Soil-Structure Interaction Analysis and Applications in Modeling Deep Foundations and Tunnels

The presentation will highlight soil-structure-interaction (SSi) analysis techniques and their application in modeling geo-structure systems of practical significance in earthquake engineering. Applications in modeling deep bridge foundations and tunnels and the computation of effective input motions (kinematic interaction) for seismic analysis are presented. Relevant aspects from case studies associated with recent projects (San Francisco Bay Area and internationally) will be highlighted.

Date: Thursday, October 1st 2015
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 (5:30 Networking; 6:00 Program)
Location: The EPICENTER, 245 Third street, San Francisco, CA, 94103
RSVP: by Wednesday September 23rd. Please RSVP so that we order enough food; however, don’t hesitate to bring along a suddenly inspired co-worker at the last minute!

Donikian-8.27.15Mr. Roupen Donikian is a Senior Engineering Manager at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, and currently serves in the capacity of a Technical Specialist in Earthquake Engineering in the Geotechnical and Tunneling Group. He has more than 35 years experience in structural engineering, applied mechanics, and earthquake engineering. He has worked on major bridge and tunneling projects nationally and internationally, including the Doyle Drive Replacement, MUNI Central Subway, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span Replacement, BART underground stations seismic evaluation and retrofit, and the seismic retrofit of the Richmond-San Rafael and San Mateo-Hayward Bridge projects in the Bay Area.  Roupen’s expertise includes: numerical modeling and analysis of large-scale structures; soil-structure interaction (SSI) analysis; structural stability analysis; and modeling & analysis of deep foundations.  Roupen holds an MEng degree in Applied Mechanics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Northrop University.

Napa Earthquake & Winery Field Trip


Join us for a full day tour of Napa Valley on Saturday, August 22nd – one year after the M6.0 South Napa Earthquake.  We’ll explore the geology of the region (and how it affects the flavor of the wines), fault rupture, wine barrel damage and repair, warehouse damage, and end in downtown Napa. Don’t worry, we’ll also build in time to taste Napa’s wine.  A detailed itinerary for the day is included here.

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2015
Time: 9:00 – 5:30 pm
Location: Bus pickup – Ashby BART, Field trip sites listed below.
Cost: $75
RSVP/Registration Details: email to RSVP, only 3 spots remain.

Field Trip Sites:
We are arranging for a charter bus to pick up and drop off at the Ashby BART Station in Berkeley.

  • Saintsbury Winery – We’ll hear about the geology of the Napa region and see the surface fault rupture.
  • Napa Barrel Care – We’ll visit a warehouse that experienced both structural and barrel damage in the earthquake.
  • Downtown Napa – We’ll finish of downtown and hear from those who have been involved in the reconnaissance and recovery efforts in Napa.
  • Artesa Vineyards & Winery – We’ll cap the day at Artesa which offers gorgeous views of Napa Valley.  We’ll have an opportunity to reflect on the day, and for those who are interested, taste wine from the region. (Note: Wine tasting may not be included in the registration cost.  We are working hard to secure a reasonable deal and balance the transportation costs.  The additional cost would be ~$20 extra to taste at Artesa)

RSVP to to reserve your spot. Priority will be given to EERI members and one guest, but if additional space is available additional guest will be welcomed to join. Only 3 seats remain (as of the evening of 8/11), so RSVP ASAP.

Hayward Fault Tour!

The Hayward Fault Earthquake Tour starts behind the Fremont Community Center and takes a walk through Central Park to see evidence of movement.  Go over the scientific reason for earthquakes especially in the bay area.  Tour is 1.5 hours long and we take a mile loop.

Where:       Fremont, Central Park (meet at the Earthquake Exhibit)
When:        June 6,  June 27,  July 18,  August 15 2015
                Sat.  9:30 AM-11 AM

Instructor:  Joyce R. Blueford, Ph.D. Geologist
Cost:          $15 per person (recommended for adults and over 9 years olds
Sponsored by City of Fremont and Math Science Nucleus

More information

Questions:  email Joyce at:

2015 Bay Area Emergency Managers Conference

2015 Second Annual Bay Area Emergency Managers Conference (BAEM) – “Preparing for the Unforeseen”

DATE: Thurs., July 30, 2015
TIME: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (PDT)
PLACE: Genentech Event Center, 1000 Grandview Drive, South San Francisco, CA 94080
COST: $95.00 + $3.37

Organizers: Gregory Jones, Genentech & Jeff Hamilton, Nexis Preparedness Systems/Firestorm

Tickets and event information can be found at:

Based on last year’s success we are presenting the second annual Bay Area Emergency Managers Conference (BAEM 2015). This is your chance to:

  • Share best practices and success stories on Business Continuity Management Systems and Crisis Management.
  • Collaborate with your counterparts in the San Francisco Bay Area on their experiences and methodology
  • Gain insight into the latest trends and best practices
  • Return to your organization with an eye on alignment, integration and continuous improvement


Who should attend?


  • Emergency Managers
  • EH&S Managers
  • Business Continuity Managers
  • Facilities Managers
  • Security Managers
  • Operations Managers
The conference fee includes continental breakfast and lunch.


Let’s Talk Insurance! With Amy Bach from United Policyholders

Join us for another interactive discussion following our very successful April event on Earthquake Risk Mitigation, A Bridge Between Policy and Engineering. This time we have invited Amy Bach, the Executive Director of United Policyholders to talk to our members about earthquake insurance from the consumer perspective. Amy will give us a broad overview of various resources and initiatives that UP is involved in, giving us a good insight into their work both here and in the other states where they are involved in post-disaster insurance, delving more deeply into how UP has been assisting renters, home and business owners in California to be thoughtful and realistic about quake damage.

Please complete this survey to help us structure the interactive session even if you are unable to attend the meeting!

Date: Thursday, June 18, 2015
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Location: EPICENTER, 245 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Cost: FREE for EERI NC Chapter members
RSVP/Registration Details: email to RSVP by June 12, 2015
AmyBach_UPSpeaker: Amy Bach, Executive Director
Amy Bach has been a professional advocate for insurance consumers (policyholders), since 1984 and an attorney since 1989. A native of Brooklyn, New York residing in San Francisco, she co- founded United Policyholders in 1991. She currently serves as the organization’s Executive Director and spokesperson; shaping and overseeing the Roadmap to Recovery™, Roadmap to Preparedness, and Advocacy and Action programs. She is a nationally recognized expert on insurance claim and legal matters, and the author of numerous publications including “The Disaster Recovery Handbook” and consumer tips and guides in the UP Claim Help Library.

United Policyholders (UP) is a non-profit that was founded and operates in the Bay Area. Their mission is to be a trustworthy and useful information resource and an effective voice for consumers of all types of insurance in all 50 states.

To find more information, visit the UP website:

Six Months Since Napa: Seismic Protection of Nonstructural Components

AIA East Bay invites Chapter members to join their February program.

Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Time: 5:30pm, wine and cheese reception to follow
Location: AIA East Bay, 1405 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612 (map)
Registration: Please Click Here to Register $16 for AIA members and employees of East Bay Chapter Member Firms; $21 for non-members;
Chapter members can register with promo code EERI to receive the AIA member rate of $16.

1.5 CES LUs

Six months since the South Napa earthquake, this symposium will address the topic of nonstructural protection. Our panel of experts will discuss some of the key design and engineering issues identified in the earthquake’s aftermath.


Janiele MaffeiJaniele Maffei, S.E., California Earthquake Authority. Janiele is Chief Mitigation Officer of the California Earthquake Authority in Sacramento, California. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she obtained her AB degree in architecture and an MS in civil engineering. Maffei is a registered structural engineer who has worked in the earthquake engineering industry for over 30 years. Her experience includes the design of new building structures and seismic strengthening of existing structures. She designed, launched and is now operating the Earthquake Brace + Program for the CEA, which provides resources and knowledge to homeowners trying to retrofit their wood-frame homes.

71563955Maryann Phipps, S.E., Estructure. Maryann has over 30 years of experience evaluating, designing and renovating buildings in California. She assists both public and private clients understand and address the risks associated with earthquake hazards. Maryann specializes in structural design and seismic restraint of nonstructural components for hospitals and laboratories, including acute care departments, medical office buildings, and research and learning facilities. She is professionally very active in the engineering community and is a regular speaker on the subjects of earthquake performance and the seismic protection of building components.

parra-rogerRoger Parra, S.E., Degenkolb. Roger’s experience includes design of new structures and seismic strengthening of existing structures. He also has strong experience in seismic analysis and seismic evaluations of existing structures. Roger has an extensive portfolio in highly specialized facilities such as manufacturing sites and laboratories. He has worked at length implementing the seismic upgrade program for technology sector clients.

April 2015 Chapter Meeting: Earthquake Risk Mitigation, A Bridge Between Policy and Engineering

Join us for an interactive discussion on how policy and engineering can develop together to bring progress on seismic resilience of both individuals and society. The panelists will present for the group’s consideration a new vision for strategic collaboration between the technical and policy worlds to better assist individuals, organizations, and communities in understanding and managing their natural disaster risks. The presentation will highlight, as an example, preliminary results of a California Earthquake Authority study investigating the performance of single-family dwellings during the August 24, 2014 South Napa earthquake, the findings of which can contribute to improving behavior motivation programs, engineering practices, and disaster policy broadly.

Date: Thursday, April 16th 2015
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 (5:30 Networking; 6:00 Program)
Location: The EPICENTER, 245 Third street, San Francisco, CA, 94103
RSVP: by Wednesday April 15th. Please RSVP so that we order enough food; however, don’t hesitate to bring along a suddenly inspired co-worker at the last minute!

Stillwell3Kate Stillwell (moderator) is an EERI Housner Fellow (2012) and a licensed structural engineer in California. Kate is a co-founder of both the GEM Foundation, which launched its OpenQuake platform in Jan 2015, and the US Resiliency Council, which is poised to begin issuing earthquake ratings for buildings in mid-2015. Kate is currently serving as Vice-President of SEAONC.



Janiele MaffeiJaniele Maffei (Presenter) is Chief Mitigation Officer of the California Earthquake Authority inSacramento, California. Janiele is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she obtained her AB degree in architecture and an MS in civil engineering. Maffei is a registered structural engineer who has worked in the earthquake engineering industry for over 30 years. Her experience includes the design of new building structures and seismic strengthening of existing structures. She designed, launched and is now operating the Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program for the CEA, which provides resources and knowledge to homeowners trying to retrofit their wood-frame homes.



Sharyl RabinoviciSharyl Rabinovici (Presenter) is a behavioral scientist, policy analyst, and strategy consultant specializing in disaster preparedness and community resilience. Sharyl brings a distinct interdisciplinary perspective to this work, drawing up on her PhD in Public Policy from UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy as well as a BA in Geology from Stanford and five years doing loss estimation, cost-benefit analysis, and risk modeling with the US Geological Survey. She is currently working with several California governmental entities and non-profits in implementing and improving their risk communication and earthquake preparedness programs.


EERI Distinguished Lecture by Dr. David Wald

Challenges in Estimating Real-time Earthquake Shaking & Impact

On December 4, 2014 the PEER Center and EERI Northern California Chapter will host the EERI distinguished lecture “Challenges in Estimating Real-time Earthquake Shaking and Impact” by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) seismologist Dr. David Wald.

Date: Thursday, December 4, 2014
Location: Room 250, Sutardja Dai Hall (CITRIS), UC Berkeley (Directions)
Time: 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Pacific Standard Time
Speaker: Dr. David Wald, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Colorado School of Mines

Who should attend this lecture?
All researchers, engineers, students, seismologists, earth scientists, and those interested in earthquake loss estimates and modeling 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 December 4, 2014. Access at on 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 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed several near-real time earthquake information systems that provide rapid and automated alerting of estimated economic and human impacts following earthquakes. In this talk I describe the four components that rapidly assess an earthquake’s impact. First, earthquakes trigger rapid source characterization; second, these source parameters help inform our estimates of shaking-distribution (ShakeMap). Third, losses are modeled by computing populations exposed per shaking intensity level, and country-specific loss functions are used to provide estimates of economic impact and potential casualties (PAGER). Finally, these uncertain loss estimates are communicated in an appropriate form for actionable decision-making among a variety of users.

Several aspects of our problem cannot yet be adequately solved with purely empirical or solely mechanistic approaches. The “physics-based” model components are essential for informing empirical loss models where they are data-limited, and for providing a framework for better understanding the causative pathways that dominate earthquake losses. In the course of explaining the end-to-end strategies and science/engineering we employ, I describe the pragmatic choices made in balancing the uncertainties in and benefits provided by our empirical and physical models. Recognizing and reconciling the complimentary benefits of data-driven versus theoretical problem solving is at the core of our end-to-end earthquake hazard and loss estimates, as it is for a wide variety of other challenges within the earth and engineering sciences.


Speaker Bio
David_Wald-150x150David Wald, Ph.D., is a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Golden, Colorado and is on the Geophysics Faculty at the Colorado School of Mines. He is involved in research, management, operations, and development for the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) and the Advanced National Seismic System. Dr. Wald developed and manages “ShakeMap” and “Did You Feel it?,” and is responsible for leading the development of other systems for post-earthquake response, information, and pre-earthquake mitigation, including “ShakeCast” and “PAGER,” among others.

Previously at Caltech, and now at the Colorado School of Mines, Wald has advised dozens of post-doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate student research projects. His own scientific interests include the characterization of rupture processes from complex recent and historic earthquakes using combined geodetic, teleseismic, and strong motion data; waveform modeling and inversion; analysis of ground motion hazards and site effects; earthquake source physics; and modeling earthquake-induced landslides, liquefaction, and losses. This research has resulted in more than 450 professional publications that David has authored or co-authored, including journal papers, USGS publication series, conference papers, and published abstracts.

Dr. Wald has been the Seismological Society of America (SSA) Distinguished Lecturer and Associate Editor, and serves on the Society’s Board of Directors. He is an Associate Editor for Earthquake Spectra. He was awarded SSA’s 2009 Frank Press Public Service Award, and a Department of the Interior Superior Service Award in 2010. He earned his B.S. in Physics & Geology at St. Lawrence University in New York, an M.S. in Geophysics at the University of Arizona, and his Ph.D. in Geophysics at Caltech.

The distinguished lecture is organized by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) and co-hosted by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Northern California Chapter.

November 2014 Chapter Meeting

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Disruptive innovations in the tech community are changing the way we work every day.  Come hear about a growing number of technology platforms that will change how we recover in future earthquakes.  Join the EERI Northern California Chapter for an evening with tech and find out:  What’s shaking in the app world?

Time5:30-7:30pm (5:30pm Networking; 6.00pm Program)
LocationABAG Auditorium 101 8th Street, Oakland, CA 94607 (Map) by Wednesday November 5th. Please RSVP so that we order enough food; however, don’t hesitate to bring along a suddenly inspired co-worker at the last minute!


Title: Airbnb Disaster Relief
Program Speaker: Molly Turner (Airbnb)

Molly is the Head of Civic Partnerships at Airbnb, where she built and directs the company’s public-private partnerships program. She works with the Airbnb local community and their civic leaders on a variety of projects focused on sustainability, economic development, resiliency and hospitality. She also directs Airbnb’s policy research examining the business model’s various impacts on urban economics, environment and communities.
When Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, Airbnb altered its website to ensure hosts could take in displaced neighbors for free. In 2013, Airbnb expanded these efforts with a disaster response initiative that makes it easy for Airbnb hosts to provide space for people in need at little or no cost when disasters strike. Today, Airbnb has a Global Disaster Relief Program through which the company works with the local emergency management authorities before, during, and after disasters to leverage the Airbnb community’s resources to build resilience in these cities.

Title: Modern Mobile Data Collection during Disasters
Speaker: Ragi Burhum (AmigoCloud)

Ragi began his geospatial career over a decade ago as an engineer at ESRI, where he worked on the Geodatabase team creating, designing, and maintaining ArcGIS core components. At Microsoft, he worked on the main GIS data pipeline of Microsoft Flight Simulator. He ran a successful GIS consulting company in the Bay Area where he helped organizations like NVIDIA and CSR with their GIS challenges. In addition to founding GeoMeetup, the largest developer-centric geospatial Meetup in the world, Ragi is also heavily involved in Open Source GIS Software (he is an active OSGeo Charter member) and often contributes code to O.S. geospatial projects (e.g. as a committer in GDAL) that are the foundation of several Open GIS applications worldwide.

December 2014 Holiday and Awards Party

Join your Chapter colleagues as we celebrate the holiday season and toast to the successful end of 2014! The EERI Northern California Chapter Awards for “Innovation and Exemplary Practice in Earthquake Risk Reduction” will be presented at 6:30 pm. The 2014 winners are Marjorie Greene, EERI Special Projects Manager, and San Francisco’s Private Schools Working Group.

Date: Wednesday, December 10th
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)

Marjorie Greene is retiring from EERI after an exemplary thirty-year career of natural hazard mitigation work in which she has focused on developing earthquake hazard mitigation, preparedness, and learning-from-earthquake programs in the U.S. and abroad. She has been an inspiration and model to fellow professionals and young people in the earthquake hazard field, displaying a soft-spoken, determined, analytical and product-oriented approach to her work.

San Francisco Private Schools Working Group, comprised of a volunteer group of over 30 citizens, parents, architects and engineers, school administrators and other participants, met for over two years to consider seismic safety concerns regarding private schools. Their work resulted in legislation enacted in Fall 2014 to require that seismic performance evaluations of private schools in San Francisco be performed and submitted to the City over the next 3 years. This is California’s first program requiring seismic evaluation of existing private schools. The Working Group was chaired by Laura Dwelley-Samant.

Please bring your friends and colleagues to celebrate the achievements of these outstanding EERI members and 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 Monday December 8th to expedite your entry through building security, but don’t hesitate to bring along a suddenly inspired co-worker at the last minute!

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