Category Archives: Announcement


Please consider joining us for another activity the week of May 22.  Several FHWA Geotechnical leaders will be in Seattle on Monday May 22, 2017 and will provide an overview of the FHWA Geotechnical program, technical assistance projects, and FHWA geotechnical research. Registration is now open (no cost) but please RSVP so we have a headcount.

FHWA Geotechnical Program

2017 Hennes Lecture at University of Washington

The GIGGS group at the University of would like to invite everyone to join them at their annual Hennes Lecture.  It is being held on Friday May 26th from 4pm-7pm on the UW campus. The presentation will be given my Jonathan Stewart, Chair of Civil Engineering at UCLA.

Friday, May 26
Presentation: 4:00 – 5:00
Reception: 5:00 – 7:00 (snacks provided, and drinks available for purchase)
The lecture is on the UW campus, in the Husky Union Building (HUB) Room 145
The event is free to attend and RSVP is not needed.
Contact: Shane Joseph Markus

Site response uncertainty and its implications for seismic risk characterization

Along with source and path effects, site response analysis is a vital component of earthquake ground motion characterization. Ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs) include terms for modeling site response that are based on simple metrics of site condition, such as the time-average shear wave velocity in the upper 30 m (VS30). Because site terms in GMPEs are derived from global databases, and are based on incomplete information on site conditions, their predictions represent average levels of site response conditional on VS30. Such predictions are referred to as ergodic.

Actual site response at a given site is likely to differ from this global average. Viewed in this context, the actual site response for a particular site and intensity measure is the sum in log units of the ergodic estimate from a global model and a (generally unknown) site term (denoted hS). If the level of site-specific error (hS) can be identified and used to adjust the ergodic model, the ground motion analysis is more accurate (i.e., bias is removed) and the dispersion of the predicted ground motions is reduced. Therefore, site-specific evaluations of site response are useful and will often reduce mean hazard levels at long return periods (due to dispersion reduction), although uncertainty in the site response is considered in an epistemic manner.

Important questions pertaining to this process include how should these evaluations be performed, how reliable are the resulting site response estimates, and how can the results be used in a probabilistically rigorous manner as required for hazard- or risk-based applications?

With this in mind, the presentation will cover:

  1. The physical processes responsible for site effects;
  2. The manner by which these processes are (or are not) reflected in relatively generic site factors used in GMPEs and in building codes;
  3. Effectiveness of site-specific geotechnical ground response analyses to estimate site effects;
  4. Recommended procedures for evaluating site-specific site response and its implementation in hazard/risk characterization for critical facilities.


2017 Stanley D. Wilson Memorial Lecture

Shannon & Wilson, Inc. and the University of Washington’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are pleased to present the 2017 Stanley D. Wilson Memorial Lecture. Steve Kramer will discuss “Time and Soil Liquefaction” on Thursday, March 23 at 5:30 in Room 389 of Mary Gates Hall on the University of Washington Campus. Please R.S.V.P. by March 16th at or (206) 695-6743. The event is free to the public.

2017 Wilson Lecture Postcard


Groundhog Newsletter

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning so apparently we are in for 6 more weeks of winter, if it stays as clear and gorgeous as today was in Seattle, I’m not sure that is anything to complain about.  Here is some light reading to occupy your time during this winter season.  We are pleased to present out 2017 Groundhog! Happy Reading!



Groundhog Submissions

Don’t forget the deadline for submission for the groundhog was yesterday, hopefully you all sent it in, however if it is still sitting in your outbox please send it to Alex ASAP! Thanks

It’s that time of the year again to begin thinking about the Groundhog! For those that don’t know, this is a publication that the ASCE Seattle Geotechnical Group puts together every February 2 (Groundhog Day).  It contains project and staff news from the previous year from all the geotechnical organizations (e.g. municipalities), geotechnical consulting and construction firms in the area. Alex has provided a pdf (Groundhog Announcement)with the deadline and requirements for this year’s submission and also summarize the key points below:

Deadline for submission: January 17, 2017 (Tuesday) Maximum length: 400 words
Format: MS Word file
Advertisements: Formatted as jpeg, details in attachment
Respond to:

 Thank you all in advance for getting your submissions in on time.


RRNW Film Event: Stories of Our Watersheds, October 12

RRNW Film Event:  Stories of Our Watersheds, October 12

River Restoration Northwest (RRNW) is excited to announce that we will be hosting a screening of our third annual ‘Stories of Our Watersheds’ film event on October 12, 2016 in Seattle.  This film screening will be held at the Columbia City Theater and feature a series of short films that celebrates our watersheds and the understanding that everyone lives in a watershed. The intent of this year’s event is to create a gathering where we share stories about the different ways we experience, sustain and celebrate our river systems.

When: October 12, 2016, doors open 6:30 PM, films start at 7:30 PM

Where: Columbia City Theater,  4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118,  (206) 722-3009

Who: This is a public (age 21+) event! If you’re interested in engaging a unique group of designers, planners, artists, and scientists around the topic of healthy watersheds, this is the place for you…and bring your friends!

Food/Drink: There will be a cash bar. However, no food is available at the venue but, there are several excellent restaurants nearby such as Tutta Bella and the Columbia City Ale House.

The 13 selected films for 2016 represent a wide range of river systems from the Pacific Northwest to the Middle East. Selected films share stories from a variety of conservation organizations, tribes, watershed councils, agencies and filmmakers. Explore the selected films on our website here. Follow us on Facebook for more up to date information on this event and much more!

 Purchase your advance tickets at the Columbia City Theater Website, for more information visit the Facebook event page.