2021 Chapter Meetings


Assessing the Influence of Epistemic Uncertainties on Earthquake Loss Estimates for California

Edward (Ned) H. Field, Research Geophysicist, USGS

EERI, New England Chapter, Lecture Series

Tuesday April 27, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)

The Zoom Seminar is FREE!

For registration, please visit: HERE

Abstract: To aid in setting scientific research priorities, we assess the potential value of removing each of the epistemic uncertainties currently represented in the US Geological Survey California seismic-hazard model, using average annual loss (AAL) as the risk metric of interest. Given all the uncertainties, represented with logic-tree branches, we find a mean AAL of $3.94 billion. The modal value is 17.5% lower than the mean, and there is a 78% chance that the true AAL value is more than 10% away from the mean, and a 5% chance that it is a factor 2.1 greater or lower than the mean. We quantify the extent to which resolving each uncertainty improves the AAL estimate. The most influential branch is one that adds additional epistemic uncertainty to ground motion models, but others are found to be influential as well, such as the rate of M ≥ 5 events throughout the region. We discuss the broader implications of our findings, and note that the time dependence caused by spatiotemporal clustering can be much more influential on AAL than the epistemic uncertainties explored here.

Biography: Edward (Ned) Field has been a research geophysicist with USGS since 2000. He specializes in the development of earthquake-forecast models, which are one of the two main modeling components used in modern seismic-hazard analysis (the other being ground-motion models). His focus area has mainly been California, which due to an abundance of scientific talent and data constraints, has enabled the forging of state-or-the-art methodologies. Ned has led the development of the Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3), representing both multi-fault ruptures and spatiotemporal clustering (e.g., aftershocks); the relevance of both these effects was dramatically exemplified in a recent sequence of damaging earthquakes in New Zealand. These forecast models influence a variety of risk mitigation activities, including building codes and catastrophe models used by insurance industry. Important themes he is focused on nowadays include: a better quantification of uncertainties; the use of more physics-based approaches; and the need to add “valuation” to verification and validation protocols. Ned has also led the development of OpenSHA, which is an open-source, and platform-independent computational framework for conducting seismic hazard analysis, which supports loss modeling as well. He is also an active member of the planning committee of the Southern California Earthquake Center.

Lecture Flyer (PDF)


Are Small Earthquakes a Big Deal?

Julian J Bommer, Senior Research Investigator, Faculty of Engineering, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College, London

Friday February 5, 2021, 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada), Virtual Event

Tufts CEE Seminar Series and Joyner Lecture at The New England Chapter of EERI Present

Abstract: Earthquake engineering has traditionally focused on protecting society against the effects of large magnitude earthquakes but in recent years there has been increasing interest regarding the impact of smaller earthquakes. This has been driven partly by the occurrence of some low-magnitude earthquakes that have been cause unexpected levels of damage and particularly by the heightened concern regarding earthquakes of anthropogenic origin. The lecture begins by re-visiting the often-misunderstood rationale behind the exclusion of smaller magnitude earthquakes from probabilistic seismic hazard analysis as being related to the risk posed by such events. A number of case histories of small magnitude events reported to have caused damage are then reviewed, highlighting in each case the specific factors contributing to the impact and in some cases arguing that the impact may have been exaggerated. This is followed by a global analysis of small-to-moderate magnitude earthquakes to ascertain the likelihood of these resulting in damage and/or injury. As well as looking at the smallest magnitude earthquakes that have caused structural damage, the question of the smallest magnitudes required to trigger liquefaction is also addressed. The lecture concludes with some insights regarding if and when smaller earthquakes should be a concern as well as discussing the challenges associated with modelling the resulting hazard and risk that such events can pose.

Please Register for Seminar: HERE

Lecture Flyer (PDF)

2020 Chapter Meetings


 

Earthquake Drain Mitigation of Seismic Damage: Research and Practical Applications
Antonios Vytiniotis, Ph.D., P.E., Managing Engineer at Exponent
 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, New England Chapter, Lecture Series

Thursday December 3, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)The Zoom Seminar is FREE!

For registration please email Debra McKnight (Debra.Mcknight@tufts.edu)

Abstract: Soil liquefaction is an important design consideration. A technique finding increasing use due to its simplicity and low cost is mitigating liquefaction using earthquake drains (EQ-Drains).  EQ-Drains are perforated vertical plastic conduits that function by accelerating the dissipation of excess pore water pressures. This seminar will describe general characteristics of EQ-Drains and present the results of state-of-the art research for the design and use of EQ-Drains. The presentation will discuss coupled pore pressure-deformation dynamic finite element analyses of liquefiable soils improved with EQ-Drains. It will discuss coupling of the soil domain with simpler structural models incorporating advanced dynamic p-y springs. It will finally discuss the use of fragility analysis to understand the seismic risk of geostructural components. The seminar will include detailed comparisons with centrifuge and field experimental testing as well as practical applications for practitioners. EQ-Drains, if designed and installed correctly, can provide a cost-effective means to combine the benefits of both strength- and drainage-based liquefaction mitigation.
Biography: Dr. Vytiniotis has background in structural and geotechnical engineering, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and numerical analysis. He has worked on numerous projects in more than 20 states and multiple countries, assisting project owners, law firms, utility companies, insurance companies and developers. His analyses consist of assessing soil improvement, soil-structure interaction, effects of vibrations and vibration isolation, construction defects, premises code compliance, dam safety, landslides, LNG and diesel tank condition assessments, API tank inspections, assessing wind turbine failures, causation of MSE wall failures, effects of adjacent construction, soil heave or settlements, frost-induced effects on soils, pipeline installation, effects of soil movements on pipelines, water intrusion, flooding, scour and backfill quality. Dr. Vytiniotis has performed research and consulting work on the seismic response of pile-supported wharves, seismic slope stability, the effectiveness of prefabricated vertical drains (earthquake drains) and soil densification in reducing liquefaction risk, the effect of gravel drains in amplifying seismic accelerations, and numerical simulations of centrifuge experiments. He also has research experience in constitutive soil modeling and evaluating settlements in soft soils associated with staged levee construction. He is also a member of Geo-Institute’s Deep Foundation and Computational Geotechnics committees.

Lecture Flyer (PDF)


Approaches to Modeling Ergodic Seismic Site Response in Central and Eastern North America

Grace Parker, U.S. Geological Survey, Earthquake Science Center

Tufts CEE Seminar Series and The New England Chapter of EERI Present

Friday November 13, 2020 12:00pm Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Virtual Event

The seminar focuses on the Next Generation Attenuation East project resulting in a suite of ground motion models for central and eastern North America.

Grace Parker is a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow at the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Science Center in Moffett Field, California. She holds a B.S. in Applied Geophysics (2014) and a PhD in Civil Engineering (2018) from the University of California Los Angeles. Her research interests are in earthquake ground motion and seismic hazard, with a particular focus on model development, nonergodic site response, and applications to earthquake early warning systems.

 


Functional Recovery: What it Means to Design for Community Resilience
 2020 EERI Distinguished Lecturer David Bonowitz (M.EERI, 1994)
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, New England Chapter, Lecture Series

Tuesday September 15, 2020, 4:00 – 5:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Abstract: This lecture will focus on the emerging concept of functional recovery as a basis for earthquake-resistant design. Designing buildings and infrastructure for limited downtime – or an acceptably quick functional recovery – is not new, but it is receiving new attention through state and federal legislation, and showing new feasibility through research and technology. Most intriguing is the recognition that designing for functional recovery is a necessary tool for achieving community-wide earthquake resilience. And if progress is to be measured at the community level, functional recovery will also be a matter of public policy. The lecture will look at the roles EERI members can play in shaping this thinking into design practice with four sets of questions: definitional, technical, policy, and implementation.
Biography: The EERI Distinguished Lecturer for 2020 is Mr. David Bonowitz (M. EERI, 1994). He is an appointed member of the new Federal Emergency Management Agency-National Institute of Standards and Technology working group on Functional Recovery of the Built Environment and Critical Infrastructure. He is a co-author of “Functional Recovery: A Conceptual Framework,” an EERI white paper, and lead author of “Resilience-based Design and the NEHRP Provisions”. Mr. Bonowitz is also a Fellow Member of Structural Engineers Association of Northern California and Structural Engineers Association of California, and past chair of the National Council of Structural Engineers Association Existing Buildings and Resilience committees.

The Distinguished Lecture Award recognizes EERI members who have made outstanding contributions to earthquake risk reduction. The award encourages communications and dialogue on important and timely topics.


2018 Chapter Meeting


Lecture Meeting
Lecture Title: “Life Safety in the City, There is More to Life Than Not Being Crushed”
Speaker: 2017 EERI Distinguished Lecturer Lucy Jones, PhD (M. EERI, 2001)
Date: Thursday May 10, 2018
Time: 5:30– 7:00 PM
Location: AIR Worldwide, 131 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116
Attendance Limited, For RSVP email ekianirad@air‐worldwide.com

Abstract: The Resilience by Design program adopted by Los Angeles to address earthquake vulnerabilities brought together the earth science, earthquake engineering and public policy professions and worked with hundreds of community organizations to get approval for sweeping seismic resilience legislation. The process elucidated the disconnect between what well-informed members of the community and local governments understand about the earthquake risk and the goals and objectives of mitigation measures like building codes, and what has been implemented in most communities. Since their inception, building codes have been based on a principle that safety is the only valid concern of government. If an owner chooses to build a building that is a total financial loss, that is his prerogative but he cannot kill someone in the process. A key factor is that building codes consider buildings in isolation with impacts only on their owners and tenants. But the reality of a major earthquake is that the failure of a building impacts the whole community through economic disruption, population decreases, and cascading failures of engineered and social systems. This talk will explore a conceptual framework for creating a building code that reflects the realities of earthquake losses and the social dynamics of shared economic decisions.

Lecture Flyer (PDF)

2017 Chapter Meeting


Lecture Meeting
Lecture Title: “Seismic Hazard Assessment and Monitoring of Tall Buildings”
Speaker: Nafi Tokzos, Professor, MIT
Date: Friday May 12th, 2017
Time: 3:00 to 4:30 pm
Location: MIT Green Building(#54); 2nd Floor; Room 54-209

2016 Chapter Meetings


Lecture Meeting

Lecture Title: “Development and Implications of a Procedure for Estimating Vs30 for Use as an Alternative to the Method Used in the ASTM Standard”
By Alfredo Urzua, Ph.D, Adjunct Professor at Boston College, Founder of Prototype Engineering, Inc.
Date: August 31, 2016 (Wednesday evening)
Time: 6:00– 8:00 PM
Location:Weston Observatory, 381 Concord Road, Weston, MA 02493

Following Dr. Urzua’s presentation, interested members are invited to attend a guided tour of the observatory.

Biography: Dr. Urzua is an adjunct professor in the Earth and Environmental Sciences department at Boston College and is the founder of Prototype Engineering, Inc. in Winchester, MA.  He received his Ph.D. from MIT from the Department of Civil Engineering for his work on analyzing permanent displacement from cyclic loading of foundations.  His interests include geotechnical engineering, earthquake engineering, reliability engineering, and groundwater flow.


Lecture Meeting

Lecture Title: “Designing for Collapse Resistance in Moderate Seismic Regions”
By Eric Hines, Ph.D, P.E., Principal at LeMessurier, Professor of Practice at Tufts University
Date: May 12, 2016 (Thursday evening)
Time: 6:00– 7:00 PM
Location: AIR Worldwide, Inc. 131 Dartmouth, Boston, 02116

2015 Annual Meeting – Boston

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)

67th Annual Meeting

Theme: “Old Cities, New Earthquakes”

March 31-April 3, 2015

Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA

Meeting information and registration http://2015am.eeri-events.org/

Submit poster abstracts https://www.eeri.org/cohost/registration/2015-eeri-am-poster-abstract

Local contact Scott Civjan <Civjan@ecs.umass.edu>

Download the Brochure: 2015_AM_Brochure_3R

Become a sponsor: EERI 2015 Annual Meeting Sponsor Packet

Working Group Meeting

February 24, 2015 (Tuesday)

4:00-6:00 PM
Working Group Meeting

“Structural Engineering Perspectives on Seismic Design in the Region”

The EERI Chapter Working Group is meant to provide technical discussions and dissemination of information related to the seismic hazard  in the Northeast. The purpose, initially, will be to review regional topics with the goal of commenting on regional concerns. It is hoped that any consensus recommendations from this ongoing working group can be incorporated into the national discussion. Please join us if you have an interest in this topic.

LeMessurier Consultants Meeting Room
1380 Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02135

Directions at http://www.lemessurier.com/directions

Chapter Meeting

February 24, 2015 (Tuesday)

4:00-6:00 PM
Working Group Meeting

“Structural Engineering Perspectives on Seismic Design in the Region”

The EERI Chapter Working Group is meant to provide technical discussions and dissemination of information related to the seismic hazard  in the Northeast. The purpose, initially, will be to review regional topics with the goal of commenting on regional concerns. It is hoped that any consensus recommendations from this ongoing working group can be incorporated into the national discussion. Please join us if you have an interest in this topic.

LeMessurier Consultants Meeting Room
1380 Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02135

Directions at http://www.lemessurier.com/directions
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October 8, 2014  (Wednesday)

 
Lecture Meeting (flyer at LecturePoster10_08_14)

6:00-8:00PM

Simpson, Gumpertz and Heger Seminar Room
41 Seyon Street Building 1, Suite 500
Waltham, MA 02453M
Directions at http://www.sgh.com/boston%20directionsF.pdf

Speaker: Harold Magistrale, Lead Research Scientist, FM Global

“Earthquake Risk Maps at FM Global”

FM Global insures commercial and industrial properties around the world and so requires a uniform worldwide assessment of earthquake risk for underwriting and engineering servicing decisions. We construct earthquake risk maps that show the return times of earthquake ground motions that can cause slight damage to URM low-rise buildings or slight-to-moderate damage to non-ductile concrete moment frame high-rise buildings. The steps to construct the risk maps are, first, perform a PSHA for a uniform soil, second, assign NEHRP site response categories and apply the NEHRP amplification factors, and third, compare the ground motions to the damage thresholds. The PSHA is performed on the OpenQuake software of the Global Earthquake Model. Site response categories are determined from the topographic slope method. The FM Global earthquake risk maps are different from building code maps in that the former account for soil conditions and show return times of spectral accelerations that initiate damage to weak buildings, whereas the latter present a ground motion parameter for a fixed return time without correcting for soil conditions.

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August 18, 2014 

4:00-6:00PM
Working Group Meeting

“Soil Effects on Ground Motions – Part II”

The EERI Chapter Working Group is meant to provide technical discussions and dissemination of information related to the seismic hazard  in the Northeast. The purpose, initially, will be to review regional topics with the goal of commenting on regional concerns. It is hoped that any consensus recommendations from this ongoing working group can be incorporated into the national discussion. Please join us if you have an interest in this topic.Tufts University Medford Campus

School of Engineering
200 College Avenue
208 Anderson Hall
Parking available at Dowling Hall Garage, 419 Boston Ave.

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June 26, 2014 (Thursday evening)

Lecture Meeting
6:00– 8:00 PM
GEI Consultants Seminar Room
400 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn MA 01801
Directions at http://www.geiconsultants.com/locations

LecturePoster6_26_14

Lecture Title: “Geotechnical-Earthquake Engineering Building Code Provisions and Impacts on Design” by Ehsan Kianirad, PhD of Haley and Aldrich

ABSTRACT: Seismic considerations of building codes have a significant impact on the design of structures. This presentation will shed light on important concepts and parameters that play a major role in seismic code provisions for buildings including the seismic hazard level, Maximum Considered Earthquake (MCE), site effects from soil and rock conditions, spectral acceleration coefficients, and seismic design category. Earthquake motions are represented by spectral acceleration coefficients provided in seismic hazard maps for the MCE. At a particular site, these motions are subject to site effects depending on soil and rock conditions. The spectral acceleration coefficients are combined with the site class to determine the design accelerations. Alternatively, site specific response analysis could be performed to obtain a design response spectrum for a particular site. Consequently, seismic design category (SDC) is determined from the design response spectrum and the structure’s desired level of performance. Applicable building design requirements are expressed as a function of the SDC in the building codes. A background on these issues will be provided, the process for determining the relevant parameters will be explained, and impacts on building designs will be discussed including regional considerations. Case histories will be used to illustrate key points.

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May 7, 2014 

Noon-2:00PM
Working Group Meeting

“Soil Effects on Ground Motions”

The EERI Chapter Working Group is meant to provide technical discussions and dissemination of information related to the seismic hazard  in the Northeast. The purpose, initially, will be to review regional topics with the goal of commenting on regional concerns. It is hoped that any consensus recommendations from this ongoing working group can be incorporated into the national discussion. Please join us if you have an interest in this topic.Tufts University Medford Campus

School of Engineering
200 College Avenue
Anderson Hall
Parking available at Dowling Hall Garage, 419 Boston Ave.

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April 3, 2014 (Thursday evening)

Lecture Meeting
6:30– 8:00 PM, Haley & Aldrich
465 Medford Street
Directions at Directions to HA Boston printable

LecturePoster4_3_14

Lecture Title: “Basis for Maximum Considered Earthquake Ground Motions in New England” by Nicolas Luco, Ph.D. of the United States Geological Survey (USGS)

ABSTRACT: The presentation will summarize the USGS computation of hazard curves for New England and explain the calculation of risk-targeted ground motions. A comparison will be made between Risk-Targeted Maximum Considered Earthquake (MCER) values in New England to their uniform-hazard Maximum Considered Earthquake (MCE) counterparts. Furthermore, the reasons for any changes in the New England region ground motion maps in the various editions of the IBC will be discussed. The MCER ground motion maps in the 2012 and 2015 editions of the International Building Code and MCE ground motion maps in previous editions are all based on the computations of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project. For the MCE ground motions, the Building Seismic Safety Council interpolated the hazard curves at an exceedance probability that corresponds to 2% probability in 50 years. The interpolated ground motions are known as “uniform-hazard” ground motions, since the exceedance probability is geographically uniform. In contrast, for the MCER ground motions, all of the points on the computed hazard curves were used to develop maps that target a 1%-in-50-years collapse probability for new buildings. Since collapse probability is synonymous with collapse risk, the resulting ground motions are referred to as “risk-targeted.”

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February 26, 2014 (Wednesday evening)
Business Meeting and Lecture
6:30– 8:30 PM, 315 Shillman Hall
Northeastern University
http://www.northeastern.edu/campusmap

EERI New England Regional Chapter Meeting Agenda 2_26_14

EERILecturePoster2_26_14

Lecture Title: “Potential Changes to Design Requirements for Earthquake Resistance and Its Impact on Design Practice in New England” by Dominic Kelly: Principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

ABSTRACT: The Provisions Update Committee of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) is developing several proposals for change to seismic design provisions to be used in the U.S.  These proposals are in various stages of development, but all have the potential to lead to changes to the seismic design provisions of ASCE/SEI 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.  This talk will describe several of the proposals that are being considered with a focus on those changes that likely will impact design practice in New England.   These proposals  include creation of design provisions that are applicable only to seismic design category (SDC) B buildings, revisions to the Simplified Seismic Design Procedure in ASCE/SEI 7, improved estimations of diaphragm force levels and ductility, a design approach applicable to buildings dominated by the response of a roof diaphragm, strength design for foundations, revised soil site factors, revised seismicity maps, and revisions to seismic design category criteria.

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January 6, 2014
Working Group Meeting
Noon-2:00PM

“Seismic Hazard in New England”

Brown Bag Lunch
An EERI Chapter Working Group will be forming to provide technical discussions and dissemination of information related to the seismic hazard and ground motion mapping in the Northeast. The purpose, initially, will be to review the USGS mapping and methodology that is being considered for implementation with the goal of commenting on regional concerns. It is hoped that any consensus recommendations from this working group can be incorporated into the national discussion. Please join us if you have an interest in this topic.

Tufts University Medford Campus
School of Engineering
200 College Avenue
Anderson Hall – Room 216
Parking available at Dowling Hall Garage, 419 Boston Ave.