Friday Night Lecture April 8th - Earthquake Culture: Why We Need One

  • Portland State University Cramer Hall 1721 Southwest Broadway Portland, OR, 97201 United States

...and how you can help us get there!

Allison M Pyrch, PE, GE Associate Geotechnical Engineer

Ms. Pyrch will address seismic issues in the PacNW, where we are, where we need to be, and how we need to get there. She will touch on personal and family prep and the latest science as well. It will be a little interactive, a little brainstorming, and a call to action! 

Free parking is available at Portland State University Friday nights after 5 p.m. in Parking Structure 2 on Broadway Ave. directly across from Cramer Hall, and on level one of Parking Structure 1, bounded by Broadway and 6th Aves. and Harrison and Hall Streets. 

About Allison Pyrch

A native Portlander, Allison has been a long-term local advocate for better resilience planning in the Pacific Northwest. Resilience means planning for any disaster, but first and foremost in people’s minds is the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake and tsunami, popularly referred to as the MegaQuake. In order to learn more how other countries have weathered similar events, Allison travelled with ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering (TCLEE) to the 2010 Chile and 2011 Japan earthquake areas to study the aftermath and recovery efforts. Since then, Allison has given dozens of presentations to community partners and has worked with OPB and ASCE to promote seismic awareness here at home. She was featured prominently in the award-winning OPB documentary Unprepared, as well as the Al Jazeera program TechKnow . She was part of the team that developed the Oregon Resilience Plan and is a certified trainer for the California Emergency Management Safety Assessment Program for building evaluations after earthquakes and other disasters. The need for such planning led her to found Salus Resilience, a partnership of four local Oregon firms that offer comprehensive resilience planning which includes financial and planning services as well as her seismic expertise.

As a geotechnical engineer with more than 15 years of experience, her projects can be found all over the metro area as well as throughout Oregon and Washington, including the recent Elephant Lands exhibit at the Oregon Zoo, the Sauvie Island Bridge, several facilities at the Cascade Station development, and the Wilsonville/I-5 interchange. In 2014, Allison was recognized as American Society of Civil Engineer’s Oregon Young Engineer of the Year. As a recognized community leader on resilience issues and frequent participant in town hall meetings and expert forums, Allison has testified to the legislature on seismic resilience, and volunteers with community groups to encourage community preparedness. On top of all this, she finds time to indulge in her hobbies, such as racing in the Portland Dragon Boat Festival every year and enjoying the vast beauty of the Pacific Northwest landscape, including hiking, skiing, and PNW wines.

Allison’s presentations focus on our earthquake risks and the effects subduction zone earthquakes had on the built environment and lifelines in Chile and Japan, the damage we can here in the Pacific Northwest when a similar quake event occurs, what is being done to prepare, and what you can do to help.