Register for the 2017 Annual EERI Conference in Portland


Please join EERI in Portland on March 7-10, 2017 for the 69th Annual meeting.

Program and details can be found in the following link:

Join us February 23rd: Earthquakes and Education


Earthquakes and Education: Cutting Edge Research and Initiatives Light the Way for New Generations

Please join us February 23rd for an evening of discussion about innovations in earthquake engineering youth education, school safety, and career path programs. From an esteemed panel of guests, you will hear lightning talks on how EERI members and other organizations are working to deliver fresh curriculum to elementary and high school students, advocating for safer school facilities nationally, and confronting challenges to recruiting and retaining young engineering professionals, especially women engineers.

Representatives from local University Student Chapter teams, including CSU Sacramento, UC Berkeley and Stanford University, will also attend to recap their plans to build the best structure for the 2017 Annual Meeting design competition. We will continue our Chapter’s tradition of fundraising to help these students with travels costs to Portland. Donations can be made tax-deductible and will be matched by the Chapter up to $300.

Date: Thursday, February 23rd
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (6:00 Networking, 6:15 Program)
Venue: EPICENTER, 245 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Please share event information with friends and colleagues who may be interested!

Speaker Profiles:

p_murrenPatrick Murren, PE, is the Vice President of the Engineers Alliance for the Arts (EAA) Student Impact Project.  This program – in its 16th year and hosted in 17 classrooms across 13 schools in the Bay Area plus satellite regions in Houston, TX, and Tulsa, OK – challenges participating students to design and build a 36″-span bridge using basic classroom materials such as foamboard, glue, and string.  The program brings volunteer engineers into each classroom to teach basic engineering principles, work alongside the students as they build their bridges, and encourage students to consider pursuing studies and careers in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.  Patrick, a former middle school teacher through the Teach For America program, is in his 6th year volunteering with EAA.  He works in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.


heidi_IMG_2944Heidi Tremayne, PE, has served as EERI’s Program Manager since April 2014. She is responsible for supporting the Institute’s committees and chapters, and managing multiple projects and programs, like EERI’s Learning From Earthquakes Program and School Earthquake Safety Initiative (SESI) – a network of diverse professionals committed to creating and sharing knowledge that enables progressive decision making around school earthquake safety.  Heidi has managed SESI from its inception, working with the committee to develop its strategic action plan, launch of 5 working subcommittees, and support ongoing product development and dissemination.  In particular, she has collaborated with the Classroom Education and Outreach Subcommittee to launched several pilot activities to deliver earthquake engineering curriculum at elementary and high school classrooms in partnership with EERI regional and student chapters.Prior to joining EERI, Heidi was the Outreach Director at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering research Center (PEER) for six years where she coordinated PEER’s numerous education and communications programs, including an elementary school outreach program for the nees@berkeley laboratory. Heidi also served on the EERI Northern California Chapter Board of Directors for seven years, including a term as President from 2013-2014.  She has a degree in Architectural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a California Professional Engineering License.


Heidi will be joined by student members involved in the 4th grade and high school earthquake curriculum from UC Berkeley and Stanford University.


4-sherrow-groves-nickNick Sherrow-Groves is a Senior Engineer at the San Francisco office of Arup, where he’s worked for the past 6 years. He’s worked on many different kinds of projects, from record-setting airports to boutique shipping-container spas, and spent a year abroad between his degrees traveling the world and (with the help of EERI!) interviewing people who had been affected by earthquakes. For the past year, he’s been working with the Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity committee, and is a current co-chair.

Student Design Competition Team Profiles:


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.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.


1170The 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.


Stanford Seismic Team PhotoStanford‘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.


Getting to 245 3rd Street in San Francisco:

  • BART & MUNI: The EPICENTER can be reached from Powell and Montgomery Stations and bus stops near those stations. Busses 8AX, 8BX, 8X, 12, 30, 45 and 91 stop at Folsom & 3rd.
  • DRIVING: The SOMA pay parking lot is the closest, with entrance located after Clementina Alley and before Tehama Alley.
  • BIKE: EPICENTER is working on installation of bike stalls, and has limited bike storage inside.

December 7th Holiday and Awards Night

Join the Northern California Chapter as we toast to the successful end of 2016 — the night is dedicated to exchanging, connecting, and celebrating!

Date: Wednesday, December 7th
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The night is a social event, but we’ll pause twice:

  • @ 6:00 Welcome address by Tipping Structural Engineers, followed by a brief presentation and phased tours of their new isolated office building.
  • @ 7:00 the Northern California board will hand out awards and honors.

Venue: Tipping Structural Engineers, 1906 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA

Catch up with members over food and drinks on 2016 accomplishments and talk plans for 2017. Non-members can attend guilt-free — we welcome all earthquake, engineering, and resilience professionals and students to our party! Please RSVP by November 30th so we’re efficient with our catering, but don’t hesitate to bring along a last-minute friend, classmate, or co-worker.

Getting to 1906 Shattuck Ave.

  • BART — The building is just 3 blocks north of the Downtown Berkeley BART Station.
  • Driving — There is potential to find street parking, and there is a parking lot on Berkeley Way, between Shattuck and Milvia.


Performance-Based Engineering To Urban Resilience

Advancements in the performance-based earthquake engineering framework provide rigorous probabilistic descriptions of seismic performance, using metrics such as economic losses, fatality estimates and downtime. More recently, the concept of seismic resilience has been emphasized, focusing on the role that buildings play in ensuring that communities, particularly urban centers, can minimize the effect of, adapt to and recover from earthquakes. A key aspect of assessing resilience is establishing a link between building performance and the post-event functionality and recovery of a community. Limit states such as functional loss, damage that renders a building unsafe to occupy or irreparable, which (by comparison) have received much less attention in past research, play a central role in evaluating resilience. The ability to quantify factors that affect downtime, business interruption, and restoration of functionality is also relevant.

This presentation will explore challenges to utilizing performance-based engineering as a tool to address specific aspects of resilience and evaluate policies that are intended to enhance community resilience. A framework for incorporating probabilistic building performance limit states in the assessment of community resilience to earthquakes will be presented. The limit states are defined on the basis of their implications to post-earthquake functionality and recovery. We will demonstrate how the framework can be applied to model the post-earthquake recovery of the shelter-in-place housing capacity of an inventory of residential buildings in order to inform planning and policy decisions, similar to those described in the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association Resilient City Initiative, to manage the earthquake risk to the residential housing capacity of communities. A novel approach to probabilistically assessing post-earthquake structural safety and the limit state defined by damage that renders a building unsafe to occupy will also be introduced. The methodology integrates key elements from previously published guidelines including component-level damage simulation, virtual inspection and structural collapse performance assessment. Strategies for enhancing the resilience of tall buildings will also be discussed and the results of a case study of an archetypal 42-story concrete shear wall building located in San Francisco will be highlighted. Finally, current efforts towards the development of resilience-based performance standards for buildings and lifeline systems will be presented.

Date Thursday, October 20th 2016

Time 5:30 – 7:00 (5:30 Networking; 6:00 Program)

Location Arup Offices — 560 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

RSVP to reserve a seat.

Prof. Greg Deierlein, Civil and Environmental EngineeringDr. Greg Deierlein is the John A. Blume Professor of Engineering in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Stanford University where he directs the Blume Earthquake Engineering Center. He holds a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin, a master of science from the University of California at Berkeley, and a bachelor of science from Cornell University. Greg previously served as the deputy director for the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center where he led the research planning to develop performance-based approaches and technologies in earthquake engineering.  Deierlein specializes in the design and behavior of steel, concrete and composite structures, nonlinear structural analysis, computational fracture and damage mechanics, and performance-based earthquake engineering. He is a registered professional engineer and maintains professional activities as a structural engineering consultant, design peer reviewer, and participant in national technical and building code standards committees.  In 2013, he was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to applying nonlinear analysis in structural design.


henryburtonheadshotDr. Henry V. Burton is an Assistant Professor and the Englekirk Presidential Chair in Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research is directed towards understanding and modeling the relationship between the performance of infrastructure systems within the built environment, and the ability of communities to minimize the extent of socioeconomic disruption following extreme events such as major earthquakes. Dr. Burton is a registered structural engineer in the state of California. Prior to obtaining his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, he spent six years in practice at Degenkolb Engineers, where he worked on numerous large scale projects involving design of new buildings and seismic evaluation and retrofit of existing buildings. Current projects include (1) utilizing remote sensing to assess the implication of tall building performance on the resilience of urban centers, (2) stochastic characterization of building aftershock collapse risk and (3) developing design and assessment methods for resilient and sustainable buildings. Henry is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Next Generation of Disaster Researchers Fellowship (2014) and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2016).

Tour – 181 Fremont Tower

Join us for a construction site visit of the 56-story 181 Fremont Tower in San Francisco on Thursday, September 1st. The field trip will begin at Arup’s offices with a presentation by Ibbi Almufti (Associate at Arup and project manager for the 181 Fremont Tower) about the unique seismic features of the tower and the implementation of a resilience-based design approach to achieve a REDi “Gold” Rating designation (recently approved via independent peer review as the first REDi-rated building in the country). After a short walk to the site, Adrian Crowther (Senior Engineer for the 181 Fremont Tower) will lead us on a tour for a close-up view of the construction of this landmark building.

Learn more at:

Date: Thursday, September 1, 2016
Time: 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Location: ARUP, San Francisco.
Cost: FREE

Safety: Protective equipment and construction clothing is required including full length pants/sleeves, steel toe capped boots, hard hats and eye protection.
Please note access to the upper floor plates of the building will be via the construction elevator so it is not recommended for people who suffer vertigo.

RSVP ASAP to to reserve your spot. Only 15 spots available. Priority will be given to EERI members.  If additional space is available, additional guest will be welcomed to join.

Speaker Information:

Almufti_headshotIbbi Almufti is the Global Seismic Skills manager for Arup. He recently led the development of the REDi™ Rating System which provides owners, architects and engineers a framework for implementing “resilience-based design”, a holistic approach for achieving “beyond-code” resilience objectives. Ibbi is currently serving on USGBC’s LEED Resilience Working Group, the EERI’s Resilience Panel, the Board of Directors of EERI’s NC Chapter, and the FEMA/USGS Project 17 Committee. His projects include the new Mexico City Airport and Air Traffic Control Tower, Salesforce Tower, Transbay Transit Center, the Las Vegas High Roller, and London Aquatics Centre.

crowther_headshotAdrian Crowther is Senior Engineer with Arup specializing in the design and delivery of challenging steel structures. His larger projects include 181 Fremont, the Las Vegas High Roller and California High Speed Rail. He is also Arup’s SF champion for sculpture and art installations and was the Engineer for San Jose’s Idea Tree, Des Moines Stainless steel installation, Swirl and the proposed Reflected Loop installation for the new Union Square SF Muni Station.

Chapter Happy Hour

July 19th Happy Hour @ Drakes 
Eat, drink, and connect with your EERI colleagues on July 19th at 5:30 for happy hour at Drakes Brewery. There is no program, just an opportunity to see old colleagues and meet new ones.  We’ll be on the back patio with two reserved tables.

Date: Tuesday, July 19th 2016
Time: 5:30 – 7:30
Location: Drake’s Dealership, 2325 Broadway, Oakland, CA, 94612

Getting to Drakes
Drakes Brewery is located at 2325 Broadway, in sunny Oakland, California.
By BART: It is a four block walk from the 19th St. Station. Just head North on Broadway.
Driving: There is some street parking in the area.  There are a number of paid lots – the closest structure is located at 2100 Telegraph Ave. between 21st and 22nd.

Communicating Earthquake Risk in 2016

In the United States, the average adult spends 2.8 hours a day on their mobile device – 0.4 hours more than the use of computers. In 2014, the number of global mobile users surpassed those with computers. As information technology evolves, an opportunity to adapt information in communicating risk presents itself. Join the chapter on June 9th as we discuss how technology can be used to communicate risk with a presentation by Ross Stein, cofounder and CEO of Temblor. Temblor is a mobile friendly web application that enables everyone in the United States to learn about their seismic hazard, to determine what most ensures their safety, and to decide what best reduces their risk.

Date Thursday, June 9th 2016
Time 5:30 – 7:15 (5:30 Networking; 6:00 Program)
Location The EPICENTER, 245 Third street, San Francisco, CA, 94103
RSVP by Wednesday June 1st. Please RSVP so that we order enough food; however, don’t hesitate to bring along a suddenly inspired co-worker at the last minute!

RSteinDr. Ross Stein is the cofounder and CEO of Temblor a tech company providing a personal, immediate, and credible source of seismic risk understanding and solutions for everyone. Ross is an appointed member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Resilient America Roundtable. Before cofounding Temblor, Dr. Stein cofounded the Global Earthquake Model Foundation, a public-private partnership building the world’s first global seismic risk model. After completing his PhD in Geology at Stanford University, Dr. Stein spent over 30 years with the US Geological Survey.

Check out the free webapp at and bring your thoughts to the next chapter meeting!

Please note that EERI-NC does not endorse any commercial products, rather, supports conversations around tools, research and communication of risk and resilience to advocate for members’ earthquake engineering knowledge. 


Chapter Discussion: Vulnerable Concrete Buildings

Concrete buildings with known design flaws continue to be responsible for a large percentage of earthquake fatalities.  The 2011 Christchurch earthquake and recent Kaohsiung, Taiwan event highlight devastating failures of deficient concrete buildings.  The EERI community is aware of the risk these structures pose and research projects have been undertaken to characterize the risk.  The City of Los Angeles over the past two years has adopted the most aggressive policy for concrete buildings in the state.  Are similar policies needed in the Bay Area?  Come join the conversation!

Date: Tuesday, March 15th 2016
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 (6:00 Networking; 6:15 Program)
Location: The Association of Bay Area Governments Auditorium, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, CA, 94607
RSVP: Email by Wednesday March 9th. Please RSVP so that we order enough food; however, don’t hesitate to bring along a suddenly inspired co-worker at the last minute!


Student Chapters from Northern California universities will join the meeting and share their progress for the upcoming Annual Meeting Seismic Design Competition.  Following their presentations Bill Holmes will provide a short talk to activate discussion around concrete building policy.  We hope to have EERI Northern California members currently in Taiwan at the meeting to provide commentary on their recent reconnaissance, as well as members who have been active in EERI’s Concrete Coalition initiative.

December 2nd 2015 Holiday and Awards Party!

Join your Chapter colleagues as we celebrate the holiday season and toast to the successful end of 2015!

Date: Wednesday, December 2nd
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm (awards ceremony at 6:30pm)
Venue & Directions: ARUP, 560 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105. Please check in at the lobby with an EERI volunteer when you arrive. (Map)

Please bring your friends and colleagues to celebrate a year’s worth of exiting Chapter activities! Non-members can attend guilt-free — we welcome all earthquake professionals to our party! There will be plenty of appetizers and drinks for all to enjoy.

Please RSVP by Tuesday November 24th to expedite your entry through building security, but don’t hesitate to bring along a suddenly inspired co-worker at the last minute!

Nov. 19, EERI Distinguished Lecture by Prof. Robert Olshansky : Cities, Earthquakes, and Time

EERI-NC and The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center  (PEER Center) will host the EERI distinguished lecture by Prof. Robert Olshanksy.

Date: Thursday, November 19, 2015
Time: 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm PST 
Location: Room 250, Sutardja Dai Hall (CITRIS), UC Berkeley (Directions)

Speaker: Dr. Robert Olshansky, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Who should attend this lecture?

All researchers, engineers, students, city planners, and others interested in earthquake engineering are encouraged to attend. Consulting firms are encouraged to host this lecture in your office.

How can I attend this lecture?

  • Attend in person at Room 250, Sutardja Dai Hall (CITRIS), University of California, Berkeley (Directions)
  • Watch remotely via Webcast live at 3:30 pm on November 19, 2015. Access at the day of the event (link active from 3:30pm-4:30pm).
  • A video of this presentation will be archived on PEER’s YouTube Account for viewing after the event.
  • The reception is after the talk at the PEER headquarters, room 325 Davis hall, (4:30pm to 5:30pm).


Dr. Robert Olshansky, Professor and Head at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been selected as EERI’s 2015 Distinguished Lecturer. Dr. Olshanksy’s lecture, titled “Cities, Earthquakes, and Time”, examines the relationships of earthquakes to time and the policy implications thereof. The EERI Distinguished Lecture Award is given to members of the EERI Institute to recognize and encourage communication of outstanding professional contributions of major importance for earthquake hazard mitigation.

Speaker Bio


Dr. Olshansky has a BS degree in geology from Caltech, and MCP and PhD degrees in city planning and environmental planning from UC Berkeley. Prior to his academic career, he managed a geotechnical engineering firm in the San Francisco Bay area, and he worked with an environmental research institute in Anchorage, Alaska.

Olshansky’s research and 25 years of teaching cover land use and environmental planning, with an emphasis on planning for natural hazards. Professor Olshansky has studied recovery planning and management after several major disasters. For over a decade, he and colleagues researched the recovery process following the Kobe, Japan earthquake of 1995, and he spent the 2004-05 and 2012-13 academic years as a Visiting Professor at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute at Kyoto University. He researched and advised the post-Katrina planning process in New Orleans, and his book, Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans, co-authored with Laurie Johnson, was published by APA Press in April 2010. He and collaborators have researched disaster recovery in Sichuan Province, China; Tamil Nadu, India; Indonesia; and Niigata Prefecture and Tohoku, Japan. He is currently working on a variety of publications to synthesize common lessons and themes of community-scale recovery following large disasters around the world. He has also published on landslide policy, hillside development planning, seismic hazard mitigation policy, and environmental impact assessment.



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