Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Earth Sciences Division Staff: Lawrence J. Hutchings

Lawrence Hutchings

Lawrence J. Hutchings

Staff Scientist

Geophysics Department



Phone: 510-486-7446

Fax: 510-486-5686


Biographical Summary

Lawrence Hutchings is a seismologist  who serves as a Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).  Before coming to LBNL in 2007, he was a research scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory since 1989.  He previously worked for 10 years in industry evaluating earthquake hazards for nuclear reactor and conventional power facilities. Since 1989 his primary research has been in methods to develop design ground motions for hazard studies and in geothermal reservoir modelling. He also has several patents in human navigation and owned a start-up company between 1997 and 2005.  He has taken a personal interest in mentoring students and has been a mentor for more than 50 interns.  He has also worked extensively with students in developing countries and has advised 10 PhD's and Master's students on his research topics.


  • Ph.D Geological Sciences (Seismology). State University of New York, Binghamton (1987)
  • M.A. Geophysics. University of California, Berkeley 1973
  • B.A. Physics. University of California, Berkeley 1971

Professional Experience

  • 9/07 - present:  Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • 9/2007 to present: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Earth Sciences Department: Application of seismology to characterize geothermal reservoirs. Research on synthesizing ground motion for earthquake hazard analysis.
  • 4/91 to 2007: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,  Earth and Atmospheric Department: Research on developing tomographic approaches to investigate geothermal reservoirs. Research on predicting earthquake ground motion for design of structures and site response analysis for engineering applications; research on source characteristics of small and large earthquakes and inversion for velocity and attenuation structure for geothermal exploration. PI for several projects.
  • 1989 to 1991: Bechtel Corporation, Earth Sciences Department, San Francisco: Earthquake hazard analysis for engineering design; specializing in ground motions for building designs.
  • 1986 to 1989: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Earth Sciences Department: Post-doctoral appointment. Research on earthquake locations with sparse data. Research on source characteristics of small earthquakes. Analysis of small earthquakes in geothermal environments.
  • 1982 to 1986: State University of New York: Thesis research under Dr. Francis Wu. Thesis: Modeling Strong Earthquake Ground Motion with Empirical Green's Functions.
  • 1974 to 1982: Woodward-Clyde Consultants, San Francisco: Project leader in strong ground motion, plate tectonic, and seismicity studies for earthquake hazard analysis for nuclear reactors, hydroelectric dams, and urban structures; specializing in field studies to incorporate seismology with geologic studies. Microearthquake analysis studies in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and El Salvador.

Professional Associations

  • Associate Editor, Seismology: Bollettino Di Geofisica Teorica ed Applicata, Italy 
  • Reviewer: Yucca Mt. Ground Motion, Bechtel/SAIC, 2002, 2006.
  • Co-director, Hazards Mitigation Center, LLNL, 2003-2007.
  • Board of Directors: Acceleron Technologies 1996 – 2007.

Computer Programs

Hutchings, Lawrence et al. (2007) Software for Physically Based Seismic Hazard Analysis: EMPSYN, HAZARD, NetMoment, HazStats, COMPARE. Programs are available by download: . SimulQ, inversion for Q structure: Zucca and Hutchings (1994); Regloc, multiphase regional earthquake locations: Hutchings (1994).


  • System and Method for Measuring Movement of Objects; #5724265, 1996, USA.
  • Continuation; System and Method for Measuring Movement of Objects; #5899963, 1997, USA.
  • Continuation; System and Method for Measuring Movement of Objects; #603452, 1998, USA.
  • System and Method for Determining Absolute Rotations in Three-dimensions; #6122960, 1999, USA.
  • System and Method of Determining the Location of Mobil Personnel (w/ultrasound); #09790071.6, 2009.