EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING CENTER CHANGES
NAME TO EMPHASIZE MULTIDISCIPLINARY NATURE OF ITS WORK
BUFFALO, N.Y., May 1, 1998--The National Center for Earthquake Engineering
Research (NCEER), headquartered at the University at Buffalo, has been re-named the Multidisciplinary
Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), a national center of excellence in
advanced technology applications.
The change was approved last month by UB President William R. Greiner and
the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is the center's founding sponsor. The change
in name will also include the center's Information Service, which will now be called the Multidisciplinary
Center for Earthquake Engineering Research Information Service.
According to George C. Lee, Ph.D., Samuel P. Capen Professor of
Engineering at UB and director of the center,
"This new name,emphasizes what we feel is the key to our success -- past, present
and future -- the integration of diverse disciplines to solve engineering and
societal problems caused by earthquakes." Lee noted that the center is
credited with making pioneering efforts in organizing and empowering multidisciplinary
teams to address earthquake engineering problems, and with developing and adapting
advanced technologies to reduce earthquake losses.
"In the months and years ahead, the center seeks to increase multidisciplinary
participation by further engaging manufacturers, practitioners and government officials to
assist in the research and application processes," he added. "Our hope is that
the new name will help encourage this collaboration."
Lee explained that the center's new name and logo will be phased in over
the next few months.
The need for a change in name became apparent last fall when NSF expanded
its national earthquake research program by establishing two new earthquake engineering
research centers in addition to the one at UB. The new centers are the:
- The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center
- The Mid-America Earthquake (MAE) Center
PEER is headquartered at the University of California at Berkeley; MAE, at the
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Lee noted that since its inception in 1986, NCEER has been successful in
integrating researchers from numerous disciplines, including civil, mechanical, electrical
and computer engineering, as well as seismology, architecture, regional planning,
sociology, economics and policy and decision sciences.
" Their combined knowledge produces a research team that is well prepared for the
challenge of developing sound engineering and disaster management solutions that are both
economically feasible and socially acceptable," he said. "We have never been
interested in just solving an equation or studying the dynamic behavior of a beam,"
Lee added. "We want to make communities more earthquake-resistant through pre-event
planning and mitigation, and post-event response. To do this, we must have
multidisciplinary teams working together."
The $10 million grant the center received last fall from NSF supports a
program to study the application of advanced and emerging technologies to minimize
earthquake damage and losses nationwide. The center was initially established by NSF at UB
in September 1986, following a national competition. With support of additional major
sponsors, including New York State, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the center conducts a nationwide program of
research, outreach and education to advance engineering, planning and preparedness to
minimize the damaging effects that earthquakes have on buildings, infrastructure and