L.A.-Based Iranian Seismologist Bozorgnia Wins Prestigious Bruce Bolt Medal

The Iranian seismologist Yousef Bozorgnia has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Bruce Bolt Medal by the Consortium of Strong-Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS), the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the Seismological Society of America (SSA.) He will accept the Bolt Medal at EERI’s Annual Meeting in March in Vancouver, Canada.

Professor Bozorgnia is a member of the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles in both the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the John Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences. He has received the Bolt Medal for his extensive contribution to earthquake ground motion models, seismic hazard analysis and structural earthquake engineering.

Mr. Bozorgnia is a graduate of Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology (formerly known as the Aryamehr University of Technology.) He later received his Ph.D. and the Masters of Science from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2004, he and Vitelmo V. Bertero co-authored “From Engineering Seismology to Performance-Based Engineering.” Bozorgnia is also the associate editor of Earthquake Spectra and the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Yousef Bozorgnia. Source: Kayhan London

“It is indeed a great honor to receive the Bolt Medal,” Bozorgnia said. “Bruce Bolt was a role model to me, and that makes this Medal even more special. I sincerely thank COSMOS, EERI, and SSA for this award.”

Bruce Alan Bolt (1930 –2005) was an Australian-American seismologist and a professor of earth and planetary science at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Bolt was known as a pioneer of engineering seismology. In 2006, the EERI jointly with the SSA established an award in his name.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran tops the list of countries losing their academic elite (brain drain), with an annual loss of 150,000 to 180,000 specialists,” a report released in 2009 by the International Monetary Fund said.

The number has steadily increased since the aftermath of the presidential elections in 2009 in which the Islamic Republic’s security forces brutally crushed massive protests by university students and supporters of the pro-democracy Green Movement. Many young minds leave Iran to pursue their higher education and professional interests at Western universities and scientific institutions.

Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi