About Us

Charles Scawthorn, SE, D.Eng.

Academic background: Professor, Kyoto University (ret); D.Eng., Kyoto University, Japan; M.S.C.E., Lehigh University, PA; Bach. Engineering, The Cooper Union, NY.

Charles Scawthorn has 35 years of experience assessing risk and developing integrated mitigation programs for natural and technological hazards worldwide. Clients include FEMA, OES, the World Bank, Global 1000 corporations and insurance companies.

From 1998 to 2003 he led technical development of the US national Flood Loss Estimation Model (HAZUS) for FEMA, and is widely recognized for the development of methods for rapid risk analysis of buildings (FEMA 154), seismic vulnerability assessment of US national infrastructure (FEMA 224), stochastic models of fires following earthquakes, models for optimizing urban land use with respect to natural hazards risk, general loss estimation models for earthquake, wind and flood, and seismically reinforcing low-strength masonry buildings.
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Keith Porter PE PhD

Keith Porter, PE, PhD

Dr. Porter is a professional engineer, principal of the Denver applied research firm SPA Risk, and adjoint professor at University of Colorado Boulder. He helps nations, communities, and corporations improve their disaster
resilience. He led the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves studies for FEMA and others that found that disaster mitigation avoids up to $13 in losses per $1 of cost. He led the USGS’ engineering research on four groundbreaking disaster planning scenarios: ShakeOut, ARkStorm, Tsunami, and HayWired. He led the safety assessment of San Francisco’s soft-story residential buildings for the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS).



These projects make a difference. Thanks to ShakeOut, 1% of the world’s population annually prepares for earthquakes. LADWP is making its water transmission and distribution system far more resilient. And much of Los Angeles’ critical infrastructure and most dangerous buildings are being improved. Partly because of HayWired, water districts are better addressing risk from brittle pipe. California is considering code improvements that will make its new buildings substantially stronger, stiffer, and more likely to be functional immediately after an earthquake. Colorado is increasing its corps of trained post-disaster building safety evaluators. And thanks to CAPSS, 2,000 vulnerable woodframe buildings in San Francisco are being strengthened against an inevitable future earthquake. His doctoral research led the way for FEMA’s revolutionary performance-based seismic design guideline FEMA P-58, which has become the engineering profession’s new paradigm for performance-based engineering.

Dr. Porter continues to contribute to the engineering profession and to engineering scholarship. He is a fellow of the Structural Engineering Institute and of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He has written or co-authored 225 scholarly and professional works on natural-hazard risk management. He holds engineering degrees from UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and Stanford. Clients include FEMA, OES, USGS, SCEC, CEA, Global 1000 corporations and insurance companies.

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