skip navigation

Past News Stories


News and Outreach Links

Past News Stories: 2009

8M Earthquake Generates Tsunami in Samoa; 7.6M Earthquake Occurs in Indonesia

On Tuesday, September 29, 2009, an earthquake struck, generating 15ft (4.5m) tsunami waves in some areas of the Samoa Islands.² Based on currently available location and fault mechanism information, the USGS infers that the earthquake occurred as a normal fault rupture on or near the outer rise of the subducting Pacific plate.³ Several countries have been hit by the tsunami including: Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, the Cook Islands, and Japan.

On Wednesday, September 20, 2009, a 7.6M earthquake occurred in Indonesia as a result of oblique-thrust faulting near the subduction interface plate boundary between the Australian and Sunda plates. MCEER's Information Services Web site has links to preliminary reports, news releases, relief agencies and photo galleries for the quakes in Samoa and Indonesia.

Professional Development Seminar Explores Federal Transportation Funding Authorization

Jim Kolb, a University at Buffalo alum and Democratic Staff Director for the U.S. House of Representative Highways and Transit Subcommittee, delivered a presentation on November 30 as part of the Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series. Kolb, a key player in the drafting of a new bill for reauthorization of transportation funding, presented a talk on the "Development of Federal Surface Transportation Funding Authorization."

Seminar Flyer (PDF) | Presentation (PDF)

NY State Bridge Engineer to Hold Professional Development Seminar on Bridge Security

Monday, November 16 at 5:00 p.m. | Bell Hall Room 340C

George Christian, Jr., P.E., Director, Office of Structures, NYSDOT and Chair, AASHTO Technical Committee on Bridge Security (T-1), is the first speaker in a new series on bridge engineering. His presentation will provide an overview of the strategies being used by the bridge engineering industry to address bridge security, including risk assessment, mitigation strategies and response planning. A brief introduction to analysis and design concepts for blast loadings on bridges will also be presented. The presentation is part of the University at Buffalo's Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series, where experts from the bridge community will deliver lectures on a variety of topics during the 2009-2010 academic year. The lecture qualifies as 1.5 PDH credits, which are available for a fee of $75. Call (716) 645-3307 to reserve a seat as soon as possible, as space is limited to 20 people. For questions, or to register to watch the seminar as a webcast, email or call him at (716) 645-5155.

Seminar Flyer (PDF)

UB Alumnus to Speak About the Transition from University to Professional Practice

Friday, October 2 at 1:00 p.m. | 140 Ketter Hall

The transition from university to professional practice can be formidable. New people, new expectations and new environments further complicate the transition. One learns that professional practice is more than calculations on engineering paper. Graeme Ballantyne, a recent SUNY Buffalo graduate student, will discuss his transition into professional practice, from Philadelphia and later to San Francisco, both with Thornton-Tomasetti. The seminar is sponsored by the University at Buffalo’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE), the CSEE Graduate Student Association, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Student Chapter and MCEER.

ASCE Buffalo Section Meeting to Focus on MCEER-Calspan Partnership

MCEER Director Andre Filiatrault and Calspan Corporation Executive Vice President Thomas Pleban gave a technical presentation on “Multihazard Resilience of Large Civil Engineering Infrastructure” at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Buffalo Section Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2009. They talked about the recent MCEER-Calspan partnership, and the development of a test program that will subject two full-scale bridges and their advanced protective technologies to a wide range of naturally occurring environmental and climatic conditions.

The meeting was held at Classics V, located at 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst, New York. For more information, refer to the ASCE Announcement or visit the Buffalo ASCE Chapter Web Site.

Structural Engineering Seminar to Examine Masonry Structure Reinforcement

Friday, September 4 at 2:00 p.m. | 140 Ketter Hall

Dr. Werner Seim, from the University of Kassel in Germany, presented a seminar on "Post-Strengthening of Masonry Structures with Fiber Reinforced Polymers." The seminar focused on how fiber reinforced polymers(FRP) can be effectively used in the post-strengthening of masonry structures. Dr. Seim talked about manufacturing the FRP material by wet-layup directly on the surface of the masonry structure, and discussed possible applications of this method. The main results of experimental research carried out at the University of Kassel were presented. The seminar was sponsored by the University at Buffalo’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Student Chapter and MCEER.

Seminar Series Event

series iconA seminar, Field Reconnaissance following the April 6, 2009 L`Aquila Earthquake in Italy, was given on June 11, 2009 at the University at Buffalo. The presentation detailed the findings of MCEER reconnaissance team members, all from UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, who visited the earthquake-stricken area.

Ioannis Christovasilis, a graduate student, traveled to the region within a week of April 6, 2009. Later that month, Andrei Reinhorn, Professor, and Gian Paolo Cimellaro, Visiting Professor, joined a team from the Polytechnic University of Turin (Politecnico di Torino) that focused on infrastructure facilities, particularly electric power, water, hospitals and telecommunications. The seminar is part of a Series sponsored by the UB department of Civil Structural and Environmental Engineering, the UB-EERI student chapter and MCEER.

Strong Earthquake Strikes Central Italyphoto of rubble

An M6.3 earthquake struck in the L' Aquila area of Central Italy on April 6, 2009. Nearly 300 people have been reported killed, with 1,500 injured, 17,000 displaced, and 10,000 buildings damaged to date. MCEER offers the following resources:

New Report Explores Issues in Multi-Hazard Bridge Engineering report cover

A new report, Design of Highway Bridges Against Extreme Hazard Events: Issues, Principles and Approaches, is the first in a series dedicated to exploring the key issues and challenges facing the bridge community in developing multi-hazard design principles for highway bridges. The report's eight contributors offer perspectives from academia, private practice and government agencies, that can serve as the basis for the development of a comprehensive research agenda in this important area.

Post-Gustav Reconnaissance Available

MCEER's post-Hurricane Gustav reconnaissance team investigated various aspects of hurricane-stricken Louisiana. The investigation focused on two specific topics:

hurricane GustavThe emergency preparedness team was funded by the National Science Foundation and led by Daniel Hess, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University at Buffalo and Lucy Arendt, School of Business, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Ronald Eguchi of ImageCat, inc. and the MCEER Remote Sensing Institute led the remote sensing effort.

Links to current news, images and statistics and the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season are updated daily by MCEER's Information Service at its Recent Disasters Page.