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New PEER Director Follows Merge of PEER and UC Berkeley's EERC

With concurrence of the PEER Institutional Board and the University of California, Berkeley, the identity and management of the nine-campus Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) and the UC Berkeley Earthquake Engineering Research Center (EERC) are being officially integrated. The new research center will retain the name "PEER" and will continue to represent the nine campuses of the original PEER, while incorporating the facilities and the Organized Research Unit status of the original EERC.

Jack Moehle
During Jack Moehle's successful tenure, PEER expanded to one of the most prominent earthquake engineering research centers in the world. Under his leadership, PEER research projects expanded to almost all aspects of earthquake science and engineering, ranging from geology to seismology to geotechnical and structural engineering and to the socio-economical impacts of earthquakes. The earthquake community in general, and PEER in particular, gratefully appreciate Jack's world-class leadership at PEER.
PEER Director Jack Moehle and EERC Director Nick Sitar are stepping down from their respective positions, effective December 31, 2008. Professor Moehle thus ends a long tenure, serving first as EERC Director (1991-2001) and then as the founding Director of PEER (1996-2008). Professor Sitar is completing 6.5 years of service as EERC Director, including a very successful inauguration of the nees@berkeley equipment site of the George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. Both Professors Moehle and Sitar will continue as active participants in the new PEER.

Steve MahinProfessor Stephen Mahin has been appointed as the new PEER Director effective January 1, 2009. Steve has been a key active member of PEER since day one, serving as member of PEER Research Committee, Thrust Area Leader on Transportation Systems, and member of PEER Institutional Board. Steve received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees from UC Berkeley, and has been on the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Berkeley for three decades. His expertise ranges from engineering characterization of ground motion to seismic performance of buildings and transportation systems. Following the 1994 Northridge earthquake, Steve was leader of the SAC Steel Project funded by FEMA, a multi-year and multi-disciplinary national seismic project that successfully developed new seismic design provisions for steel moment frames that form the basis of today’s codes. Steve is an internationally renowned expert in earthquake engineering.

This is an exciting era for the new PEER in which several research programs are continuing while major new research initiatives are emerging. PEER's vision under the new leadership is to continue its tradition of excellence in earthquake engineering through broad participation of the PEER community.

We thank all of our friends and colleagues in academia, private practice, and government agencies who all play an integral part in PEER's success. We hope you will join us in thanking the outgoing Directors Moehle and Sitar, while welcoming incoming Director Mahin.

posted December 12, 2008