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Northridge Earthquake Symposium

A 30-Year Anniversary Event

Join us for a symposium commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Northridge earthquake.

On January 17, 1994, at 4:30 a.m. Pacific Time, the magnitude 6.7 earthquake reverberated through the San Fernando Valley and across SoCal, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape—and the field of seismic design.

This symposium serves as a poignant retrospective, providing a platform to reflect upon the design and construction lessons gleaned in the aftermath of the cataclysmic event.

Attendees will hear discussions at sessions with policymakers on the progress made since the earthquake.

The morning will focus on reflections of those on the ground 30 years ago and those working today to prepare for the next major quake. Experts will include first responders, building officials, engineers, and seismologists—including keynote speaker Dr. Lucy Jones.

After lunch, the Technical Focused Discussion will follow, featuring two tracks, each with six sessions. Track 1 will highlight Existing Buildings and include talks on ASCE 41-23, High Rise and Adaptive Reuse, and FEMA P-807-1. Track 2 looks at New Buildings and will feature presentations on mass timber, functional recovery, ASCE 7-22 (and beyond), Concrete Shear Walls, and more.

As we mark three decades since the Northridge earthquake, let's take this opportunity to acknowledge the advancements in seismic engineering, construction practices, and community resilience that have evolved since that day.

To find the rooms and parking location please click here to view and download the Campus Map.


Councilmember Bob Blumenfield was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 2013 and re-elected in 2017. He represents the 3rd Council District, fighting for public safety, emergency preparedness, beautification, and traffic reduction among other key issues. Bob has won numerous awards and accolades for his work. Capitol Weekly called him “a shining light” with a “reassuring amount of perspective that is uncommon among so many politicians.”

Bob is a graduate of Duke University and the UCLA Anderson School of Management Business Executive Program. He lives in Woodland Hills with his wife, Kafi, and their two children.

Dr. Henry V. Burton
is an Associate Professor and the Presidential Chair in Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research is directed towards understanding and modeling the relationship between the performance of infrastructure systems within the built environment, and the ability of communities to minimize the extent of socioeconomic disruption following extreme events. Dr. Burton is a registered structural engineer in the state of California. Prior to obtaining his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, he spent six years in practice at Degenkolb Engineers, where he worked on numerous projects involving design of new buildings and seismic evaluation and retrofit of existing buildings. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Next Generation of Disaster Researchers Fellowship (2014) and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2016).

CEO of Stratiscope, John Bwarie has worked to create more resilient communities since co-creating the Great ShakeOut in 2008. He has worked on projects nationwide to help communities and businesses grow and thrive using community engagement strategies. In this role, he also is the Executive Director of SEAOSC as well as Deputy Director for the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society.

Dr. Nathan Canney is the Director of Structural Engineering at Taylor Devices. He joined Taylor in 2020 after working as a structural engineer at CYS Structural Engineers in Sacramento, CA and before that MKA in Seattle, WA. Nathan has Bachelor’s degrees in Civil Engineering and Applied Mathematics from Seattle University, a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from Stanford University and a PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder. After completing his PhD in 2013, Nathan taught structural engineering for four years at Seattle University before returning to consulting work in 2017. For fun, Nathan plays as an amateur contractor and woodworker in his home and does boxing classes and backpacking.

Julie Clowes is the Director of SBA’s Los Angeles District Office where she oversees delivery of SBA’s programs and services within Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Julie's entire career has been dedicated to supporting small businesses as they access financing, compete for government contracts, utilize training and advising services and learn how to mitigate risks of and recover from disasters. She has held numerous positions with SBA both in the field and Headquarters including: Acting Deputy Associate Administrator -Office of Entrepreneurial Development, Chief Marketing & Outreach attorney in the Office of General Counsel, Director of the San Francisco District Office, Deputy District Director of the Washington Metropolitan Area District Office, and Public Affairs Specialist with the Michigan District Office.

Larry Collins is Deputy Chief, Special Operations & Hazardous Materials Section, for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Fire and Rescue Division (since November 2016). He is the Cal OES program manager for California’s Urban Search & Rescue (US&R), Swiftwater Rescue, and Hazardous Materials Response programs, overseeing assistance and coordination of Special Ops & Haz Mat resources in the California Fire & Rescue Mutual Aid System, planning and preparedness for disasters resulting from earthquakes, floods, mud & debris flows, tsunamis, landslides and mudslides, terrorist attacks, nuclear mishaps and attacks, hazardous materials, and other natural and manmade causes. Collins served in all ranks to Battalion Chief for 37 years as a member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, including 19 years as a captain of Urban Search & Rescue Companies 1 (USAR-1) and 103 (USAR Task Force 103), as a Task Force Leader and a founding member of L.A. County’s California/FEMA US&R Task Force (CA-TF2), as a leader and founding member of the L.A. County Fire Department’s Swiftwater Rescue Program, and other Special Ops assignments before spending 7 years as a Battalion Chief. He conducted aerial damage survey from an LACoFD helicopter in the first hours after the Northridge Quake, and then served the remainder of the Northridge Quake response as Deputy Task Force Leader of CA-TF2 at the deadly collapse of the Northridge Meadows Apartments.

David Cocke, S.E. has been practicing Structural Engineering in California since 1981. He founded Structural Focus in 2001 after 20 years at another firm. He is a registered Structural Engineer in California and several other states, with expertise in seismic evaluation, historic preservation, retrofits and new design. Some of his most notable projects include renovations to the Hotel del Coronado, Glendale Masonic Temple, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Red Bull North American Headquarters, Walls Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, Netflix Egyptian Theater, Culver City’s new Amazon Studios and numerous projects for all of the major southern California film studios. David has been very professionally involved, has served in leadership positions as past president of EERI and SEI and on numerous board of directors including SEAOC, several preservation organizations and is a current member of the NIST Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction.

Craig A. Davis, Ph.D., PE, GE is a professional consultant on geotechnical, earthquake, and lifeline infrastructure system resilience engineering. In his three-decade long career at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Davis worked as the Departmental Chief Resilience Officer, Seismic Manager, and Geotechnical Engineering Manager. There he developed a comprehensive L.A. Water System resilience program. He has more than 180 technical publications and investigated numerous earthquakes.

He has served on professional committees, including the Building Seismic Safety Council, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction, and ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division. Davis has been honored with the ASCE 2016 Le Val Lund Award for Practicing Lifeline Risk Reduction, 2020 Charles Martin Duke Lifeline Earthquake Engineering Award, and 2021 EERI Distinguished Lecture Award. He received a B.S. from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and an M.S. and Ph.D from the University of Southern California, all in civil engineering. Dr. Davis was the founding chairperson for the ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division.

Garrett Hagen is a nationally recognized expert in seismic hazard mitigation. He brings his passion for contributing to state-of-practice standards and guidelines for earthquake resilience to a diverse range of building design and seismic strengthening schemes. In addition to the development of conference papers, committee reports, and the ASCE 41 standard, Garret contributes in the following professional organizational roles:

• Chair of ACI 374 for performance-based seismic design of concrete buildings

• Chair of ACI Committee 369-D for updates to ASCE 41 wall provisions

• Co-chair of SEAOSC Existing Building Committee

• Past Chair of SEAOC (CA state) Existing Building Committee

Curt Haselton is a leader in structural earthquake engineering, with recent work on performance-based and resilience-based earthquake engineering, with focuses on resilient design for functional recovery, damage and loss estimation, building code development, collapse safety assessment, ground motion selection and scaling, and the treatment of uncertainties. Dr. Haselton also chaired the Building Seismic Safety Council team to rewrite Chapter 16 of the ASCE 7 building code. Among his awards, Dr. Haselton received the Shah Family Innovation Prize for creativity, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit in earthquake risk mitigation and management, and the Helmut Krawinkler Award for leadership in implementing state-of-the-art research into practice. In addition to his role as Co-Founder and CEO of HB Risk, he is a Professor in Civil Engineering at California State University, Chico.

Allen Husker serves as the Manager of the Southern California Seismic Network and the Southern California Earthquake Data Center. Prior to this role, he held the position of Professor at the Institute of Geophysics in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where he also chaired the Seismology Department. With a wealth of experience, Husker concurrently served as the Station Manager for the seismic stations of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization in Mexico for an extended period. During this time, he had the unique opportunity to represent a Mexican institution as a foreigner at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria, a role that echoed the longstanding tradition of foreign scientists contributing to scientific discourse in the USA.

Husker's academic journey commenced as a graduate student at UCLA, where he conducted groundbreaking research involving the installation and maintenance of a temporary seismic network in Mexico. This collaborative effort included contributions from Caltech, UCLA, and UNAM, focusing on imaging the subducted slab. His academic pursuits began at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he earned undergraduate degrees with majors in Physics and Comparative History of Ideas, laying the foundation for his remarkable career in the field of geophysics.

Dr. Lucy Jones is founder and chief scientist of the nonprofit Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, which supports the application of science in the creation of more resilient communities. With a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from MIT, she worked as a seismologist at the US Geological Survey for 33 years where she developed the methodology used for earthquake advisories in the State of California, created the Great ShakeOut drill, encompassing over 60 million participants globally in 2019, served as Science Advisor for Seismic Safety for the Mayor of Los Angeles and wrote over 100 published papers on statistical seismology and integrated disaster scenarios. She has held visiting professorships at University of California (Hitchcock Chair), and University of Oregon (Morse chair).

Ryan Kersting is a licensed Structural Engineer and Principal with Buehler Engineering in Sacramento, CA with over 25 years of experience in the structural engineering profession. Ryan is the 2023-24 president of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations, is the immediate past president of the Applied Technology Council, and is a former president of the Structural Engineers Association of California. He was the chair of the committee that authored the FEMA-NIST Report to Congress on Functional Recovery and is currently serving as chair of the Functional Recovery Task Committee working with FEMA on the 2026 NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions. As past chair of the SEAOC Legislative Committee, Ryan has often met with elected officials to discuss opportunities to improve the resilience of our communities relative to earthquakes.

Dr. Monica Kohler is a Research Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Caltech. Dr. Kohler’s research is focused on identifying and characterizing deformation and failure such as fractures due to earthquakes in civil structures through numerical and observational experiments. She leads the science team of the Community Seismic Network, advancing the development of seismic sensor networks to take advantage of edge and cloud computing. She has also held research positions at the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing based in the Department of Computer Science at UCLA, and in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at UCLA. Dr. Kohler received her Ph.D. in geophysics from Caltech and B.A. from Harvard University.

Leslie Luke is the Deputy Director of the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office, Office of Emergency Management. As Deputy Director he oversees the day to day activities of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), whose Operational Area includes 88 cities, over 200 special districts and a population of over 10 million residents.

Mr. Luke joined Los Angeles County in 2013 after spending 25 years in San Diego County where ten of those years were with their Office of Emergency Services.

He has coordinated Continuity of Community Programs with schools including childcare resource centers, faith-based organizations, Tribal Nations, Farmworker Care Coalition and developed a local business alliance. He developed an Advance Recovery Program that addresses both short and long term recovery activities. He led the Southern California coordination of the Afghanistan resettlement and currently coordinates southwest border migrant coordination in the County.

Throughout his career he’s served on and participated with numerous Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency Task Forces, projects and initiatives. He’s a member of the California Emergency Services Association (CESA), CESA Legislative Committee and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). He was appointed IAEM-USA Diversity and Equity Advisor in 2020-2022, chaired the IAEM-USA Diversity Committee for seven years and past IAEM Region IX Vice Chair.

Mr. Luke holds a bachelor’s degree from the Union Institute and University; is a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard School of Public Health National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Disaster Recovery Framework Leadership Academy.

Sandy Hohener is a Principal at Degenkolb Engineers in Los Angeles with over 15 years of experience. His work primarily focuses on the evaluation and retrofit, and repurposing of existing buildings, and he practices in the healthcare, higher education and science and technology markets. He is a member of the NEHRP Provisions Update Committee, ASCE 7s Seismic Subcommittee and SEAOSCs Existing Building Committee.

Janiele Maffei, joined the California Earthquake Authority as Chief Mitigation Officer in May 2011. She is responsible for the mitigation plan that includes the California Residential Mitigation Program and the development of comprehensive guidelines for the retrofit of single- family dwellings.

A graduate of UC Berkeley, where she obtained her AB degree in Architecture and an MS in Civil Engineering. Mrs. Maffei is a registered structural engineer who has worked in the earthquake engineering industry for over 38 years. Her experience includes the design of new building structures and seismic strengthening of existing structures.

Mrs. Maffei is the past president of the Northern California Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, EERI. She also served on the Board of Directors of EERI National as Secretary-Treasurer. She currently serves as President of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California. She has extensive post-earthquake reconnaissance experience from the Loma Prieta and Northridge Earthquakes.

James O. Malley, S.E., is a Senior Principal and COO with Degenkolb Engineers. He received both his B.S. and M.Eng. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Malley has over 40 years of experience in the seismic design, evaluation, and rehabilitation of building structures, and is involved in the peer review of numerous innovative tall building projects. He was responsible for the analytical and testing investigations performed as part of the SAC Steel Project in response to the Northridge earthquake damage. Mr. Malley is Chair of the AISC Specifications Committee and the Past-Chair of the AISC Seismic Subcommittee. Jim has served as a member of the Board of Directors and as President of SEAONC (2000-2001), SEAOC (2003-2004), and NCSEA, (2010-2011). Mr. Malley was also a member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of EERI and was co-Chair of the 11NCEE in 2018. In 2020, He served President of the Board of Directors of the Applied Technology Council. Mr. Malley was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2021 for his contributions to the advancement of seismic design.

Justin Marshall is the President of DuraFuse Frames. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from BYU and his PhD from Virginia Tech. His career has included both professional practice and academia. His design career included stops in New York and the Western United States. His time at Auburn University included teaching structural engineering courses and doing research on seismic and wind engineering. He has been involved in several post-disaster reconnaissance efforts including earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes, and has served on the Seismic Subcommittee for ASCE 7-16, 7-22, and 7-28. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and golf, especially with his family.

Serving as a principal at MHP, Inc. Kenneth O’Dell plays a major role in supporting our education and commercial projects. Ken is also active with our overall business development and human resource activities. With over 30-years years in the business, Ken is actively involved in professional organizations including the Structural Engineers Association of California, for which he was the 2022 State President, and the National Council of Structural Engineering Associations.

Ken received his BS in Architectural Engineering from Cal Poly, SLO and is a licensed professional and structural engineer in California and 15 other states. In addition, to being recognized as the Engineer of the Year by the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California, his Orange Coast college Planetarium Project was awarded an Excellence in Structural Engineering, Award of Excellence by SEAOSC and SEAOC in 2019.

Binh Phan
is the Bureau Chief of the Permit and Engineering Bureau for the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety overseeing more than 300 employees. He directs the Bureau’s daily operations and technical enhancement programs including development and implementation of the Bureau’s administrative policies and procedures.

He is responsible for the work and performance of the Bureau’s operations including Building, Electrical, Mechanical, and Disabled Access sections. As a certified access specialist CASp, he serves as the Department’s accessibility expert. He has been with LADBS for 23 years and is a licensed Civil Engineer.

Greig L. Smith is the President of environmental consulting company Greig Smith Consulting, LLC. He has an MPA in Public Policy with Honors from the University of Southern California. While a Los Angeles City Council member from 2003-2011, he served as Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Public Works Committee, and RENEW LA Committee.

Smith has been actively involved in earthquake preparedness initiatives throughout his career. In 1980, he helped draft the City of Los Angeles Pre-1933 Unreinforced Masonry Ordinance, the first of its kind in the US. As Chief of Staff for Councilman Hal Bernson in 1984, he helped organize the inaugural International Earthquake Conference in Los Angeles. During his City Council tenure, Smith introduced 15 motions addressing earthquake preparedness and continues to champion this important cause today.

Osama Younan is the General Manager for the City of Los Angeles, Department of Building and Safety (LADBS), where he oversees over 1,100 employees in 5 bureaus: Plan Check and Engineering Bureau, Inspection Bureau, Code Enforcement Bureau, Technology Services Bureau, and Resource Management Bureau. He has been with LADBS for 37 years.

As the Chief Sustainability Officer for LADBS, he represented the Department on Green Building and sustainability policies and practices. He was the lead person in the development and adoption of the Los Angeles Green Building Codes and created the Department’s Green Building Division. He also was the lead person in the development and adoption of the City’s 2016 Water Conservation Ordinance.

Osama Younan is a licensed Professional Engineer with the State of California and a LEED Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council.

Daniel Zepeda received his Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and is a licensed Structural Engineer in California and a Senior Principal with Degenkolb Engineers. With over 20 years of experience in seismic evaluation and seismic strengthening of existing buildings, Daniel’s project breadth spans large medical centers, civic buildings and privately owned structures. He is the co-chair of the SEAOSC EBC and past chair of SEAOC EBC. He also serves in the SEAOSC board. Daniel is currently helping multiple Cities in the Los Angeles area in developing their seismic ordinance programs. He also participated in the update of the latest version of ASCE 41. Daniel has also been part multiple post-earthquake reconnaissance trips which includes him leading the 2017 SEAOSC team that visited Mexico City after their devastating earthquake.

Zhongwen Zhan is a Professor of Geophysics at the California Institute of Technology's Seismological Laboratory, known for his work in advancing seismic network through fiber-optic sensing technologies. His expertise extends to a wide range of seismic phenomena, from deep Earth structures to the dynamics of urban-area sedimentary basins. A significant thrust of his research is developing next-generation seismic networks for comprehensive Earth monitoring, covering both terrestrial and marine environments. Professor Zhan actively explores the seismic aspects of pressing global issues such as ocean warming and cryosphere dynamics, indicating his commitment to addressing both fundamental geophysical questions and broader environmental challenges. His notable contributions have garnered prestigious recognitions, including the James B. Macelwane Medal from AGU. Professor Zhan is also deeply involved in collaborative efforts, extending his research to interdisciplinary applications and working closely with various industry partners and stakeholders.


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Afternoon Session and Whole Day Tickets are Sold Out!

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The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) is a professional association with a rich history and a commitment to shaping the future of structural engineering. This legacy continues to affect the field, as SEAOSC remains a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, professional development, and community engagement.

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