Degenkolb Dispatches Two Earthquake Reconnaissance Teams to Turkey

Degenkolb Engineers assembled two reconnaissance teams to survey the damage of the recent Turkey-Syria earthquake and its subsequent seismic events. On February 6, 2023, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck southern and central Turkey and the northern and western parts of Syria. The surrounding region sustained widespread damage and significant loss of life. Our engineers embarked on these trips to search for clues around why certain structures succumbed to ground motion versus others and to help advance the field’s knowledge of structural performance.

David Sommer—an Associate Principal in Seattle—led Team 1 who landed in Turkey on February 27th.  Other team members included Jose Flores Ruiz (Associate Principal, Mexico), Jerry Luong (Design Engineer, Orange County), Kim Bocanegra (Designer, Sacramento), and Rafael Alaluf—Founder of EQRM International and former Degenkolb engineer based in Turkey.

Jen Gross—an Associate Principal in Oakland— led Team 2 who arrived in Turkey a week later on March 6th. Other members included Adam Hugo-Holman (Principal, San Francisco), Justin Tan (Project Engineer, Los Angeles), Anthony Ambrosio-Meir (Project Engineer, San Francisco), Rafael Alaluf from Team 1, and Baris Lostuvali—a Project Executive with The Boldt Company and Turkish national. Team 2 convened with Team 1 upon arrival.

During the trip, the teams were in close communication with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and shared data via EERI Clearinghouse. Additionally, each team collaborated with non-profit organization, Build Change, to assess ways to support the local disaster relief and recovery efforts.

Both teams’ findings will be published throughout this week at

We are happy to share our findings with you. If you’re interested in having our engineers give a presentation about their conclusions, please contact Laurie Lumish at