Keith Porter

University of Colorado Boulder

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Keith Porter is a research professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he practices structural engineering and specializes in risk from natural disasters. He is the principal investigator of the updated Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves study. The update expands on the original 2005 congressionally-mandated benefit-cost analysis of natural hazard mitigation, finding higher benefit-cost ratios than in 2005 and examining more mitigation strategies, especially for the private sector and for new, above-code construction. Porter has served as chief engineer for the United States Geological Survey’s popular and informative ShakeOut, ARkStorm, Tsunami, and HayWired disaster planning scenarios, the last of which shows that the public expects, prefers, and is willing to pay for better seismic performance from new buildings than the building code tries to provide. 

In his professional practice, Porter helps utilities, banks, insurers, and industry efficiently understand, measure, manage, and reduce their risk to earthquakes, landslides, fires, and other perils. Porter is a licensed professional engineer and author of approximately 200 scholarly and professional works. He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in civil and structural engineering from the University of California Davis, University of California Berkeley, and Stanford University, respectively.