Northridge Earthquake Symposium on January 16-17, 2014

banner22014 is the twentieth anniversary of the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake (M= 6.7 ; Los Angeles, CA ; 4:31 A.M.) that resulted in 57 deaths, thousands injured, and over $20 billion in direct damage. The event spurred important changes to the current practice of earthquake engineering and risk mitigation worldwide, including changes to building codes for steel structures and multi-unit wooden buildings, re-examination of near-field and basin effects for seismic sources, and radical modifications to the risk assessment and insurance sectors.

By bringing together policy makers, government officials, building officials, engineers, earth scientists, emergency managers, building owners, neighborhood and community leaders, and financial services industry professionals, Northridge 20 will share the impacts of the 1994 earthquake, highlight accomplishments of the past two decades to better understand and reduce earthquake risks, and identify necessary steps forward to make our communities more resilient to future earthquakes.

Northridge 20 will open on Thursday, January 16, 2014 with a multidisciplinary plenary session, “Northridge Earthquake: Impacts, Outcomes, Next Steps,” and continue on Friday, January 17, 2014 with concurrent technical and educational sessions on a wide variety of related topics.

Please attend this important event and register now. More information, including speaker list, and the full symposium agenda, will be made available at soon.

Participating organizations include Applied Technology Council, the American Institute of Steel Construction, California Earthquake Authority, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the California Seismic Safety Commission, Caltrans, City of LA Department of Building and Safety (LADBS), CVSIC, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Los Angeles Tall Building Structural Design Council (LATBSDC), NEES, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation, Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC), University of California, Los Angeles, the United States Geological Survey, and the Western States Seismic Policy Council. More organizations are welcome!

2013 Chapter Awards for Seismic Safety

This year’s Chapter Awards for “Leadership, Innovation, and Outstanding Accomplishments in Earthquake Risk Reduction” went to Frank L. Rollo and the California Earthquake Authority.

Frank Rollo accepts the 2013 Chapter Award for “Leadership, Innovation, and Outstanding Accomplishments in Earthquake Risk Reduction” from Chapter President Heidi Tremayne

Frank Rollo has been a leader in the field of geotechnical engineering for over 50 years. He and his firm have set the standard for geotechnical engineering in the Bay Area. After a 25-year career with Harding Lawson Associates, Rollo joined Don Treadwell in 1989 to form their own practice, Treadwell and Rollo. Rollo has directed more than 400 major projects, ranging from many of San Francisco’s high-rise buildings to the SBC Ballpark to the development of Mission Bay, including structures at the new UCSF campus and the Embarcadero Center. He has also responded to emergencies on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco.

Frank Rollo’s knowledge and dedication are an inspiration for the geotechnical engineering profession, and have helped increase the Bay Area’s earthquake resilience.

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) has funded two groundbreaking research projects that fundamentally advance knowledge about earthquake behavior and broadly improve seismic decision-making statewide. These projects are the Unified California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, UCERF3, and NGA-West2, which improved Next Generation Attenuation models for active tectonic regions. The next version of the National Seismic Hazard Maps for CA will be based on these two projects. The maps are the basic input to all seismic design; thus, CEA’s impact will be on almost all facilities in CA.

The CEA’s leadership in supporting ground breaking research is essential to the improvement of the state’s resilience to future earthquakes.

Bruce Patton, Director of Policy, Research and Special Projects at the California Earthquake Authoiry accepting the award

This year’s Awards Nominating Committee consisted of Jennifer Donahue (Chair), Nancy Tennebaum, Yousef Bozorgnia, and Dick McCarthy.

The annual Awards for “Leadership, Innovation, and Outstanding Accomplishments in Earthquake Risk Reduction” acknowledge successful risk reduction efforts outside of the Chapter. Each year the Chapter gives two awards, to an individual and an institution, in recognition of their hard work and dedication towards the reduction of seismic risk in Northern California. The recipients represent best practice examples of putting the science and engineering of earthquakes to work and demonstrate valuable contributions to the various disciplines and pursuits represented in the Chapter. The Chapter presented its first awards in 2003. Recent recipients include UC Berkeley (2012), the East Bay Municipal Utility District (2011), BART’s Earthquake Safety Program (2010), the Bay Area Earthquake Alliance’s Susan Garcia (2012), the City of San Francisco’s Laurence Kornfield (2011), City of Alameda Building Official Greg McFann (2010), and City of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan (2009).


2013 Election Results Announced

The 2013 election came to an end on Tuesday November 5th.  Eighty chapter members completed their online ballots to elect a President-Elect, a Secretary-Treasurer, and 3 Directors at Large.  Because all individuals running for the Director positions are uniquely qualified to help further the Chapter’s mission, and because the election results were a virtual tie, the Board decided to create an additional Director’s seat on the board for a two year term.

We are happy to welcome the following new faces to the Board:

  • Betsy Mathieson, engineering geologist and a Senior Managing Scientist in the Oakland office of Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, was elected to the position of President-Elect to serve a two year term.
  • Tom Anderson, co-owner of Anderson-Niswander Seismic Retrofit, a General Engineering Contractor specializing in Bay Area retrofits, was elected to the position of Director at-large to serve a two year term.
  • Jeff Bond, Director of the Community Development Department with the City of Albany, California, was elected to the position of Director at-large to serve a two year term.
  • Gerry Brady, now retired after 20 years at the USGS, with its strong ground motion group and seven years with ATC on projects enhancing structural engineering seismic design, was elected to the position of Director at-large to serve a two year term.

We also congratulate Laurence Kornfield, who was re-elected to serve a second term as Director at-large, and Marko Schotanus, who was re-elected to serve a second term as Secretary-Treasurer.

Congratulations to all (re)elected board members and thank you to out-going Directors Danielle Hutchings Mieler, and Laura Dwelley-Samant, and to out-going Past-President Janiele Maffei for their tenure of service to the Chapter.

Also the board would like to thank the nominating committee of Ayse Hortacsu, Chair, Keith Kelson, Keith Knudsen, John Osteraas, and Tom Tobin, and all voting Chapter members!

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