Paul Somerville

William B. Joyner Memorial Lectures | 2015 Recipient

Paul Somerville is an engineering seismologist at AECOM (formerly at its predecessor organizations, URS and Woodward-Clyde) in Los Angeles. He is also Chief Geoscientist at Risk Frontiers at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He has applied physics-based modeling methods to understand the influence of earthquake source and seismic wave propagation effects on strong ground motion. These include source effects such as rupture directivity and wave propagation effects such as Moho reflections that can give rise to unexpectedly large ground motions, which he experienced “live” in the 1989 Loma Prieta, 1994 Northridge and 1995 Kobe earthquakes. He has served on the Board of Directors for both the SSA and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, as manager of the Implementation Interface at the Southern California Earthquake Center, and is currently President of the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society. He has conducted seismic hazard analyses at sites of critical facilities in many parts of the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, New Zealand and Japan as well as the Americas. He has also been involved in the estimation of earthquake risk for insurers and government agencies in the Asia-Pacific region.