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).


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