake Engineering Foundation (China) and the US-China Earthquake Engineering Foundation (USA) are pleased to announce that about ten (10) Liu Huixian Earthquake Engineering Scholarship Awards are available in 2023. Applicants must currently be enrolled as a full-time master’s degree or doctoral degree student in earthquake engineering or a closely related field. Applicants must be at a university or research institute in China, USA, Singapore, or a member center of the Asian-Pacific Network of Centers for Earthquake Engineering Research (ANCER).

Application materials should be submitted electronically to the Secretariat of the Huixian Earthquake Engineering Foundation by June 30, 2023. Learn more about the scholarship and application requirements at the website here.

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WCEE 2024: Call for Session Proposals

The Italian Association of Earthquake Engineering (ANIDIS) and of the International Association of Earthquake Engineering (IAEE), invite technical session proposals for the upcoming 18th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (WCEE2024), to be held from 30th June to 5th July 2024, in Milan, Italy. The organizers aim to build a community-based conference program and invite proposals for technical sessions that are not only rich in scientific content, but also diverse and representative in terms of e.g. geographical provenance, gender balance, etc. Session proposals are due March 15, 2023. Learn more and submit your proposal at the WCEE website here.

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Subscribing Member Spotlight

Structural Focus

StructuralFocusStructural 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.

Simpson Strong-Tie

Simpson StrongTieSimpson Strong-Tie is is one of the world's largest suppliers of structural building products. The company is recognized as the genuine connector brand in the residential construction industry and for its offering of shearwalls, moment frames, and fasteners. The company also offers products in infrastructure, commercial and industrial construction, including mechanical anchors and adhesives that repair, protect and strengthen concrete and masonry.

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views: EERI Members on Turkey/Syria Earthquakes

In place of our usual news roundup, here is a selection of EERI members's media appearances in print, radio, and television coverage of the recent earthquake impacts in Turkey and Syria. If you have been interviewed in a story or have published an op-ed or other commentary, please send a link to

EERI President David Cocke (M.EERI 1992):

Board of Directors member Jonathan Stewart (M.EERI 1994):

Jonathan Stewart, Abbie Liel (M.EERI 2009), and Kit Miyamoto (M.EERI 2018):

Northern California Chapter Past President Volkan Sevilgen (M.EERI 2019):

Honorary Member Polat Gülkan (M.EERI 1993):

Forrest Lanning (M.EERI 2009):

Michel Bruneau (M.EERI 1984):


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