Kerry SIEH

Kerry Sieh studies the geological record to understand the geometries of active faults, the earthquakes they generate, and the crustal deformation their movements produce. His early work studying geological layers and landforms along the San Andreas fault led to the discovery of how often and how regularly it produces large earthquakes in southern California. A few years ago, he investigated Taiwan's multitude of active faults and figured out how their earthquakes are continuously creating that mountainous island. Currently, he and his colleagues are studying the active faults Myanmar and the surrounding region.

One of Sieh’s long-standing research interests is the subduction megathrust that has been producing great earthquakes offshore Sumatra throughout the past decade. His and his students' and colleagues' paleoseismic work has led to an understanding of the repeating nature of such earthquakes. He also instigated the creation of the Sumatran GPS Array, a network of continuously recording GPS stations, to record deformations during and in between large earthquakes.

  • 1977 PhD (Geology), Stanford University, “Late Holocene Displacement History along the South-Central Reach of the San Andreas Fault"
  • 1972 A.B. with highest honors (Geology), University of California, Riverside
Professional Experience:
  • 2012-present AXA-Nanyang Chair in Natural Hazards
  • 2008-2019 Director, Earth Observatory of Singapore
  • 2008-2019 Professor, Nanyang Technological University
  • 2003-2009 Robert P. Sharp Professor of Geology, Caltech
  • 1977-2009 Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Caltech
Professional Activities:
  • Singapore:
    • Member, Local Evaluation Panel (LEP) for Singapore NRF Fellowship Award (June 2012–May 2014)
    • Member, International Scientific Advisory Panel (ISAP), Centre for Climate Research 
    • Singapore (CCRS) (1 October 2011-September 2013)
    • Member, Committee on Sustainable Earth, NTU (21 Dec 2009-present)
  • International:
    • Member, Advisory Panel, Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (2000-2013)
    • Member, Assessment Committee, Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University,Taiwan (2004)
  • Caltech:
    • Chair, Division GIS Committee (1996-2000; 2005-2008)
    • Member, Geology Search Committee (1998- 2005)
    • Chair, Division Visiting Professor Committee (2003-2004)
    • Division Post-doctoral Fellowship Committees (1995-2003)
    • Caltech Faculty Board, (2000-2001)
  • U.S. National:
    • Member, U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (2000-2003)
    • Member, Committee on the Science of Earthquakes, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences (1996-1998)
    • Testimony before U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Basic Research, Committee on Science (April 24, 1997)
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science
    • Fellow, American Geophysical Union
    • Fellow, Geological Society of America
    • Seismological Society of America
    • National Academy of Sciences
Honours and Awards:
  • 2017 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • 2014 Harry Fielding Reid Medal, Seismological Society of America 

  • 2012 Best Paper Award, Geological Society of America, Structural Geology Divison (for Yule and Sieh, 2003)
  • 2006 National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals GLBT Scientist Award
  • 2001 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union
  • 1999 Member of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 1998 Outreach Award for Knowledge Transfer, Southern California Earthquake Center
  • 1997 Commendation for Public Service, City of West Hollywood
  • 1996 Fellow of the Geological Society of America
  • 1988 Honoree, Los Angeles Times, "88 in 88": Los Angeles Times Magazine, IV, January 10, 1988, p.23.
  • 1982 National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiatives in Research, for development and application of innovative field techniques for studying active faults to identify and date paleo-earthquakes, thereby providing quantitiative asessment of earthquake hazards.
  • 1978 E.B. Burwell, Jr., Memorial Award of the Engineering Geology Division, Geological Society of America. In recognition of published paper, Sieh 1978
  • 1972 Gordon Watkins Award from Chancellor, University of California at Riverside for Community Service