CUREE Organization

CUREE Past Presidents

Over the course of its 28 year history, CUREE had the honor of having many distinguished figures in the field of Earthquake Engineering research serve in the role as president of the organization. Professor Wilfred Iwan of the California Institute of Technology, who was instrumental in the founding of the organization when it began as the California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering, was the first to serve in this role.

Iwan photo Wilfred Iwan - Caltech (1988-1991)

Wilfred Iwan, a professor emeritus of applied mechanics at the California Institute of Technology, and director of Caltech's Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory was the 2002 recipient of the Alquist Medal by the California Earthquake Safety Foundation for "his lifetime of service to the profession of structural engineering and its application to the safety of the people of California and the world".

Professor Iwan, a Caltech alumnus, has been a member of the faculty since 1964. His research interests include the theory of vibrations, modeling of structural systems, the earthquake response of structures as well as nonstructural components such as piping, and offshore engineering for better seismic design.

In addition, Professor Iwan has been involved in the development of national and international strategies for the deployment of strong-motion earthquake instruments, including real-time monitoring and early-warning systems. He introduced the concept of "drift demand spectrum" as a means of measuring the damage potential of strong earthquake ground motions, and has worked toward improving both seismic instrument design and the interpretation of data.

He has been involved with the California Seismic Safety Commission in developing a comprehensive earthquake risk-reduction plan for California.

Wilfred Iwan has served on a number of commissions and boards, including the National Research Council's Board on Natural Disasters, the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention of Japan's Evaluation Panel, the U.S. Department of Energy's New Production Reactors Senior External Events Review Group, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Review Panel for Seismic Criteria for Nuclear Plant Piping Systems, and the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE), of which he is a director and founding president.

In recent years, Professor Iwan was the recipient of the ASCE Theodore Von Karman medal in recognition of his achievements in engineering mechanics. He was also awarded EERI's prestigious George W. Housner medal in recognition of his major contributions to engineering research, as well as an honorary membership into their organization in 2014.

He holds several patents, and is author or coauthor of numerous publications on earthquake engineering and seismology.


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