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George Housner (1910-2008)

The California Institute of Technology has issued the news that Professor Emeritus George W. Housner died yesterday, November 10, 2008. Professor Housner (1910-2008) was 98 years old, and his important contributions to the field of earthquake engineering spanned from the late 1930s to the present decade. The announcement issued today by Caltech follows, and we will forward any further information as it becomes available. Biographical and related information on Professor Housner is posted on CUREE’s website.

“Dr. Housner joined Caltech's faculty in 1945, after earning his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Caltech. During World War II, he served in Army operations analysis in North Africa and Italy, and received the U.S. War Department's Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 1945.

“Dr. Housner was named Braun Professor of Engineering in 1974, and Braun Professor Emeritus in 1981. He served as a consultant on several of the earliest skyscrapers built in Los Angeles and in 1986 was named a consultant on the construction of Metro Rail in Los Angeles. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Housner's contributions and his stature as an individual earned him many awards, including the major awards in civil engineering and seismology. In 1988 he was awarded the National Medal of Science for "his profound and decisive influence on the development of earthquake engineering worldwide." Few individuals have influenced their field of activity to the extent that George Housner developed, molded, and led earthquake engineering.”


Caltech Memorial Event for George Housner April 18, 2009

The California Institute of Technology has announced it will commmemorate the life and career of the late Professor George Housner on April 18, 2009, from 1:30 pm to 4 pm at the Athenaeum on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, California. So that Caltech can plan arrangements for the event, if you will be attending please RSVP to Carolina Oseguera at (

Further information will be provided when available.


The Caltech Oral Histories Online Series archives its 1989 George Housner interview at:

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute published an oral history volume on George Housner in 1997. Information is available at:

The American Society of Civil Engineers published Selected Earthquake Engineering Papers of George W. Housner in 1990. Information is available at:

The CUREE Symposium in Honor of George Housner
October 27-28, 1995
Pasadena, California

Dr. George Housner

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Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering
last updated 02.10.09