Keith Porter

Associate Research Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder

Keith Porter is an Associate Research Professor in Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Principal of the international consulting company SPA Risk LLC. He received degrees in civil and structural engineering from UC Davis (BS 1987), UC Berkeley (MEng 1990), and Stanford University (PhD 2000).

He is a licensed Professional Engineer and researcher specializing in seismic vulnerability and societal risk from natural disasters. He helped to develop the second generation of performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE-2), a structural engineering method to estimate seismic risk to buildings in terms dollars, deaths, and downtime. He has been involved in developing open-source catastrophe risk software, the Global Earthquake Model (GEM), the Southern California ShakeOut earthquake emergency planning scenario, the ARkStorm California winter storm planning scenario, a study of demand surge for the Willis Research Network, and a study for the US Congress that found a 4:1 benefit-cost ratio for multihazard risk mitigation. He is one of a very few academics who was once a professional catastrophe risk modeler, having worked for EQECAT in the 1990s. More information can be found at and

B.S., 1987, U.C. Davis
M.Eng., 1990, U.C. Berkeley (UC Regents Fellow)
Ph.D., 2000, Stanford University (Haresh Shah Family Fellow, ARCS Scholar)