Career Began
Chris Poland
Chris Poland
Contributions to Structural Engineering History in Northern California

Chris Poland’s structural engineering career spans over 44 years and includes a wide variety of new design work, seismic analysis and strengthening of existing buildings, structural failure analysis, and historic preservation. As an internationally recognized authority on earthquake engineering and a passionate seismic safety advocate, Poland has held numerous local and national leadership positions including past Chair of the Advisory Committee to the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, and Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Structural Safety of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities. As Chair of the 100th Anniversary Earthquake Conference in San Francisco in April 2006, he shared the stage with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senator Dianne Feinstein in an internationally covered event that brought the nation to think proactively about earthquake danger. He served as the Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings Standards Committee completing both ASCE 31 and ASCE 41, standards for the evaluation and rehabilitation of existing buildings that are used worldwide. He served on the Board of Directors for SPUR, co-chairs their Resilient City Initiative and lead the publication of “The Disaster Resilient City”. Poland also served on the Board for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and was the co-chair the San Francisco Lifelines Council with City Administrator Naomi Kelly. .

Chris was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2009, is a Fellow of the American Council of Engineering Companies and the American Society of Civil Engineers Structural Engineering Institute. He is an Honorary member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the Structural Engineers Association of California

Awards & Accomplishments
  • HJ Brunier Award for Excellence in Design
  • 2006 Alfred E. Alquiest Medal
  • Chairman, Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction. A congressional oversight committeee assigned to watch the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program and provide recommendations to NIST, USGS, FEMA, and NSF.
  • Chairman, Seismic Rehabilitation Standards Committee, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Responsible for the standardization and maintenance of ASCE 31 and 41. ASCE Standards Committee on Seismic Rehabilitation, 1999-Current;
  • Infrastructure Research Policy Committee, 2008-2010;
  • Executive Committee;Chairman, Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Structural Safety, Washington, DC, 2003-Current. A congressional oversite commitee that advises the Secretary of Veteran Affairs. Committee on Structural Safety, 2003-Current;
  • Board of Directors, San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR). Chairman, SPUR Association’s Seismic Hazard Mitigation Taskforce. A newly formed committee that is setting seismic mitigation goals that will allow San Francisco to become a "Resilient City" that is able to recover from major earthquakes. Seismic Mitigation Committee,
  • Past Chair, Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE), 2008-2009; Executive Committee;
  • 2007-2009; Seismic Safety Committee
  • San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors; Executive Committee; Public Policy Committee;
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), President, 2001-2002; Public Policy Committee; Honorary Member, 1995;
  • 2010 National Academy of Engineering;
  • Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), Fellow;
  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), College of Fellows, 2003; Honorary Member, 2009;
  • Past Chair, Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE), 2008-2009; Executive Committee;
  • 2007-2010 CAPSS (Community Action Plan for Public Safety), SPUR Representative;
  • California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP) Advisory Committee, 2002-2009; Building Subcommittee,
  • 1983-2009; Applied Technology Council/Structural Engineering Institute (ATC/SEI), Program Committee for December 2009 Conference
  • National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Series Program (NEHR) Advisory Committee,
  • ATC (Applied Technology Council) Project Advisory Committee;
Related Engineer(s)