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Chris Poland, SE, NAE

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B.S. Summa Cum Laude, Mathematics,University of Redlands, 1972

M.S. Structural EngineeringStanford University, 1974



California — Civil Engineer, 1977 License No. 27243

California — Structural Engineer, 1980

License No. 2336

Hawaii — Structural Engineer, 1983

License No. 5428



HJ Brunier Award for Excellence in Design


2006 Alfred E. Alquist Medal


2010 Structural Engineer of the Year,

The Structural Design of Special and Tall Buildings Journal


2017 EERI Housner Medal


Member, National Academy of Engineering


ACEC National Awards for Various Projects

An internationally recognized authority on earthquake engineering and champion of disaster resilience, Chris Poland's passion for vibrant, sustainable, and healthy communities drives his consulting practice. He focuses on community resilience and the buildings and systems that contribute to it. 


He is the past Chair of the Advisory Committee to the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, and past 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 multiple editions 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-chaired their Resilient City Initiative and led the publication of “The Disaster Resilient City”. He is a past President, Treasurer, and Director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Instituted and is currently co-chair of the Public Policy Committee.  He also served on the Board for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and was the founding co-chair of the San Francisco Lifelines Council with Mayor Edwin Lee from 2009 through 2014. Chris is a former Vice-Chairman of the American Council of Engineering Companies, member of the Board of Governors of the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute and was appointed to the organizing Executive Committee of the ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division.


Chris was a Community Resilience Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from 2014 to 2019 and member of the team of authors that developed a Community Resilience Planning Guide. His role is related to defining and preparing the over-arching guidance for the development of Community Disaster Resilience Plans by local communities and assisting in their implementation. That guide is the initiating document for the NIST Community Resilience Program that includes the development of Guide Briefs, analytical tools, and model guidelines for use by cities nationwide to address the natural disasters they face.


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


His structural engineering career spans over 45 years and includes hundreds of projects related to the design of new buildings, seismic analysis and strengthening of existing buildings, structural failure analysis, historic preservation, as well as the development of guidelines and standards that are used worldwide. He was a Senior Principal, Chairman and CEO of Degenkolb Engineers during his 40 years with the firm from 1974 through 2014.

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