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Chris Poland’s structural engineering career spans more than 40 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, Chris routinely participates in policy-changing research and code development projects sponsored by the NSF, USGS, NIST and FEMA. Chris is the former CEO, Chairman and Senior Principal of Degenkolb Engineers where he worked for more than 40 years. He retired from the firm and started his own firm in 2014.
As a passionate advocate and voice for seismic safety and resilient cities, he actively participates in the academic, ethical and social advancement of his field and lectures often. Among his many areas of professional service, Chris is the former Chair of the Congressionally mandated Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction for NEHRP. He is the current Chair of the Codes and Standards Activities Division (CSAD) for the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE and served as the Chair of the ASCE-SEI Standards Committee on Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Structures during the standardization of ASCE 31-03, 41-06 and 41-13. He is also currently chair of the VA Structural Safety Advisory Committee.
Chris is an active advocate for earthquake resilience in his community. He is a former member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, member of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has been the leading force behind development of the SPUR Resilient City Initiative for the City and County of San Francisco and is the Co-Chair of the San Francisco Lifelines Council.
SEI Fellow Since 2012