The COSMOS/EERI/SSA Bruce Bolt Medal


Bruce Alan Bolt (1930-2005) was a pioneer at the intersection of earthquake science and earthquake engineering. His many roles included founding president of the Consortium of Organizations for Strong Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS), president of the Seismological Society of America (SSA), president of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior, and Chair of the California Seismic Safety Commission.

The Bruce Bolt Medal honors the legacy of Professor Bolt. It is awarded jointly by COSMOS, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and SSA to recognize individuals worldwide who work at the intersection of seismology and earthquake engineering, whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of earthquake measurements, and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety. The annual award is presented at the annual meeting of the recipient’s choice among the three sponsoring organizations.

Nomination Process
COSMOS, EERI and SSA members are encouraged to nominate a colleague or peer for this prestigious honor. Complete nomination packages should be submitted using this form:

The deadline to submit nominations for the 2022 Bruce Bolt Medal is June 30, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered by the Joint Selection Committee.

Nomination Materials
A complete nomination package must include the following:

  1. A nomination letter, written and submitted by the chief nominator. It should be no longer than two pages and must address the ways in which the candidate meets all three of the selection criteria provided below.
  2. A Curriculum Vitae for the nominee or a substantial summary of the professional history of the candidate, including employment, significant publications, honors, activities and accomplishments relevant to the Bolt Medal criteria.
  3. The current contact information for the candidate.
  4. The nomination must be endorsed by three additional individuals, either by adding their signature to the nominating letter or by providing an additional individual letter of support. Such individual letters should include a personal perspective on the nominee and their sustained impact on the field.
  5. A signed nominator disclosure form signed by the chief nominator. Click here to download this form.

Please note, the nomination form requires a google account to submit. If you do not have a google account, you can submit your materials by sending them in an email to

Selection Criteria
In the spirit of Bruce Bolt’s contribution to the science, the chosen recipient must meet all of the below three (3) criteria:

  1. Promotion of strong-motion instrumentation or advancing strong-motion data processing or publicly-available data utilization;
  2. Technical contributions in earthquake engineering or engineering seismology; and
  3. Leadership in the transfer of knowledge into practice or policy that has led to improved seismic safety.

Nominations will be reviewed in confidence by a six-person Joint Selection Committee formed by two representatives from each of the three sponsoring organizations. The recommended nominee will be considered in confidence by each organization’s Board of Directors for their approval and joint selection of the medalist.

Any questions regarding this award should be sent to


Bruce Bolt Medalists

2019 Recipient

Yousef Bozorgnia

The Consortium of Strong Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS), Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and SSA have selected Yousef Bozorgnia as the 2019 recipient of the Bruce Bolt Medal. Bozorgnia, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in both the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the John … Continue Reading »

2018 Recipient

Jonathan P. Stewart

Jonathan P. Stewart, professor and chair of the civil and environmental engineering department at University of California, Los Angeles, was chosen as the 2018 recipient of the Bruce A. Bolt Medal, which is awarded jointly by the Seismological Society of America (SSA), the Consortium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems … Continue Reading »

2017 Recipient

Farzad Naeim

Farzad Naeim (M. EERI, 1983), President of Farzad Naeim, Inc. and Adjunct Professor of Engineering at University of California, Irvine, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Bruce A. Bolt Medal. The Bruce Bolt Medal is awarded jointly by the Consortium of Strong Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS), the Seismological Society of America (SSA), and … Continue Reading »

2016 Recipient

Roger D. Borcherdt

Dr. Borcherdt’s career is marked with “exceptional scientific contributions in the fields of seismology and engineering seismology, extraordinarily broad in scope” as noted on the Presidential Distinguished Service Award he received in 2010 as the highest honor of the U.S. Department of Interior. His contributions, evident in 200 publications, include … Continue Reading »

2015 Recipient

John Anderson

One of John Anderson’s first publications in 1979 estimated the earthquake recurrence rate on a fault by incorporating how much a fault slips each year, a novel approach to examining seismicity that foreshadowed the impact of his research on seismic hazard assessment. Anderson, a professor of geophysics at the University … Continue Reading »

2014 Recipient

Anthony F. Shakal

Dr. Shakal has been associated with the California Geological Survey’s Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (SMIP) for the past 32 years, and has successfully grown and led the Program for the past 27 years. Under Dr. Shakal’s direct supervision and innovative management, the SMIP operates the largest and most advanced strong–motion … Continue Reading »

2013 Recipient

Mustafa Erdik

Mustafa Erdik’s career has been marked by inspiring leadership guiding ambitious Turkish and international programs; distinguished research discoveries highly cited by researchers; practical seismic hazards software that is prized among practitioners; and stellar success in bringing high-quality ground and building instrumentation networks to his nation. Erdik is recognized by engineers … Continue Reading »

2012 Recipient

Norman A. Abrahamson

Professor Bruce Bolt was recognized in his time by earthquake engineers and seismologists worldwide as the expert in engineering seismology. His PhD student, Dr. Norman Abrahamson, is now advancing the leading edge of the field and is arguably the world’s foremost authority on engineering seismology. Following his PhD in 1985, … Continue Reading »

2011 Recipient

Kojiro Irikura

Kojiro Irikura has made an enormous contribution to the analysis and sharing of strong-motion earthquake data throughout his career in Japan. During his career at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute of Kyoto University, Irikura, authored nearly 200 publications, supervised more than 30 students in advanced degrees and became a fixture … Continue Reading »

2010 Recipient

David Boore

Boore, a geophysicist with the United State Geological Survey, developed SMSIM, a well-known method for computing estimates of ground motion from simulated earthquakes that is used by engineers and designers. With more than 230 publications during his career, Boore’s work has advanced the understanding of strong-motion seismology. Focusing primarily on … Continue Reading »

2009 Recipient

Wilfred D. (Bill) Iwan

Iwan is honored for his many accomplishments in advancing earthquake strong-motion monitoring networks and instrumentation in the US and internationally, his research accomplishments in earthquake engineering and engineering seismology, and his effective leadership roles in professional organizations to further the acquisition and application of strong-motion data. Notable among these activities … Continue Reading »