Susan Dowty appointed to Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction
Susan M. Dowty, P.E., S.E., regional manager in the Government Relations department of the International Code Council, has been appointed to serve a three-year term on the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction (ACEHR) and will help play a vital role in the committee’s process. The committee assesses trends and developments in the science and engineering of earthquake hazards reduction; the effectiveness of NEHRP in carrying out its statutory activities; any need to revise NEHRP; and the management, coordination, implementation and activities of NEHRP.
“This is a significant achievement for Susan and is another example of how the Code Council’s talented staff is dedicated to serving our members, stakeholders and the industry,” said International Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “With Susan’s leadership and guidance, we look forward to working with NEHRP to improve seismic safety in the built environment to better protect citizens and their communities.”
Dowty brings 35 years of experience in the development, application and interpretation of building code provisions to the committee. In her work for the Code Council, she works in collaboration with association chapters, members, stakeholders and all parties interested in advancing the mission of the Code Council to support the adoption and use of the highest quality codes, standards, products and services for the safety and performance of the built environment. She also provides support to code officials, design professionals and the academic community on the implementation and use of the International Codes.
Prior to her current position at the Code Council, Dowty led an accomplished career within the public, private and non-profit sectors as a staff engineer for the Code Council’s legacy organization — the International Conference of Building Officials — and as a vice president for S.K. Ghosh Associates, a seismic and building code consulting firm. Her detailed work and strong experience in the administration, development and interpretation of building code provisions led to an appointment by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Building Standards Commission from 2006 to 2010.
Over the course of her career, she played an active role in the development of structural provisions for the International Building Code, where she served as the Structural Committee Secretariat. She also has been involved in the development and delivery of training programs for code officials on structural provisions in building codes, as well as the development of a number of structural engineering publications. She served as the consultant for the reformat of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ ASCE 7-05 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.
She has been a member of the Seismic Code Support Committee [previously named Code Resource Support Committee] since 2009 and was a member of the Building Seismic Safety Council’s Technical Subcommittee 8 (Nonstructural Components and Nonbuilding Structures) Committee from 2006 to 2009, where she also served on the board of direction 2016 to 2018. She is also a member of the Structural Engineers Association of California and previously served on its board of directors.
The U.S. Congress created NEHRP in 1977 and charged it with the responsibility of reducing the loss of life and property caused by earthquake damage. While NEHRP is periodically reviewed and reauthorized (the most recent authorization was in 2018), the program’s four goals — developing effective practices and policies for earthquake loss reduction and accelerate their implementation; improving techniques for reducing earthquake vulnerabilities of facilities and systems; improving earthquake hazards identification and risk assessment methods, and their use; and improving the understanding of earthquakes and their effects — have remained unchanged.