Support your local student chapter!

Support your local student chapters to participate in the 2019 Seismic Design Competition in Vancouver

It is time to repeat our annual 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 Vancouver. Last year, EERI members donated nearly $500, and the chapter board matched the donations to provide $1,000 to support the teams.

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, San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley, and Stanford University, are planning to participate in the 2019 Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition. Please read on to learn more about 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.

San Francisco State Univerisity

Team contact: Alexandrea Ramiro

The SFSU Seismic Design team is proud to compete in the 2019 EERI SDC. Our Seismic Design team is a small, close-knit team all majoring in Civil Engineering. Our team is very close, and we have learned how to delegate work according to individual strengths. We capitalize on our strengths and designated leaders to help complete tasks such as computer modeling,
construction, and material testing. We have worked together this year to build two towers, and run ground motions on each to ensure we have the best model for the competition. We pride ourselves on the structural integrity of the tower as well as the ingenuity of the design itself. We are looking forward to being a strong contender in this year’s competition and to expand our knowledge by attending EERI workshops and functions at the event.

Our team consists of 5 undergraduate students who are looking to raise $2000 of our $8000 budget, as we are traveling and transporting our tower to Vancouver this year.

University of California, Berkeley

Team contact: Megan Vandervort

This year, the Cal Seismic Design Team welcomed the new challenges posed in the 2019 SDC Rules with innovative ideas. Our team’s 40 undergraduates dedicated to learning about structural design, analysis, and construction are all intrigued by the challenges earthquakes pose on structures. The team with students from a variety of majors acts as a resource for anyone interested in learning more technical material about earthquake engineering outside of the standard courses. Last year, the UC Berkeley team won the competition with the lightest building in competition history (.305 lbs), and also won the award for Best Seismic Performance.

Our team has dedicated an immense amount of time and energy in designing, testing, and improving our entry for the competition, as we prepare to travel to Vancouver, B.C. Our design proposal was in the top nine out of all submissions, and we are very excited to travel to Canada next week, present our design, and see how our building performs! We are looking to raise an additional $1000 to help cover the cost of sending 16 students internationally this year.


Team contact: Joel White

The Stanford Seismic Design Team is a small but determined and close-knit group. Members represent many diverse interests and academic studies ranging from civil engineering, architecture, and art practice. Everyone on the team works together in a concerted effort and has a voice in all aspects of our process from design through construction. Although everyone is somewhat a ‘jack of all trades,’ each member still specializes in certain tasks that best suit their skills and match their interests. This year’s design brief has certainly presented our team with unique challenges and pushed us to think more creatively. We are confident, however, that our dedicated time and effort has resulted in a final tower that will perform well at competition. We look forward to competing with other teams and appreciate the opportunity to be a part of a larger international community of students.

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