Tuesday, July 22

Welcome (8:00AM - 8:30AM)


Ian Buckle, EERI President
University of Nevada, Reno


Honorable Sean Parnell 
Governor of Alaska


Honorable Dan Sullivan
Mayor of Anchorage


Farzad Naeim, Conference Chair
John A. Martin & Associates

Plenary Session - The 1964 Alaska Earthquake & Tsunami (8:30AM - 10:00AM)

On March 28, 1964 a 9.2 magnitude megathrust earthquake occurred in the Prince William Sound off the coast of Alaska, triggering strong ground shaking and a tsunami that caused extensive damage and resulted in the deaths of 139 people.  Ensuing scientific, engineering and social science studies of the earthquake led to new understanding of the damaging effects of earthquakes and tsunamis and strategies to manage and mitigate risks.  The three speakers in this plenary session will review the events of 1964 and how they have affected Alaska up to the present day.   The presentations will also examine scientific and engineering developments that resulted from the earthquake.


Farzad Naeim, Moderator
John A. Martin & Associates


"Why the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake Matters 50 years later"
Mike West
Alaska State Seismologist; Geophysical Institute University of Alaska, Fairbanks


"A Revisit to the Landslides Caused in Anchorage by the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake; Observations, Evaluations and Key Lessons Learned"
Ed Idriss
Professor Emeritus, UC Davis


"Earthquake and Volcanic Hazards in Alaska: Public Policy Response Over 50 Years Since the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964"
John Davies
Cold Climate Housing Research Center; Former Alaska State Representative; Former Alaska State Seismologist

Wednesday, July 23

Plenary Session - Mega Disasters: Planning and Design for an Unsettled Planet (8:00AM - 9:00AM)

This plenary session will address mega disasters from both the social and technical perspective. Professor Tom O’Rourke will explore the causes for the increasing risk of mega disasters, the effects of mega disasters on critical infrastructure, and measures for improving physical infrastructure resilience against mega disasters. Professor Kathleen Tierney will explore the characteristics of a mega disaster, examine its impact on the socioeconomic and organizational framework of affected communities, and propose measures to improve the resilience of the human institutions essential for recovery. The interaction between the social and physical aspects of infrastructure and mega disasters will be treated by both.


Ed Laatsch, Moderator

KathleenTierneyHeadshot "Mega Disasters: Planning and Designing for an Unsettled Planet"
Kathleen Tierney
University of Colorado Natural Hazards Center

"Mega Disasters: Planning and Designing for an Unsettled Planet Presentation"
Tom O'Rourke
Cornell University

Concurrent Theme Sessions (9:00AM - 10:00AM)

  1. Subduction Megaquakes

    The mega-earthquakes generated by subduction zones create a unique hazard due to the long duration of shaking, great geographical extent of the damage, and the often associated tsunami. This panel will discuss the unique characteristics of these great subduction zone earthquakes and their associated hazards including strong ground shaking and tsunami.

    Moderator: Ivan Wong, URS Corporation
    Chris Goldfinger, Oregon State University
    Norm Abrahamson, Consultant
    Harry Yeh, Oregon State University

  2. Engineering on the Last Frontier

    The Alaskan frontier represents unique engineering challenges that combine a significant earthquake hazard with harsh cold climate, frozen ground, environmental concerns, and other factors.  This theme session will examine some of these unique engineering challenges through presentation and discussion of notable engineering triumphs, such as the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, and aspects of planning, designing and maintaining critical facilities and infrastructure on the Alaskan frontier.

    Moderator: John Aho, Retired from CH2M HILL
    Zhaohui (Joey) Yang, University of Anchorage Alaska
    Douglas J. Nyman, D.J. Nyman and Associates
    Utpal Dutta, University of Alaska Anchorage
    John Thornley, Golder Associates, Inc. 

  3. The Role of Scenarios and Loss Modeling in Understanding and Managing the Unknown
    The methodologies and approaches to scenario development and loss modeling have evolved significantly over the past 50 years. Insurers and reinsurers, emergency managers, and other corporate and government officials increasingly rely on these tools to estimate and manage the potential risks, consequences, and uncertainty posed by large-scale earthquakes and other mega-disasters. This session will consider some of the major lessons learned, potential missed opportunities, and future directions in the development and applications of these critical decision support tools.

    Moderator: Laurie Johnson, Laurie Johnson Consulting/Research
    Ron Eguchi, ImageCat, Inc.
    Paolo Bazurro, IUSS Pavia
    Dale Cox, USGS


Thursday, July 24

Plenary Session - Global Impact of NEES (8:00AM - 9:00AM)

In November 1998, the National Science Board approved the George E. Brown Jr., Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) for construction with funds totaling $82 million from the National Science Foundation Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction appropriation. Construction occurred during the period 2000-2004. During the last decade, supported by the 14 unique large-scale facilities and the leading-edge cyberinfrastructure, NEES researchers have addressed a wide range of challenges in earthquake and tsunami engineering. The two speakers in this plenary session will discuss the contributions of NEES in advancing knowledge and transforming practice. They will also review advances in collaboration, large-scale experimentation, and development of tomorrow’s engineering workforce.


Farzad Naeim, Ph.D., S.E., Moderator
John A. Martin & Associates


"The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) - A Labratory Without Walls"
Julio Ramirez


"Impact of NEES Research on Building Design Practice"
William T. Holmes
Rutherford + Chekene

Concurrent Theme Sessions (9:00AM - 10:00AM)

  1. NEES Research Impact on Geotechnical Engineering
    The NEES collaboratory includes centrifuge facilities, large scale testing facilities, mobile shakers, and field sites that have been used to investigate a broad range of geotechnical issues. This panel will discuss the impacts of geotechnical research in the areas of numerical simulation, experimental techniques and findings, and engineering practice.

    Moderator: Liam Finn, University of British Columbia
    Glenn Rix, Geosyntec Consultants Inc.
    Ellen Rathje, University of Texas, Austin
    Ken Stokoe, University of Texas, Austin
    Bruce Kutter, University of California, Davis
  2. NEES Research Impact on Structural Engineering
    The NEES shake tables, large scale testing facilities, and mobile laboratories have been used to investigate structural components, systems, small and full-scale models, and existing structures including damaged structures after recent earthquakes. This panel will discuss the impacts of structural research in the areas of numerical simulation, experimental techniques and findings, and engineering practice.

    Moderator: Jack Moehle, UC Berkeley
    Chris Rojahn, Applied Technology Council
    Laura Lowes, University of Washington
    Carol Shield, University of Minnesota
    Keri Ryan, University of Nevada, Reno
  3. NEES Research Impact on Tsunami Engineering
    The NEES tsunami wave basin and large wave flume have significantly advanced our understanding of the generation of tsunamis and their interaction with natural and manmade systems. This panel will discuss the impacts of tsunami research in the areas of numerical simulation, experimental techniques and findings, and engineering practice.

    Moderator: Solomon Yim, Oregon State University
    Ian Robertson, University of Hawaii
    Gary Chock, Martin & Chock, Inc.
    Diane Foster, University of New Hampshire

Friday, July 25

Plenary Session - Resilient Communities (8:00AM - 9:00AM)

Building resilience into our communities is a great challenge facing our profession. This plenary session will feature two speakers tackling this challenge from two very different positions: one building resilience into existing infrastructure, the other rebuilding resilience after the Christchurch earthquakes.

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Scott AshfordModerator
Oregon State University


"A Framework for Creating Disaster Resilient Cities"
Chris Poland
Degenkolb Engineers


"Rebuilding a Resilient Christchurch"
Sjoerd van Ballegooy
Tonkin & Taylor Ltd.

Concurrent Theme Sessions (10:30AM - 11:30AM)

  1. Lifeline Resilience
    Energy, water, transportation, and communication systems are the lifelines that people depend on daily. Following earthquake, these lifeline systems are critical to rescue, relief, and recovery efforts. Panelists in this session will discuss performance of lifelines in recent earthquakes in Chile, New Zealand, and Japan, as well as recent developments in improving the resilience of our lifeline systems.

    Ian Buckle, University of Nevada, Reno
    Scott Ashford, Oregon State University
    Leon Kempner, Bonneville Power Administration
    Richard Pratt, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
  2. Building Resilience
    Buildings are essential components of community resilience to provide residential housing and workspace for industry, government, healthcare and other services.  Panelists in this session will discuss recent developments to evaluate building performance and to incentivize building owners, insurers and other stakeholders consider seismic resilience as an important factor in building design.  This discussion will include activities associated with rebuilding in Christchurch, New Zealand, community-engaged planning of San Francisco’s Resilient City Initiative, and development of seismic performance ratings for buildings.

    Moderator: Ron Mayes, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
    Evan Reis, Hinman Consulting Engineers
    Patrick Otellini, City & County of San Francisco
    John Hare, Holmes Consulting Group
  3. Planning for Recovery
    Recent disasters have demonstrated the importance of timely and effective decision making to rebuilding and recovery of communities.  While each disaster has unique characteristics, the details of which are sometimes difficult to predict ahead of time, lessons from past disasters demonstrate opportunities where thoughtful pre-event planning can streamline the recovery process.   This pre-event planning ranges from policies to guide repair and replacement of buildings and infrastructure to creating government and community organizations that can better respond to situations that are likely to arise after a large disaster. Panelists in this theme session will examine lessons from recent disasters along with noteworthy examples of proactive pre-planning for recovery from earthquakes, storms and other natural hazards.

    Moderator: Ken Elwood, University of British Columbia
    Mary Comerio, UC Berkeley
    Laurie Johnson, Laurie Johnson Consulting/Research
    Guillermo Franco, Guy Carpenter & Company LLC