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Upcoming Seminar on May 16,2011: Building Disaster Resilient Communities

May 3, 2011

Chris D. Poland, SE
Chairman & Sr. Principal
Degenkolb Engineers

Chris Poland’s structural engineering career spans over 35 years and includes a wide variety of new design work, seismic analysis and strengthening of existing buildings, structural failure analysis, and historic preservation. As an internationally recognized authority on earthquake engineering, Mr. Poland routinely participates in policy-changing research projects sponsored by the NSF, USGS, NIST and FEMA. As a passionate advocate and voice for seismic safety, he actively participates in the academic, ethical and social advancement of his field and lectures often.

Chris currently presides as Chair of the congressionally mandated Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. His latest interests involving advocacy for Resilient Cities lead to his involvement in the SPUR Resilient City Initiative as the chair of the Seismic Hazard Mitigation Taskforce. That work lead to his Co-Chair appointment to the San Francisco Lifelines Council. He chairs the ASCE Standards Committee on Seismic Rehabilitation, and led the effort needed to produce the ASCE 31 and ASCE 41 Standards.  He is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association. He is the 2006 recipient of the Alfred E. Alquist award from the California Earthquake Safety Foundation, and was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his career long work in support of Performance Based Earthquake Engineering. Chris served on the Board of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) for 10 years in two separate roles, first as the Secretary and then as the President from 2001 to 2002.

Building Disaster Resilient Communities

Healthy cities continuously grow by driving economic development while protecting their cultural heritage. Success, in part, depends on a healthy built environment that is rooted in contemporary urban planning, sustainability, and disaster resilience. When disaster strikes, they have a plan, a place and the ability to govern. Their power, water, and communication networks begin operating within hours, and people can stay in their homes, travel to where they need to be, and resume a fairly normal living routine within weeks. The return to a “new” normal can then occur within a few years.

Chris Poland has been actively involved in the work of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) Resilient Cities Initiative that is working to define what San Francisco needs from its seismic mitigation policies so it can move in this direction. Their recently published papers define resiliency in a deterministic manner based on what the city needs from its buildings and lifelines to support response, recovery, and rebuilding post-disaster. Implementation activities have begun and their success will depend on new policies, community support, and solid, unified support from the science and engineering communities that support design. Mr. Poland will describe the Resilient City Initiative, its current status, and discuss the role of design professionals in achieving the needed outcomes.


A Special Thanks to Dr. Matt Tobolski

April 20, 2011

Our second EERI seminar was presented by Dr. Matthew Tobolski on “Natural Phenomena Hazards in Nuclear Facilities” .
We would like to thank Dr. Tobolski for taking his valuable time to speak in our seminar and explain how probability was applied on several of his projects.

All undergraduate and graduate students are invited to attend our seminars this quarter.  Please look under seminar series for more information on the seminar topics  and guest speakers.

Seminar on 4/18 by Dr.Matthew Tobolski

April 14, 2011

Natural Phenomena Hazards in Nuclear Facilities

The term “nuclear facilities” can serve a range of purposes, including power generation, research, waste storage and weapons. Potential wide-spread impacts of the failure of these facilities dictates the need for substantially greater consideration of loadings developed by natural hazards. Extreme loadings developed by these hazards are considered in more detail when dealing with nuclear facilities with the end goal of a lower probability of failure as compared to traditional structures. In analyzing and designing structures for these loadings, design basis events traditionally correspond to a significantly larger return period event to mitigate potential impacts on the public in the event of failures.

This presentation will provide a discussion of a variety of hazard that are traditionally considered when performing work related to nuclear facilities. The main focus will relate to seismic considerations, however, other subjects will also be discussed briefly. Specific topics that will be covered include: code-based performance objectives, soil-structure interaction, in-structure response spectra, distribution systems and seismic qualification of nonstructural components.

BeWise recap

April 13, 2011

1st Spring 2011 EERI Seminar

April 9, 2011

Our first EERI seminar was presented by Professor Jorge Meneses, Mr. James Gingery, and Professor P. Benson Shing on the aftermath of the Baja Earthquake.  The topic on the Baja Earthquake has attracted many students and professors to join us in today’s seminar.

Once again, we would like to thank Jorge Meneses, James Gingery, and P. Benson Shing for taking their valuable time to prepare and speak in today’s seminar.  Please join us at our next seminar featuring Dr. Matt Tobolski.

Special EERI Seminar on April 8, 2011 – 2pm

March 31, 2011


Baja California 7.2 Earthquake: Three Perspectives on Ground Motions, Geotechnical and Structural Responses


SERF 341


April 8, 2011 – 2 pm

Guest Speakers:

Jorge Meneses, Ph.D, P.E.; Kleinfelder

James Gingery, P.E.; Kleinfelder

P. Benson Shing, Ph.D.; Structural Engineering Department, UCSD


The 2010, Mw 7.2 Baja California (El Mayor-Cucapah) earthquake occurred on Sunday, April 4, 2010 in northern Baja California at a depth of about 10 km (6.2 miles), approximately 47 km (29 miles) SSE from Mexicali, BC, 51 km (32 miles) SSE from Calexico, California, and 180 km (120 miles) SE from San Diego, California. This was the largest event in the area since 1892, even larger than the M 6.9 earthquake in 1940. The earthquake was felt throughout Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, and Baja California, Mexico. Effects of the earthquake were felt on buildings, transportation infrastructure, water and water waste treatment systems, and nonstructural aspects.

In this seminar the three speakers will focus on the ground motions, and the geotechnical and structural responses from this event.  Each speaker will present for approximately 20 minutes with an open discussion afterwards.

This event is sponsored by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) student chapter at UCSD.

Upcoming Seminar on April 18,2011 : “Natural Phenomena Hazards in Nuclear Facilities”

March 28, 2011
We would like to welcome Dr. Matthew Tobolski, President & CEO of Tobolski Watkins Engineering, Inc., to appear on April 18, 2011 seminar. The topic for this seminar is “Natural Phenomena Hazards in Nuclear Facilities”.

Matthew Tobolski PhD, PE
President & CEO
Tobolski Watkins Engineering, Inc.

Dr. Tobolski is responsible for directing all technical and managerial activities and oversees the progress of all major projects. He has gained considerable experience through employment with a diverse group of companies providing him the understanding of what it takes to design elegant, efficient and practical structures.

His abilities relate to: building and bridge engineering, advanced analysis, earthquake engineering, innovative systems, construction staging analysis and structural retrofitting / rehabilitation.