2023 Chapter Meetings

California Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Ordinances: How It Started and How It’s Going

Conrad Paulson, PE, SE, Principal
Kari Klaboe, PE, SE, Senior Associate
Robert Kraus, PE, SE, Unit Manager and Senior Associate
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
Los Angeles (Pasadena) / San Francisco (Emeryville), California

EERI, New England Chapter, Lecture Series
Wednesday October 25, 2023, 4:00 – 5:30PM (Eastern Time)

For registration, please visit: HERE

Abstract: This presentation will examine not only the current-generation of mandatory seismic retrofit ordinances in both Southern and Northern California, but also will review “legacy” or “mature” retrofit ordinances that came about more than 25 years ago (“what is old is new again”), and will take a look at possible future retrofit ordinances that are currently being proposed or are under development. Aspects of these ordinances related to both structural engineering provisions and administrative requirements will be overviewed. Mandatory timelines to compliance will also be examined. The focus of this seminar is on California, where the resurgence of mandatory seismic retrofit ordinances is taking place.

Conrad Paulson has been with WJE for more than 40 years and was first bit by the “seismic bug” while performing structural analyses related to post-Loma Prieta earthquake damage assessments. Over the years, he has been involved with pre- and post-earthquake assessments, and seismic repair and retrofit projects. Most recently, in his ongoing role as Chair of AISC’s Task Committee 7 on Evaluation and Repair, he led the TC 7 committee as it completed development and issued the first edition of the new standard AISC 342-22: Seismic Provisions for Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Structural Steel Buildings.

Kari Klaboe is a Senior Associate with WJE and has been involved with seismic assessment and retrofit of existing concrete, masonry, and wood-framed buildings since joining WJE more than 10 years ago. Her experience includes seismic retrofit of several wood-framed soft-story structures in California and participation in the development of FEMA P-1100: Vulnerability-Based Seismic Assessment and Retrofit of One- and Two-Family Dwellings. Recently, she was a member of the ACI field reconnaissance team that assessed damaged reinforced concrete buildings following the Turkey earthquakes of February 2023.

Robert Kraus is a Unit Manager and Senior Associate with WJE. In the last 10 years, he has focused on structural design, investigation, analysis, and analytical modeling of various structures, ranging from historic buildings to modern, high-rise construction in varying stages of distress or failure. He has participated in or led damage investigation and seismic related projects, including assessing lifeline structures following the Turkey earthquakes of February 2023. He is the past chair of the SEAONC Existing Building Committee and is involved with development of proposed ordinances for non-ductile concrete and rigid-wall-flexible diaphragm buildings.

Lecture Flyer (PDF)

Overview of USGS National Seismic Hazard Model Project (NSHMP)

Sean Ahdi, PhD, Research Geophysicist, USGS, Hazards Science Center

Co-hosted by EERI, New England Chapter and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University
Friday October 20, 2023, 3:00 PM, Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join by Zoom: HERE
Meeting ID: 959 0422 7920
Passcode: 423521

Biography: Sean Ahdi is a Research Geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Geologic Hazards Science Center in Golden, Colorado. His expertise lies at the intersection of a broad range of interrelated topics across the domains of civil engineering and earth sciences, including geotechnical and earthquake engineering, engineering seismology, near-surface geophysics, and geology and geological engineering. In 2020 Sean joined the team that develops the USGS National Seismic Hazard Model, a product which underpins engineering design and risk assessments performed by practicing engineers to mitigate against seismic hazards nationwide. Sean earned B.S. degrees in Civil Engineering and in Geology/Engineering Geology, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, all at UCLA. Sean has prior work experience at geophysical, civil engineering, and forensic geotechnical consulting firms. He also served as a Lecturer within the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (EPSS) at UCLA for four years. You can often find Sean trying to explain geology, earthquakes, or tectonics to anyone interested enough to listen.

Seminar Flyer (PDF)

Hazard Activities and Challenges at the Global Earthquake Model

Marco Pagani, PhD, Seismic Hazard Coordinator, Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation and Adjunct Professor Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management, NTU, Singapore

EERI, New England Chapter, Lecture Series
Tuesday July 18, 2023, 12:00 – 1:00PM, Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register for FREE at: HERE

Abstract: The hazard team at the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation develops hazard models and tools for performing probabilistic seismic hazard analysis. Two of the most successful products are the hazard component of the OpenQuake Engine – an open-source software for computing probabilistic seismic hazard and risk – and the Global Mosaic of hazard models. A large community of users currently employs the OpenQuake Engine to complete various analyses, including studies at a national scale and site-specific analyses. The mosaic is a collection of thirty probabilistic hazard analysis input models developed by national agencies, international projects, public and private organizations and GEM. In this presentation, an overview of the main products and activities carried out at GEM in the hazard space, including ongoing projects and future research directions are provided, followed by a discussion on the challenges encountered in hazard modelling.

Biography: Marco Pagani is the Seismic Hazard Coordinator at the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation and adjunct professor at the Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He received a Master’s degree in Geological Sciences and a PhD degree in Earth Sciences from the Università degli Studi di Milano. He has more than 25 years of experience in Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA), PSHA input model building, seismic microzonation and exploratory data analysis. His research interests involve the creation of PSHA input models combining different information and new approaches, the development of PSHA calculation methodologies and their incorporation into openly accessible tools including the OpenQuake Engine. He was involved in several national and international projects dealing with seismic hazard and risk analysis as well as consultancy projects for seismic hazard assessment of critical facilities in Europe, Africa and Asia. As part of his duties, he managed various national and international PSHA projects in South America, the Caribbean and Central America, and Africa. Currently, he is a member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) supervising the creation of the new national hazard maps for New Zealand and, the coordinator of the hazard work package of the European projects METIS and TREAD.

Lecture Flyer (PDF)

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