2018 EERI-NC Holiday Party December 6

December is right around the corner, which calls for celebrations! Please save the evening of Thursday, December 6 to celebrate another year with the EERI Northern California Chapter. This year the party will be at Arup’s new office in downtown Oakland, which is steps from the 12th Street Bart station and has spectacular views of Oakland and the San Francisco Bay. Come mingle with friends and colleagues while enjoying delicious food and drinks!
Date: Thursday, December 6, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm – whenever you get tired!
Location: Arup Oakland, 1330 Broadway, 13th floor, Oakland
Please RSVP to chapterinfo@eerinc.org by December 2nd, 2018

November 13 – Learning from Earthquakes: Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance Training


On the evening of November 13th, join us for an interactive training for participation in EERI’s Learning From Earthquakes (LFE) program!
Learning from Earthquakes:
Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance Training

Date:  Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Time:  5:30 pm Dinner & Registration, 6 pm-9 pm Program

Location:  Arup Oakland, 1330 Broadway, 13th Floor, Oakland

Dinner is provided



EERI staff will introduce post-earthquake reconnaissance data collection goals, methods, and clearinghouse tools. You will then participate in a simulated field exercise, and try out the new LFE business resilience survey.


After the training, we will discuss and define ways that our Northern California EERI Chapter can assist its members and the broader community in the wake of a major California earthquake, including potential ways to use Chapter reserves, such as funding a mini-grant program to support reconnaissance travel, novel research, or community needs. Dinner provided. Space is limited, so RSVP soon!


November 7 – Joint EERI-NC/Stanford Distinguished Lecture: Dr Reginald DesRoches

Your EERI NorCal Chapter is pleased to announce co-sponsorship of a talk by EERI 2018 Distinguished Lecturer Dr. Reginald DesRoches on November 7th, 2018, in association with and hosted at Stanford University:

EERI 2018 Distinguished Lecture

Dr. Reginald DesRoches

The Promise of Smart Materials in Earthquake Resistant Design

Date:  November 7, 2018

Time:  4:30 pm

Location:  Cubberly Auditorium, 485 Lausten Mall, Stanford University

Reception to follow


Damage from recent earthquakes underscores the importance of developing new approaches and technologies to improve the performance of structures during earthquakes. The presentation will highlight applications of one class of smart materials, shape memory alloys, in improving the performance of structures subjected to earthquake loading. Shape memory alloys belong to a class of shape memory materials which can undergo large deformations while reverting back to their original, undeformed shape. This unique property has led to the development of numerous applications in the biomedical, aerospace, and commercial industry. A multi-scale and multi-disciplinary approach is taken to explore the potential use of these systems for applications in earthquake engineering. Component testing, full-scale testing, and detailed analyses show great potential for these systems to significantly improve the earthquake performance of steel-frame buildings, nonductile concrete buildings, and bridges.

Reginald DesRoches is the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, and holds faculty appointments in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. He earned both a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in structural engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. A fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineer (ASCE), and the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI), DesRoches’ research focuses on the design of resilient infrastructure systems under extreme loads and the application of smart and adaptive materials.  DesRoches serves on the National Academies Resilient America Roundtable, the Board on Army Science and Technology, the Global Earthquake Modeling Scientific Board and the advisory board for the Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure andEmergency Management Research Center. He chaired the ASCE’s Seismic Effects Committee and the executive committee of the Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering.  Among DesRoches’ honors are the 2015 ASCE Charles Martin Duke Lifeline Earthquake Engineering Award, the 2007 ASCE Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize and the 2008 Georgia Tech ANAK Award, which is the highest honor the undergraduate student body can bestow on faculty members. He was elected to the UC Berkeley Civil Engineering Department Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 2015.

Join/Learn/Participate in our March 28th Event


EERI Northern California Chapter presents:

 Personal Preparedness for Earthquake Professionals:

Stories and Insights from Experts at the Front Line

Wednesday, March 28 2018

ARUP San Francisco

560 Mission St # 700, San Francisco, CA 94105

 6:30pm Refreshments & Mingling

7:00-8:30pm Program

NEW: Spouses, business partners, and adult children are especially

welcomed and encouraged to attend!

Please RSVP by: March 23, 2018


The 2018 Chapter Theme: Raising Our Readiness

This year, the EERI NorCal Chapter is tying Chapter events to the theme of Raising Our Readiness for the next Bay Area big one. The goal is to help our members and the broader Bay Area resilience community in becoming more personally and professionally prepared to safely and confidently ride out, respond, aid, and learn during what will surely be a defining moment in our lives and careers.

 Personal Preparedness for Earthquake Professionals: Event Description

The first event in this series aims to open our eyes and open a dialog about what it means to “be ready” as an earthquake professional. A distinguished panel representing multiple perspectives will share thoughts about the role that personal preparedness played in their experiences with Bay Area disasters from Loma Prieta to the Oakland Firestorm to the recent Sonoma Fires.

Emergency preparedness for the earthquake professional goes way beyond Drop, Cover, and Hold On drills. In order to be able to perform essential services such as building inspections for private clients or the public, advise local first responders and elected officials, engage with the media, conduct research, or record ephemeral data, earthquake professionals must take many of the same preparedness steps as other members of the community. In doing so, we can better help the community understand the impacts of the disaster, prevent further damage where possible, communicate accurate information to the public, and serve as a steady presence in the face of such events.

Attendees will learn about appropriate steps to prepare themselves and their families in advance of a disaster, so they can perform at their best when a disaster strikes instead of being focused on personal and family safety. A half-day follow-up workshop (late spring) will allow Chapter members a hands-on, expert led opportunity to go deeper in their personal preparedness practice through activities such as assembling supplies and drafting a family emergency plan.

About the panelists:

  • Susan Piper, Former Assistant to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, United Policyholders Board and Oakland Firesafe Council member


Sue Piper retired 5 years ago after an almost 50 year career in public relations and marketing—the last 8 years she served as a policy analyst to Council Member Jean Quan in the City of Oakland, and then as Mayor Quan’s Communications Manager. A survivor of the 1991 Oakland/Berkeley Hills Firestorm, she and her husband have dedicated the last 26 years to wildfire prevention and emergency preparedness. They created the Oakland Firestorm Memorial Garden and the Gateway Emergency Preparedness Exhibit Center under the Oakland Landscape Committee, and both served on the now sunset Oakland Wildfire Prevention Assessment District. Sue currently serves as the chair of the nonprofit Oakland Firesafe Council and as chair of United Policyholders, a national nonprofit consumer advocacy organization for disaster survivors dealing with their insurance before, during and after fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters.

  • Jennifer Lazo, Emergency Manager for City of Berkeley


Jennifer Lazo is an Emergency Services Coordinator in the City of Berkeley, and is responsible for emergency management planning and preparedness, focusing on people with disabilities and seniors.  Her work includes providing inclusive emergency planning and shelter training to City staff and the formation and management of BEACON, a network of organizations that work with people with disabilities and engage in disaster preparedness and planning.  She manages the Community Resilience Center program, which gives community organizations in the City of Berkeley the tools, resources, and training needed to serve as hubs for assistance and information during and following disasters.

She serves as the Vice Chair of the IAEM Emerging Technology Caucus, a Digital Volunteer Lead for the American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region, an Earthquake Country Alliance Bay Area Coordinating Committee Chair, and the Co-President of the Alameda County Emergency Managers Association. Jennifer’s Master’s thesis at the University of Delaware was titled “Framing Disaster Planning for People with Disabilities: Analyzing the CALIF V. City of Los Angeles Lawsuit.”  As a graduate research assistant at the Disaster Research Center she worked on projects including studying nursing home disaster preparedness in Delaware, assisting in the development of the Community Resilience Index with Johns Hopkins University, and performing quick response research following Superstorm Sandy. ​

  • James Malley, S.E. Group Director and Senior Principal, Degenkolb Engineers


James O. Malley, S.E., is a Senior Principal with Degenkolb Engineers. He received both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Malley has over 30 years of experience in the seismic design, evaluation and rehabilitation of building structures, and is involved in the peer review of numerous tall building projects.  He was responsible for the analytical and testing investigations performed as part of the SAC Steel Project in response to the Northridge earthquake damage. Mr. Malley is Chair of the AISC Specifications Committee and the Past-Chair of the AISC Seismic Subcommittee. Jim has served as a member of the SEAONC and SEAOC Board of Directors, and was President of SEAONC in 2000-2001 and SEAOC in 2003-2004. He was named a SEAOC Fellow in 2007 and an Honorary Member of SEAONC in 2014. He also was a member of the Board of Directors of NCSEA, serving as President in 2010-1011. Mr. Malley was also a member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of EERI and is presently a member of the Board of Directors of the Applied Technology Council.

2017 Election Results Announced

The 2017 election came to an end December 8, 2017. Chapter members elected three new Directors at-large and a President-Elect.

We are happy to welcome Mike Mieler, Chiara McKenney, and Curt Haselton to the Board. Mike, Chiara, and Curt were elected to the position of Director at-large to serve a two-year term. Current Secretary-Treasurer Dana Brechwald was elected to the position of President-Elect. This is a one-year term, followed by a two-year term as President and one-year term as Past-President

Congratulations to all elected board members and thank you to outgoing Past-President Betsy Matheison and Directors Jeff Bond, Ibbi Amulfti, and Gerry Brady for your tenure of service to the Chapter.

The board also thanks the nominating committee of Laurie Johnson, Laurence Kornfield, Ayse Hortascu, and all voting Chapter members!

See your complete 2018 Board of Directors here.

2017 Board Elections

It’s time again to vote for new EERI NC Board Members! Thank you in advance for casting your vote in this election.



Please complete the online ballot to cast your vote for the four (4) open positions on the Board of Directors of the Northern California Chapter of EERI. The open positions are for 3 Directors at-large and 1 President-Elect.

The 2017 EERI NC Chapter election will only accept ballots submitted online. At the start of the election period, all current EERI NC Chapter members will receive an email with a link to the anonymous members-only online ballot. You must submit your online ballot by 5:00 PM on Friday, December 5, 2017.

Election results will be announced by email and in person at the Annual Holiday Party to the membership by Wednesday, December 13, 2017.


The following table summarizes the current and future Board positions.


Board of Directors

Board of Directors

President Sharyl Rabinovici Sharyl Rabinovici
Past-President Betsy Matheison
President-Elect Open
Secretary/Treasurer Dana Brechwald Dana Brechwald
Director Jeff Bond Open
Director Anne Wein Anne Wein
Director Zahraa Saiyed Zahraa Saiyed
Director Ibbi Amulfti Open
Director Gerry Brady Open
Director John Egan John Egan



The Board would like to thank the Nominating Committee consisting of Laurie Johnson, Laurence Kornfield, and Ayse Hortascu for proposing an excellent slate of Candidates for the Chapter’s consideration.

For the Office of President-Elect:

  • Dana Brechwald

For the Office of Director at-large:

  • Chiara McKenney
  • Mike Mieler
  • Curt Hasleton



If you have questions, please contact your Chapter Board at chapterinfo@eerinc.org.

Nov.8 & 9 – Life Safety in the City: when there is more to life than not being crushed

In this distinguished lecture, Dr. Lucy Jones will address the benefits and complexities of organizing resilient cities, risk psychology, and a more resilient role of building codes in the event of natural disasters.
The Resilience by Design program adopted by the city of Los Angeles, to address earthquake vulnerabilities, brought together the earth science, earthquake engineering and public policy professions and worked with hundreds of community organizations to get approval for sweeping seismic resilience legislation. Since their inception, building codes have been based on a principle that safety is the only valid concern of government. The reality of a major earthquake is that the failure of a building impacts the whole community through economic disruption, population decreases, and cascading failures of engineered and social systems. This talk will explore a conceptual framework for creating a building code that reflects the realities of earthquake losses and the social dynamics of shared economic decisions.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Lucy Jones
RSVP now for Wednesday, November 8.
Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Location: EPICENTER (Please refer to here for detailed directions)
Cost: FREE for EERI NC Chapter members, Attendance limited RSVP now
RSVP/Registration Details: Email chapterinfo@eerinc.org to RSVP

RSVP now for Thursday, November 9.
Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017
Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Location: East Bay MUD Administration, 375 11th Street, Oakland, CA 94607-4240
Cost: FREE for EERI NC Chapter members and EBMUD employees
Attendance limited, RSVP now
RSVP/Registration Details: Email chapterinfo@eerinc.org to RSVP

About Dr. Lucy Jones:
Dr. Lucy Jones is the founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, with a mission to foster the understanding and application of scientific information in the creation of more resilient communities. She is the author of the forthcoming book, The Big Ones (Doubleday, April 2018) and is also a Research Associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech, a post she has held since 1984. Working with both the public and private sectors, Dr. Jones seeks to increase communities’ ability to adapt and be resilient to the dynamic changes of the world around them. The aim is to understand and communicate where the greatest vulnerabilities lie and what actions can be taken to reduce the risks that are the most cost-effective. Dr. Jones has been active in earthquake research for decades, furthering earthquake risk reduction through seismological research and integrated disaster scenarios.

Northern California Chapter Supports the March for Science!

EERI is Marching for Science!

The March for Science is an organized demonstration of “people who value science, science advocates, science educators, scientists, and concerned citizens” happening in Washington DC and in 425 satellite marches all around the world on Saturday, April 22.

EERI feels that the March for Science is an appropriate place to do our work, and plans to be visible among demonstrators at the Bay Area march in San Francisco with the support of the Northern California Chapter and the EERI Public Policy Committee.

Poster-Making Happy Hour at EERI HQ
EERI staff invites Northern California members to join them the night before for a Poster-making Happy Hour at EERI Headquarters in Oakland on Friday, April 21! RSVP HERE if you plan to attend.

See EERI’s official statement and links to resources in the latest edition of the Pulse!

Support your local student chapter!

Support your local student chapters to participate in the 2017 Seismic Design Competition in Portland

It is time to repeat last year’s successful initiative to connect the local EERI student chapters that are participating in the annual Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition with potential sponsors to help support students for this year’s EERI Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The objective of the Seismic Design Competition (SDC) is to design, model and construct a cost-effective 16-29-story tall scaled balsa wood model building that can resist shake table testing with three ground motions of increasing intensity. Each year approximately 40 teams compete, representing universities across the globe. In addition to the performance of the model under ground shaking, the teams will be scored based on various other criteria, including the prediction of peak roof drift and acceleration based on computer modeling, the quality of their presentation and poster, and the building architecture. If you have ever attended an EERI Annual Meeting, you’ll remember the excitement the SDC adds to the event, and what a great experience this if for the students.

Three of the Northern California EERI student chapters, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and California State University, Sacramento, are planning to participate in the 2017 Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition. Please read on to learn more about two of the teams, and we encourage you to contact the team contacts listed to make a (tax deductible!) donation. Donations large and small will support the teams that have worked so hard on designing and building the models.

To donate online, go here. Be sure to email Sonya Hollenbeck to specify that your donation should go to the Northern California Chapter Seismic Design Competition.

We look forward to growing these and other initiatives over the next few years, and make this one more way for the local EERI Student Chapters to get funding for participation in the seismic design competition.

University of California, Berkeley

Team contact: Samantha Cristol

Cal Seismic Design TeamThe Cal Seismic Design team is an undergraduate cohort dedicated to structural design, analysis, and construction. With a membership of 60 undergraduates spanning a variety of majors, the team acts as the first available resource for any student considering seismic design and innovation. Last year, the UC Berkeley team was awarded the Degenkolb Award for Structural Innovation, in addition to placing second overall.

Our team has dedicated an immense amount of time and energy to designing, testing, and improving our entry for the competition, as we prepare to travel to Portland. Our design proposal was in the top nine out of all submissions, and we are looking forward to once again compete on an internal stage.

The UC Berkeley team is looking to raise an additional $1000 of their $22,000 budget, as they are hoping to bring 30 students to Portland this year.


Team contact: Sam Schreiber

Stanford Seismic Team Photo_croppedStanford’s diverse, close-knit team includes students from various backgrounds and disciplines, with majors ranging from Civil and Mechanical Engineering to Linguistics. Due to our small size, we can be flexible and accommodate people in whatever tasks they feel best suit them, whether that be hands-on construction work or more administrative roles. We strive to incorporate the ideas of each individual member every step of the way. We expect to be a strong contender this year, and look forward to the coming weeks as we prepare for competition in March. Stanford is looking to raise up to $4500 to cover our competition costs, which will give all interested members the opportunity to attend the competition.

California State University, Sacramento

Team contact: Yanjinlkham Batbayar

teamphotoThe EERI CSUS team is proud to be competing for the second time at the EERI Seismic Design Competition. We are a growing organization at the CSUS campus, comprised of dedicated civil engineering students who are interested in innovation, design, and creation of a functional seismically stable structure. We had many lessons learned from our first competition last year. To prepare ourselves for this year’s seismic design competition, we have invited local and sac state alumni engineers, who had participated in the seismic design competition previously. We have used their guidance to obtain useful tips on how to design and fabricate. The officers of our club have attended the SAP2000 tutorial class to improve their ability to use the program. So far, we have successfully submitted our proposal, material testing has been performed, and we are in the process of continuously working and improving our design to meet the requirements and aesthetics.

Our team consists of 16 undergraduate students who will propose, design, and fabricate a scaled balsa wood model of a high rise structure. CSUS is looking to raise $3000 funding of their $4000 budget for this year’s SDC.

2016 Election Results Announced

The 2016 election came to an end November 14, 2016. Chapter members elected two new Directors at-large.

We are happy to welcome Anne Wein and John Egan to the Board. Anne and John were elected to the position of Director at-large to serve a two-year term.

Congratulations to all elected board members and thank you to outgoing Past President Betsy Matheison and Directors Ken Mark and Patricia Grossi for your tenure of service to the Chapter.

The board also thanks the nominating committee of Marko Schotanus, Heidi Tremayne, Greg Deirlein, and Alan Kropp, and all voting Chapter members!

See your complete 2016 Board of Directors here.

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EERI Northern California Chapter | c/o EERI National | 499 14th Street Suite 320 | Oakland, CA 94612-1934 USA | chapterinfo@eerinc.org