William B. Joyner Memorial Lectures

The new Oakland Bay Bridge, against the old, decommissioned one.

The William B. Joyner Memorial Lecture series was established by SSA in cooperation with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) to honor Bill Joyner’s distinguished career at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and his abiding commitment to the exchange of information at the interface of earthquake science and earthquake engineering. Joyner Lecturers are chosen on the basis of their work at this interface, whether it involves contributions from earthquake science to earthquake engineering, or from earthquake engineering to earthquake science. The lectures are supported by donations to the William B. Joyner Memorial Fund.

Presented at the Annual Meetings of the SSA and EERI, as well as at locations of the lecturer’s choosing, the lectures bring scientists and engineers together in an effort to make our world a safer one–just as Joyner himself did so brilliantly.

Watch the 2023 Joyner Lecture by Jack Baker.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations can be made by any member of EERI or SSA. The chosen recipient of this award, inspired by William B. Joyner’s dedication to information exchange at the junction of earthquake science and earthquake engineering, must satisfy the following criteria: firstly, they should be a member of either the Seismological Society of America (SSA) or the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). Secondly, they must have demonstrated a strong professional commitment to facilitating the exchange of information between earthquake science and earthquake engineering. Lastly, their professional history should showcase noteworthy contributions either from earthquake science to earthquake engineering or vice versa, demonstrating a substantial impact on strengthening the interface between these two fields.

The Joyner Lecturer is selected by the Joyner Committee each year. EERI and SSA waive meeting registration fees for the Joyner Lecturer and provide travel funds to attend the Annual Meeting of each organization. For more information about the rules regarding this award, read our Honors Program Guide.

The Joyner Committee is chaired by Domniki Asimaki and includes Silvia Mazzoni, Jonathan Stewart, Robert Graves, Ricardo Taborda and David Wald.

Nomination Materials

  1. A nomination letter of no more than two pages. The letter must clearly document the nominee’s accomplishments that foster and enhance the earthquake-science/earthquake- engineering interface and explain why these accomplishments have made a positive impact on the state of knowledge and practice in earthquake engineering and seismology. This letter must be endorsed by three additional persons, either by adding their signature to the nominating letter or by providing additional individual letters of support (also no more than two pages each, and no more than three in total). These additional persons or signatories do not need to be SSA or EERI members.
  2. Either a Curriculum Vitae for the nominee or a substantial summary of the professional history of the candidate. This may include honors, awards, professional affiliations, lectures and publications, and professional service and experience that address the intent of the Joyner Lecture Award.
  3. Additionally, the chief nominator must complete and submit this online ethics disclosure form for every nominee. The nomination is not considered final/received until the form is completed. Click here to complete the Ethics Disclosure Form for Nominators.

The annual deadline for Joyner nominations is 30 June 2024.   Please submit the application to awards@seismosoc.org.

About William B. Joyner

Geophysicist Bill Joyner in front of seismographic recording equipment at the USGS’s laboratory at Menlo Park, California.

William (“Bill”) B. Joyner (1929-2001) grew up in Nebraska, and received his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. He joined the Regional Geophysics Branch of the USGS as a geophysicist in 1964, working on computer analysis of gravity and magnetic data. From 1967 to 1970 Joyner was assigned to the national headquarters of the USGS as the staff geophysicist for the Office of Earthquake Research (1967-1969) and the Office of Geochemistry and Geophysics (1969-1970). While serving in Washington he wrote a substantial part of the “Proposal for a Ten-Year National Earthquake Hazards Program,” which was important in initiating the highly regarded USGS program in earthquake hazard reduction. In 1970 he stepped down from administrative duties and became a project scientist in the Western Region Headquarters of the USGS, where he concentrated his research on the prediction of earthquake ground motion for engineering design. He made many fundamental contributions to that field, including developing numerical methods for calculating nonlinear soil response in one and two dimensions, deriving what became the industry-standard equations for predicting strong ground motion from earthquakes, and, most recently, describing the essential features of surface-wave generation and propagation in deep sedimentary basins. From 1999 until shortly before his death, he directed the USGS National Strong-Motion Program. Joyner was particularly effective at bridging the gap between seismologists and engineers, serving on numerous code-writing committees for the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California and the Building Seismic Safety Council. In recognition of his contributions and service, he was awarded the Department of the Interior’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, in 2000. His technical contributions, wisdom and humor are missed by his many friends and former colleagues in the SSA community.

2024 Joyner Lecturer

Helen Crowley speaking at podium

Helen Crowley‘s research contributions at the interface between earthquake engineering and seismology were acknowledged early on in her career, after she won the 2009 European Geosciences Union Plinius Medal for “outstanding contributions … in the neighbouring fields of structural engineering and engineering seismology.” Her research has touched on many topics related to seismic risk mitigation, from the definition of seismic actions for earthquake loss models and seismic design codes, to the development of regional exposure and vulnerability models for the built environment.

She has collaborated closely with both the engineering seismology and earthquake engineering communities in Europe, as a member of the European Plate Observing System (EPOS) Seismology Consortium, and as the coordinator of the development of the first open European Seismic Risk Model (ESRM20).

In her nomination and support for the award, Crowley’s colleagues noted her remarkable track record in collaborating with large teams and working with seismologists and geotechnical engineers to produce novel and effective risk assessment and risk mitigation solutions.