Michel Bruneau Named Director
of Earthquake Engineering Center at UB
George Lee, who served 11 years as director
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Michel Bruneau, Ph.D., a leading expert on
earthquake-resistant design and retrofit of buildings and infrastructure,
has been named director of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake
Engineering Research (MCEER) headquartered at the University at Buffalo.
MCEER is a National Science Foundation "Center of Excellence" in
Bruneau, who has served as MCEER deputy director since 1998, was
selected for the post after a nationwide search. His appointment takes
effect on Aug. 25. He came to MCEER and UB from the University of Ottawa,
where he headed that institution's Ottawa-Carleton Earthquake Engineering
He succeeds George C. Lee, Ph.D., Samuel P. Capen Professor of
Engineering at UB, who will continue to serve leadership roles within
MCEER and the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).
Mark H. Karwan, SEAS dean, said Bruneau's appointment "assures that
MCEER will build upon the reputation for excellence that George Lee worked
so hard to establish.
"Under Bruneau, MCEER will forge ahead in developing new knowledge and
technologies to improve seismic resiliency, and will pursue application of
its expertise within related areas, such as design of blast-resistant
buildings and improvement of emergency-response systems."
As director, Bruneau assumes overall stewardship of MCEER and its major
research, education, and industry-outreach initiatives. These include
projects that involve research and development of tools and technologies
that strengthen the nation's built environment and improve emergency
response and recovery activities following earthquakes. Bruneau becomes
the fourth director in the center's 17-year history.
In addition to his MCEER responsibilities, Bruneau will help manage
completion of a $20 million expansion of the Structural Engineering and
Earthquake Simulation Laboratory on UB's North (Amherst) Campus. Funded by
the National Science Foundation and the State University of New York, the
facility will be equipped with twin shake tables capable of real-time
seismic testing of structures up to 120 feet in length. The facility is
part of the National Science Foundation's George E. Brown Jr. Network for
Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), a nationwide "collaboratory" for
earthquake engineers and students. Bruneau will help UB assume a
leadership role in future NEES research activities.
Bruneau also is a professor of civil, structural and environmental
engineering within UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
(SEAS), and is one of UB's top recipients of federal research grants.
He is author and co-author of numerous research articles and one book
on earthquake-engineering principles, and he has participated in several
reconnaissance visits to assess structural damage caused by earthquakes
and other disasters around the world. In 2001, Bruneau was part of
an MCEER team that investigated structural damage to buildings near
the World Trade Center towers after their collapse on Sept. 11.
He is a resident of Clarence.
Lee, who served as MCEER director since 1992, will administer the
center's $10.8 million Federal Highway Administration project to improve
highway-system seismic performance and reliability, and he will work with
Karwan to develop a school-wide focus on multiple-hazard mitigation. Lee
previously served as dean of the UB engineering school from 1977-95.
MCEER's mission is to reduce earthquake damage and losses through
multidisciplinary team research and the application of advanced technologies
that improve earthquake engineering, pre-earthquake planning and post-earthquake
recovery strategies. For more information about MCEER, go to http://mceer.buffalo.edu.