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Fifth Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition Held in New Orleans

17 teams of undergraduate civil engineering students competed in the national Fifth Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition, held February 2008 during the EERI Annual Meeting in New Orleans.  Four MCEER teams participated, Florida A&M University (FAMU), the University at Buffalo (UB), the University of Nevada, Reno, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The UB and UNR teams placed third and fourth, respectively. MCEER SLC member Seda Dogruel served as a judge.

Teams brought commercial office buildings which they designed to the competition, where they were tested on a shake table in front of an audience. Structures were built to maximize floor space for tenants while minimizing seismic damage, and were evaluated based on architectural design, structural innovation and financial return for the client over the life of the structure. Additional points were awarded for the teams’ posters and power point presentations.

The UB team, Barbaros Cetiner, KarHim Chui, Cheuk Kwok, Melissa Norlund, Neda Stoeva, and Robert Wurstner, built a wooden 29-story model which held up well to the design loading and performed in accordance with model predictions, earning the team a third place finish and $100. Close behind was the UNR team of Robert Coomes, Kelly Doyle (advisor), Liz Sowers, and Danielle Smith, who came in fourth overall.
The NJIT team of Indira Hernandez, Nishant Shah, Hertzler Away, Shafali Patel, Eric Wilson, Angelica Rodriguez placed 12th and the FAMU  team Karl Green, Gustavo Munoz , Rochelle McKnight and Troy Sneed placed 15th.

The University of California San Diego placed first and the University of Texas Austin second in the competition which was organized by the PEER SLC and sponsored by PEER, NEES, EERI and Quanser. For more information on this year’s and past competitions, our Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition page.