Taking Measure: How Disaster Reconnaissance Has Evolved Over Fifty Years

2023 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Distinguished Lecture

Sunday, July 9, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. MDT
Location: Interlocken A

Please join this special Sunday evening session, which is hosted in partnership with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). Judith Mitrani-Reiser will deliver the 2023 EERI Distinguished Lecture, followed by an audience Q&A.



Lecture Description:
Extreme events, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and fires, test buildings and infrastructure in ways and on a scale that cannot be easily replicated in a laboratory. Therefore, actual disasters and failure events provide important opportunities for scientists and engineers to study these events, and improve the safety of buildings, their occupants, and emergency responders. This lecture will provide an overview of the disaster research conducted at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is informed by strategic plans developed by national disaster statutory programs: Disaster and Failure Studies Program, National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, and National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program. The lecture will highlight how the meteorology of disasters has evolved since the EERI Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Program was established fifty years ago by the National Science Foundation. The lecture will also provide an overview of how the advancement of tools and technology in seismic reconnaissance missions have enabled scientists and engineers to better quantify the physical and social impacts of earthquakes on communities. The lecture will commemorate the multidisciplinary approach to learning from disasters, directly borne out of the LFE Program.

2023 EERI Distinguished Lecturer: Judith Mitrani-Reiser, National Institue of Standards and Technology

Judith Mitrani-Reiser is a senior research scientist in the Structural Systems Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Mitrani-Reiser is co-leader of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) technical investigation of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, and leads the mortality project of the NCST investigation of the Hurricane Maria impact on Puerto Rico. Her responsibilities at NIST also extend to managing and providing oversight to other disaster statutory programs—the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program and the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program—focused on interagency coordination to reduce losses in the United States from disasters and failures. Mitrani-Reiser served as vice president of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, serves on the executive committee of the U.S. Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures, co-founded the American Society of Civil Engineers Multi-Hazard Risk Mitigation Committee, and was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni of the University of California, Berkeley Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. She earned her bachelor’s from the University of Florida, her master’s from the University of California, Berkeley, and her PhD from the California Institute of Technology.

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