"What's going on in seismic for an ambitious person?"
I think our recent run in earthquakes may loosen the purse strings. Specifically, I believe that when the results from Chile come trickling in, we will forever blow away the evil twins of "PGA" and "Happy Soft Ground". As well, all these earthquakes will hasten the effort of going beyond the standard building code, and try to keep buildings functional after an earthquake.
For this you need advanced analysis, better seismic information, and energy absorbing elements in structures. This could be a hot area, but I've been waiting for this for a long time.
I give a slightly lower probability to the mundane, which would be:
-Chile results are botched up like Japanese results
-earthquake streak ends, causing people to go back to sleep.
That's actually depressing, so I refuse to acknowledge it. :)