A Brief History of

the United States - China Earthquake Engineering Foundation

Wilfred, D. Iwan, Secretary/Treasurer


The United States - China Earthquake Engineering Foundation was established in 2002 as a memorial to Professor Liu Hui-Xian who was the founding Director of the Institute of Engineering Mechanics in Harbin, China and is widely considered to be the father of earthquake engineering in China.       

 


The Foundation is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation that operates as a charitable organization according to Bylaws approved by the Secretary of State of California. The Foundation has no general membership but is managed by a Board of Directors. The offices of the Foundation are at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.


The purpose of the Foundation is to encourage and support research and education in earthquake engineering and related fields, and the application of research results to reduce life loss and property damage from earthquakes. This purpose is accomplished through cooperative efforts between members of the earthquake engineering communities in the United States and China. To this end, the Foundation is authorized to engage in such activities as:
(1) Encouraging and facilitating cooperation in research, education, and applications in earthquake engineering and related fields between the United States and China.
(2) Soliciting funds to support research and education in earthquake engineering and related fields, and the application of research results.
(3) Awarding grants and other forms of support for research, educational, and applications purposes.
(4) Conducting workshops, conferences, and seminars designed to encourage, facilitate, and focus research, education and applications in earthquake engineering and related fields.
(5) Undertaking research, educational, and applications projects for the public benefit.


The activities of the Foundation are overseen by a Board of Directors consisting of seven members. The founding President of the Foundation was Professor George Housner of the California Institute of Technology. The current President of the Foundation is Professor Joseph Penzien. In addition to Professor Penzien, the current members of the Board of Directors are: Sheldon Cherry, Weimin Dong, Wilfred Iwan (Secretary/Treasurer), George Lee, Shih-Chi Liu, and Billie Spencer Jr.


The United States - China Earthquake Engineering Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Huixian Earthquake Engineering Foundation of China in August of 2002. In that agreement, the two Foundations pledged to work together toward the goal of reducing life loss and property damage in earthquakes. In May of 2008, a further agreement was signed between the two Foundations pledging to provide mutual support for the Fourteenth World Conference of Earthquake Engineering (14WCEE) which was held later that year in Beijing. The supportive relationship between the two Foundations is a vital part of the efforts of each Foundation.


The United States - China Earthquake Engineering Foundation looks forward to maintaining strong ties with its counterparts in China as together we seek to find ways to provide greater protection to our representative populations in earthquakes.

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