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Membership Process & Policy

By joining StEER, members will receive regular communications from StEER, have access to StEER resources/training programs, and the opportunity to participate in StEER Virtual Assessment Structural Teams (VASTs) or Field Assessment Structural Teams (FASTs), as eligibility permits. Note that since StEER has only limited FAST slots, VASTs serve as the primary platform for participation in StEER, assisting in collecting data immediately after the event and analyzing the data collected by the FASTs.

To join StEER, you should:

  1. Have formal training or experience as a

    • Structural engineer, either as an academic (researcher, faculty, staff, student) or practicing engineer (public or private sector).

    • Member of allied field of natural hazard engineering that can support structural engineering assessments of damage due to natural hazards, e.g., coastal engineer.

  2. Have an active DesignSafe account with an active Slack account. (Slack is used for all FAST and VAST coordination) 

    • If you do not yet have a DesignSafe account, please visit and create one before completing our membership application.

    • If you already have a DesignSafe account, but have never activated or used your Slack account on DesignSafe, please contact the DesignSafe support team to verify that your Slack account is active before completing our membership application.

  3. Complete this StEER membership application.

Based on your experience, you will be assigned a membership tier within StEER. 

Currently, StEER membership tier s are designated as:

  • Tier 1: No prior field experience and/or repeated participation on Virtual Assessment Structural Teams

  • Tier 2: Repeated substantive participation on Virtual Assessment Structural Teams

  • Tier 3: Some prior field experience

  • Tier 4: Significant prior field experience 


Eligibility for event responses is dependent upon membership tier, availability, and expertise relevant to that hazard or region. Members at Tier 3 or 4 are automatically eligible for Field Assessment Structural Teams, with Tier 4 eligible to serve as the StEER FAST Lead.  StEER will reserve at least one slot on each FAST for a Tier 2 member's participation as an FAST trainee, mentoring under more seasoned reconnaissance professionals. Tier 1 StEER members are not eligible to participate on the FAST.

Application Process


Membership Tiers

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Membership Structure

Annual Membership Evaluation

Membership level assignments are reviewed annually and updated based on each member's evolving experience conducting field reconnaissance.

Individuals without prior field experience or repeated substantive participation on StEER Virtual Assessment Structural Teams (Tier 1) can advance their membership to Tier 2 by one or more of the following:

  • Participate regularly and actively in StEER VASTs.

  • Participate in other non-StEER-funded field reconnaissance, e.g., NSF-funded RAPID.

  • Complete training/certification in any of the specialized equipment rented by the NHERI RAPID Facility. 


Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information on StEER membership and participation in VASTs and FASTs.



StEER also works closely with other non-governmental organizations, governmental authorities, and private sector partners to exchange information, coordinate field teams, and jointly respond to select events. Individuals associated with such organizations or at non-US academic institutions are welcome to join StEER. StEER welcome’s its members and partners to use its data collection platforms and standards. Our international partners serve an especially vital role in the response to events globally. Partner organizations include:


StEER has members and regional nodes around the world. Currently our regional nodes reside at the institutions of our five founding universities: University of Notre Dame, University of Florida, Auburn University, University of California, Berkeley and University of Hawai'i at Manoa, but will soon expand globally. Explore the map below and click on the pins to learn about our members.  

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