SEAONC Honor Awards to Abrahamson, Baker, and Haselton

June 25, 2019

The Structural Engineering Association of Northern California (SEAONC) honored three PEER research colleagues during the SEAONC June Awards dinner meeting:

  • SEAONC Honorary Member: Norm Abrahamson, Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley and UC Davis
  • SEAONC Helmut Krawinkler Award Co-Recipients: Jack Baker, Associate Professor at Stanford University, and Curt B. Haselton, Associate Professor at Chico State University

SEAONC Honorary Member
Norm Abrahamson, Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley and UC Davis

Abrahamson image

Norm Abrahamson is an internationally known expert in seismic hazard and risk analyses with over 30 years experience in the practical application of engineering seismology to the development of deterministic and probabilistic seismic criteria for engineering design and evaluations of seismic risk. He has developed or reviewed design ground motions for hundreds of projects around the world including nuclear power plants and waste depositories, dams, bridges, water and gas pipelines, rail lines, ports, hospitals, electric substations, and high-rise buildings. Formerly chief engineering seismologist at PG&E (retired), he was responsible for technical management of seismic research programs with PEER - Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, Southern CA Earthquake Center (SCEC), and USGS, along with other utilities in the US and abroad.  Professor Abrahamson was elected to National Academy of Engineering (2018) for contributions to seismic hazard assessment and for leadership in engineering seismology and earthquake engineering.  He continues to influence the future of the profession by teaching a graduate course on seismic hazard analyses, development of design time histories, and seismic risk.  He is an active PEER-funded researcher.

An HONORARY MEMBER shall be a person so designated by the Board of Directors in special recognition of the person's contribution to the excellence of the structural engineering profession. By the bylaws, an Honorary Member could also be someone who is not an SE or even a SEAONC member. An Honorary member recognizes a member’s longstanding involvement in the structural engineering profession.

SEAONC Helmut Krawinkler Award Co-Recipients
Jack Baker, Associate Professor at Stanford University
Curt B. Haselton, Associate Professor at Chico State University

Baker imageJack Baker pursues state of the art research into practice in dynamic analysis and use of target spectra.  Recent work includes the use of improved methods for selecting ground motions to match a conditional spectrum; conditional spectrum-based ground motion selection for intensity-based assessments, and hazard consistency for risk-based assessments; and conditional spectrum computation incorporating multiple causal earthquakes and ground-motion prediction models.  He is an active PEER-funded researcher.

Haselton imageCurt Haselton is active with Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) Task Groups and was active in rewriting the chapter on seismic response history procedures in 2015 NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures.  This activity led to the adoption of NEHRP provisions in ASCE 7-16 Chapter 16 Nonlinear Response History Analysis standard. As part of the Applied Technology Council (ATC 114) / National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) research initiatives, Professor Haselton chaired and co-chaired several Technical Committees. The ATC 114/NIST guideline efforts contribute to address the gap between state-of-the-art academic research and state-of-practice engineering applications for nonlinear structural analysis, analytical structural modeling, and computer simulation in support of performance-based seismic engineering.

Professor Baker and Professor Haselton co-founded HB Risk in 2014 to address the need to produce software tools to allow advanced design and assessment methods, such as FEMA P-58, to be implemented in everyday practice. Based on the performance-based seismic engineering framework developed by PEER, FEMA P-58 provides a statistical approach to assess the seismic risk of individual buildings and quantifies the risk in terms of performance metrics that are valuable to engineers, building owners, and the public.

A recipient for the Helmut Krawinkler Award for outstanding leadership in implementing state-of-the-art research into practice is determined by the SEAONC Board of Directors. The award is presented to acknowledge those individual members (academia or practicing engineers) who have applied and adapted pioneering academic research to the structural engineering practice.

SEAONC's images from the evening can be found here.