Professor receives 2015 Bruce A. Bolt Medal at Seismological Society of America’s annual meeting

John Anderson recognized for work in the field of strong-motion earthquake research

Professor receives 2015 Bruce A. Bolt Medal at Seismological Society of America’s annual meeting

John Anderson recognized for work in the field of strong-motion earthquake research

University of Nevada, Reno Geophysics Professor John Anderson was presented the esteemed international Bruce A. Bolt Medal at the annual Seismological Society of America's annual meeting held April 21 - 23 in Pasadena, Calif. He received this award for his work in strong-motion earthquake research.

The Bruce Bolt Medal is co-awarded by Consortium of Organizations for Strong Motion Observation Systems, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the Seismological Society of America. The award is given in memory of Seismologist and Earthquake Hazard Expert Bruce Bolt for his pioneering work in engineering seismology during his lifetime.

This annual honor is designated to an individual from a worldwide pool of candidates whose accomplishments in the field of strong-motion earthquake data have led to improved seismic safety.

"Thank you to the Bolt Committee, and the Boards of EERI, COSMOS and SSA for considering me worthy of his honor," Anderson said during his acceptance speech. "Its quite an honor to be ranked in the same category as the previous winners of this award, whose achievements are truly impressive."

Anderson, a professor in the College of Science, has focused on ground-motion data of major earthquakes during his 27-year tenure at the University and served as the director of the Nevada Seismological Lab from 1998 to 2009. He is the current chair for the National Steering Committee for National Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment in support of the U.S. Geological Survey National Seismic Hazard Maps. He has been a member of the Nevada Earthquake Safety Council and various national committees.
 
"This is a national distinction that honors John's fantastic career, it's well-deserved," Jeff Thompson, dean of the College of Science said. "We're all very proud of him, his quality of work and the recognition he has brought to the College and our seismology lab. He's a humble guy and a great faculty member."

He has also been instrumental in earthquake engineering graduate education and has contributed to many graduate and doctoral committees for the University's civil and environmental engineering students.

"This is a very well-deserved award for Anderson's numerous high-impact contributions to the field," College of Engineering Dean Manos Maragakis said. "I too, am very proud of his accomplishments."

Anderson was nominated for the award by his colleague Ahmad Itani, chair of the civil and environmental engineering department.

"I most highly recommended Anderson for his contributions to the promotion of strong-motion instrumentation and his leadership in the transfer of the knowledge to practice," Itani said. "On behalf of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Group I would like to congratulate him on this prestigious award."

Nominees for the honor are chosen based on their achievements and contributions of three criteria. The first is the promotion of strong-motion instrumentation or advancing strong-motion data processing or data utilization, the second is Technical contributions in seismic engineering and the third is the leadership in the transfer of knowledge into private or policy that has led to improved seismic.

Anderson contributed to the installation of strong motion networks in the Eastern United States during his work as a graduate student, he contributed to temporary installations in the Imperial Valley and Mammoth Lakes area after the 1979 and 1980 earthquakes, he also worked on the installation of strong motion networks on the Pacific coast of Mexico, Turkey and in Los Angeles. He also advocated for a zone of increased activity in the Nevada region that boosted the hazard of Reno above that of the Central Nevada Seismic Zone.

According to Anderson, the award speaks not only to his work in the field of strong-motion earthquake research but also the work of his colleagues.

"This award isn't just about me," Anderson said. "I received this award because I've had the chance to interact with a lot of other very talented people, both here at the University, around the country and around the world."

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