George W. Housner Student Discovery Fund

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Courtesy of the Archives, California Institute of Technology


George W. Housner


George W. Housner is the C. F. Braun Professor Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology.  He is one of the pioneers of earthquake engineering, and his research has revealed the characteristics of destructive ground shaking and has improved seismic design methods for many types of structures.  He has chaired the Consulting Board for Earthquake Problems of the California Department of Water Resources, the Caltrans Seismic Advisory Board, and the Governorís Board of Inquiry on the Loma Prieta Earthquake.  Engineering projects on which Professor Housner has consulted include the California Water Project, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit System, the trans-Arabian pipeline, as well as numerous dams, buildings, nuclear facilities, ports and off-shore oil platforms.


Professor Housnerís contributions to earthquake engineering have been recognized by his election to both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.  He has served the Academies in many capacities, including as chairman of committees on earthquake engineering research, the International Decade of Natural Hazard Reduction, and the investigation into the 1964 Alaskan earthquake.  In 1978, he led a delegation of earthquake engineers to the Peopleís Republic of China as a follow-up to President Nixonís historic trip there six years earlier.  Professor Housner has been awarded the National Medal of Science, the National Academy of Engineeringís Founders Award, and the California Earthquake Safety Foundationís Alquist Award, and he holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California.