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News and Outreach Links

Past News Stories: 2012

Engineering Seminar: Collapse of Shoring during Construction of the Elevated Walkway for the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:30-11:30 a.m. EST | 140 Ketter Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Dominic Kelly

Dominic Kelly

Dominic Kelly, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc., will discuss "Collapse of Shoring during Construction of the Elevated Walkway for the Atlanta Botanical Gardens" as the next speaker in the Engineering Seminar Series. Designed as a steel, cable-stayed bridge with a concrete on metal deck walkway suspended as much as 40 feet above grade, the structure collapsed while being temporarily supported during construction activities. The investigation involved surveys and subsequent failure analyses of the collapsed structure and its components, and the structural steel sections that comprise the original bridge design.

To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/. For technical assistance with the webcast, send an email to SEESLwebcast@gmail.com.

T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series: Prof. Kazuhiko Kasai

Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 | 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. |140 Ketter Hall | University at Buffalo North Campus

Kasai

Kazuhiko Kasai

Kazuhiko Kasai, Professor and Director of the Structural Engineering Research Center (SERC) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, will deliver two presentations as the next guest speaker in the T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series.

In his first presentation titled "Full-Scale Steel Building Tests Using the World's Largest Shake-Table," Prof. Kasai will discuss the test concept, specimens, method and results of a series of full-scale tests completed in March 2009 using the three-dimensional shake table facilities at E-Defense at the Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center in Japan. He will follow with a presentation on the "Recorded Performance of Tall Buildings during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake," in which he will explore the response of buildings in the Tokyo metropolitan area during the March 11, 2011 earthquake.

To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/. For technical assistance, send an email to SEESLwebcast@gmail.com.

Live Seminar on Curbing Fraud and Corruption on Infrastructure Projects

Session 1: Monday, Nov. 19, 5:00 p.m. | 200G Baldy Hall | University at Buffalo North Campus
Session 2: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 12:30 p.m. | 101 Davis Hall | University at Buffalo North Campus

Michael Avery

Michael Avery

Michael Avery, Manager of Financial Integrity, Review and Evaluation, Federal Highway Administration will present “Curbing Fraud and Corruption on Infrastructure Projects” as part of the Bridge Engineering Guest Speaker Series. He will discuss the extent of fraud and corruption and how to identify them, and present real life examples and effective tools to minimize fraud and corruption in an organization. The presentation will be offered twice (see times/dates above).

Michael Avery is an international expert in prevention of fraud and corruption on transportation infrastructure projects. He has worked in both the private sector and for the US federal government. He holds engineering and business degrees.

Engineering Seminar: Recent Advances on Seismic Evaluation and Displacement-Based Design of Structures

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 | 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. | 140 Ketter Hall | University at Buffalo North Campus

Amado Gustavo Ayala-Milián

Amado Gustavo Ayala-Milián

Amado Gustavo Ayala-Milián, Professor at the Institute of Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), will present a lecture on the “Recent Advances on Seismic Evaluation and Displacement-Based Design of Structures." Prof. Ayala-Milián will discuss a displacement-based design method, centered on the concept that structural behavior may be approximately characterized through the properties of a SDOF reference system based on the fundamental mode of vibration of the original structure. He will explore how this method leads to a simple and straightforward evaluation and design procedure, and seeks to guarantee a given performance objective in a more efficient manner through effective damage control of the structural system and a more rational control of displacements.

To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/.
For technical assistance, send an email to SEESLWEBCAST@gmail.com.

Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy Causes Widespread Damage Throughout the Northeastern U.S.

NASA’s Earth Observatory

Photo: NASA's Earth Observatory

New York and New Jersey awoke Tuesday, October 30, 2012, to devastating flooding, power outages and scattered fires left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which cast broad swaths of the Northeast into darkness as it barreled ashore overnight. The storm made landfall close to Atlantic City in New Jersey on Monday at about 20:00 local time (midnight GMT), with winds of more than 80 mph (129 km/h). MCEER’s Information Service has compiled a collection of links to the latest facts, statistics, news, photos, maps and other resources related to the storm.

Engineering Seminar: Adaptive Stiffness and Negative Stiffness for Seismic Protection

Satish Nagarajaiah

Satish Nagarajaiah

View the archived webcast of Satish Nagarajaiah's seminar presentation.

Satish Nagarajaiah, Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Rice University and UB alumnus, delivered a seminar on Adaptive Stiffness and Negative Stiffness for Seismic Protection on October 10, 2012. He discussed the various stages of development of the concept of adaptive/variable stiffness systems and the invention of adaptive tuned mass dampers. For more information, visit the project website at www.ruf.rice.edu/~dsg.

Four from CSEE/MCEER Present Research at NSF's CMMI Engineering Research and Innovation Conference and NEES's Annual Quake Summit Meeting

Quake Summit 2012: NEES & CMMI

NSF Engineering Research and Innovation Conference 2012 in Boston

MCEER Director Andrew S. Whittaker and three graduate students from the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) at the University at Buffalo presented progress on current research projects at two concurrent meetings held in Boston, Massachusetts the week of July 9-12, 2012. The NSF Engineering Research and Innovation Conference 2012, sponsored by the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division and hosted by Northeastern University, took place July 9-12 and Quake Summit 2012, the annual meeting of the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), also funded by NSF, was held July 11-12.

Presenters included Andrew Whittaker, CSEE Professor and Chair, and MCEER Director, and three Ph.D. candidates from CSEE: Chandrakanth Bolisetti, Bismarck Luna and Armin Masroor. Read More

FHWA Project Advisory Panel Meets in Buffalo to Review Progress on Multiple-Hazard Design Principles for Highway Bridges

Participants of the FHWA Project Advisory Panel are shown meeting in Buffalo on April 20, 2012.

See the full review for a list of participants in the FHWA Project Advisory Panel meeting hosted by MCEER on April 20, 2012.

MCEER hosted an Advisory Panel meeting for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funded project entitled “Development of Multiple-Hazard Design Principles for Highway Bridges” on April 20, 2012 in Buffalo, NY. The research team is investigating the feasibility of establishing a uniform, reliability-based framework to address multiple extreme events in a design guideline that could eventually be incorporated into the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specification. The $3 million project includes several other related research tasks, as well as a major educational component. Read More

The New Normal for Natural Disasters

Thursday, October 11, 2012, 5:00 p.m. | 140 Ketter Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Thomas D. O’Rourke

Thomas D. O’Rourke

Thomas D. O’Rourke, Thomas R. Briggs Professor of Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, will deliver his 2012 EERI Distinguished Lecture presentation on "The New Normal for Natural Disasters" as part of the T. T. Soong Student Lecture Series. He will discuss the effects of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Canterbury earthquake sequence, and Hurricane Katrina with respect to their impact on regional and international economics, national practices for security and recovery, and worldwide energy policy. The lecture explains why these events require a fundamental re-thinking of the way we evaluate the risks of extreme events as well as define and protect critical infrastructure. A strategy for improving infrastructure resilience is proposed to address the need for protection against rare, high consequence events with limited financial resources.

To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/. For technical difficulties, send an email to SEESLwebcast@gmail.com.

Engineering Seminar: Adaptive Stiffness and Negative Stiffness for Seismic Protection

Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 11:00 a.m. | 140 Ketter Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Satish Nagarajaiah

Satish Nagarajaiah

Satish Nagarajaiah, Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Rice University and UB alumnus, will deliver a seminar on "Adaptive Stiffness and Negative Stiffness for Seismic Protection." He will discuss the various stages of development of the concept of adaptive/variable stiffness systems and the invention of adaptive tuned mass dampers. For more information, visit the project website at www.ruf.rice.edu/~dsg.

To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/. For technical difficulties, send an email to SEESLwebcast@gmail.com.

The seminar is organized and sponsored by the University at Buffalo Student Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (UB-EERI), the Graduate Student Association of UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE-GSA), MCEER, the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and the University at Buffalo Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE).

NDE/NDT for Highways & Bridges: Structural Materials Technology (SMT) Conference

August 21-24, 2012 | New York City, New York

ASNT’s NDE/NDT for Highways & Bridges: Structural Materials Technology (SMT) conference focused on state-of-the-practice in nondestructive evaluation (NDE) methods. Urgent problems faced by the civil infrastructure community and the potential solutions available from emerging NDE technologies were discussed. Topics included NDE technologies for structural inspection and evaluation (bridge superstructure, substructure, decks, culverts, etc.), pavement NDE and structural health monitoring.

CSEE faculty member and MCEER investigator Salvatore Salamone presented a paper entitled "Damage Assessment of Reinforced Concrete Shear Walls by Acoustic Emission" by A. Farhidzadeh, S. Salamone, E. Dehgan-Niri, B. Luna, and A. Whittaker.

Contact Sreenivas Alampalli (Sreenivas.Alampalli@dot.ny.gov) for more information.

Obituary: Sherwood “Bud” Prawel, Jr., 1932-2012

Sherwood "Bud" Prawel

Sherwood “Bud” Prawel, Jr.

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Professor Emeritus Sherwood Peter "Bud" Prawel, Jr., a faculty member in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) and investigator during the early years of MCEER (when it was the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research – NCEER). He passed away on Monday, August 20, 2012. Read More


Engineering Seminar: Recent Advances in Earthquake Loss Estimation in Buildings

Wed. June 20, 2012 at Noon, Eastern time | 140 Ketter Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Eduardo Miranda

Eduardo Miranda

Eduardo Miranda, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Stanford University, will deliver a seminar on "Recent Advances in Earthquake Loss Estimation in Buildings." Current building-specific loss estimation methodologies typically estimate economic losses based only on peak response quantities such as peak inter-story drift ratios or peak floor accelerations. Miranda will present a new approach to incorporate residual inter-story drifts.

The Engineering Seminar Series is organized and sponsored by the University at Buffalo Student Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (UB-EERI), the Graduate Student Association of UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE-GSA), MCEER, the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and the University at Buffalo Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE).

One-Week Course in Costa Rica will cover the Fundamentals of Bridge Design

As a result of a new cooperative effort between the University of Costa Rica and the University at Buffalo, a short course in bridge design is being offered this June at Costa Rica’s National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (LANAMME).

Introduction to Bridge Design will be instructed in English by Paul Fossier, Jr., a professional engineer with more than 32 years of experience in bridge design. Mr. Fossier will draw from his education and practical experience to explain the fundamentals of steel and concrete bridge design, providing specific examples of design calculations and contract drawings. Course instruction will take place on June 18-22, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily at LANAMME in San José, Costa Rica. Attendees are eligible to receive 40 hours professional development credit. This course is a special presentation of the Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series, which is organized by the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering and MCEER. Learn more.

In Memoriam - Helmut Krawinkler

Helmut Krawinkler in 2007

A photo from 2007 shows Helmut Krawinkler and three students in UB's Structural Earthquake and Engineering Simulation Laboratory. At the time, Krawinkler was serving as a PI on a NEES project at UB, collaborating with UB co-PI Andrew Whittaker.

Helmut Krawinkler, John A. Blume Professor Emeritus of Engineering, Stanford University, passed away on April 16, 2012 at his Los Altos, CA home at the age of 72. Krawinkler is remembered for his research in performance-based seismic design of steel and reinforced concrete structures. In February, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional honors in engineering. Most recently, he received the 2012 George W. Housner Medal from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for his contributions to earthquake safety through the development of hazard reduction practices and policies. He is survived by his wife, son, daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, sister and brother-in-law. A memorial service is being planned for later this spring.

Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series: Robert Dennison III

Monday April 23, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time | Baldy Hall, 2nd Floor, Room 200G, University at Buffalo North Campus

Robert Dennison

Robert Dennison

Robert Dennison III, P.E., VHB Engineers, Surveyors and Landscape Architects, will discuss “There is More to Closing a Bridge than Doing the Math” as part of the Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series. Dennison will discuss how to manage and survive a major bridge closure. Using the Lake Champlain Bridge closure as a case study and including other examples, the role of the bridge engineer in risk assessment, decision-making, and implementation of an emergency closure will be discussed.

Mr. Dennison, former New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Chief Engineer, leads VHB’s transportation planning and design engineering services in New York. Throughout his 35+ year career, Dennison has held positions of responsibility in Town, County and State governments and understands the internal operations of government.

Engineering Seminar: Structural Retrofit Using Fiber Reinforced Polymers Technology

Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | 140 Ketter Hall, North Campus, UB

Eric Wolff

Eric Wolff

While the use of solutions based on Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) technology is seeing exponential growth globally, many in the protective design engineering community are still seeking information regarding the mechanical properties of Fiber Wrap and its added value compared to traditional rehabilitation methods. Eric Wolff, Director of the Force Protection Group at Fyfe Co. LLC and UB alumnus, will give a seminar on “Structural Retrofit Using FRP Technology” in which he will discuss the effective use of Fiber Wrap materials for strengthening walls, slabs and columns for a variety of structure types.

To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/. For technical difficulties, send an email to SEESLWEBCAST@gmail.com.

The seminar is organized and sponsored by the University at Buffalo Student Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (UB-EERI), the Graduate Student Association of UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE-GSA), MCEER, the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and the University at Buffalo Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE).

Engineering Seminar: Toward Resilience-Based Design

Monday, April 2, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | 140 Ketter Hall, North Campus, UB

Gian Paolo Cimellaro

Gian Paolo Cimellaro

Resilience-Based Design (RBD) is a new design methodology that aims to make individual structures and communities more resilient by developing technologies and actions that allow each structure and/or community to regain functionality as promptly as possible. Gian Paolo Cimellaro, Assistant Professor at Politecnico di Torino in Italy, will deliver a seminar titled “Toward Resilience-Based Design” in which he will analyze the fundamental concepts of community resilience and establish a common reference framework. Cimellaro, a UB alumnus who has been an active participant in MCEER research both as a doctorate student and as a PI, will also present performance and resilience objectives in order to illustrate the feasibility of the proposed methodology for RBD.

To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/. For technical difficulties, send an email to SEESLWEBCAST@gmail.com.

The seminar is organized and sponsored by the University at Buffalo Student Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (UB-EERI), the Graduate Student Association of UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE-GSA), MCEER, the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and the University at Buffalo Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE).

MCEER Remembers Robert Whitman: 1928-2012

Robert V. Whitman

Robert V. Whitman

It is with sadness that we learned of the recent passing of Robert V. Whitman, a world renowned geotechnical engineer, who died on February 25, 2012. In the early years of MCEER's history when it was known as the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER), Bob served as the first Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC was formed to review national research needs and goals in earthquake engineering on an annual basis, and recommend a research agenda to NCEER management, its Research Oversight Committee and the National Science Foundation. Read More

Save Big Bucks on Big Books During MCEER's Publications Sale!

Now through March 31, you can save "Big Bucks on Big Books" while helping MCEER reduce its inventory of paper publications. Support our efforts to go green and stock up on monographs and technical reports published between 1987 and 2005 at 50% off. Visit the MCEER publications catalog and start shopping!

Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series: Risk Management

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 5 p.m. | Baldy Hall, 2nd Floor, Room 200G

Dan D'Angelo

Dan D'Angelo

Dan D'Angelo (Deputy Chief Engineer & Director of Design, New York State Department of Transportation) will revisit the Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series this Monday to deliver a presentation on risk management. Mr. D'Angelo will examine risk management strategies, methods, documentation and tools currently being employed by international agencies to actively assess and manage transportation system performance risks. There will be a focus on risk identification, analysis and management techniques that result in successful program delivery and enhanced stakeholder communications. Participants of Monday's session are eligible to receive three professional development hours.

Graduate Students Offer Tribute to Professor Soong at Inaugural Lecture of the "T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series"

Konstantinos Oikonomou, President of UB-EERI, (right) and Armin Masroor, President of CSEE-GSA, (left) presented Professor Soong with a commemorative plaque on behalf of the students.

Tsu Teh (Larry) Soong, Emeritus Distinguished Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE), University at Buffalo (UB), and one of the founders and the first Deputy Director of the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER, now MCEER), was recognized with a tribute at the opening of a new lecture series named in his honor on February 8, 2012 at UB.

Prior to the inaugural lecture of the “T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series," graduate students from UB-EERI and CSEE-GSA presented a tribute to Professor Soong with a video that included career highlights... Read More

Engineering Seminar: Performance-Based Seismic Engineering of Critical Facilities in California

Thursday, March 22, 2012, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT | 140 Ketter Hall, North Campus, UB

behnam

Peter Behnam

sanchez

Jose A. Sanchez

Peter Behnam (Structural Principal) and Jose A. Sanchez (Design Engineer), both of KPFF Consulting Engineers, will deliver a seminar on “Performance-Based Seismic Engineering of Critical Facilities in California.” A series of different buildings in the State of California will be discussed, including new and existing retrofitted buildings. The presenters will highlight several projects in which the performance-based design approach has been used for the design and/or analysis of existing and new buildings. Sanchez, a University at Buffalo alumnus, will outline a project utilizing performance-based design evaluation.

To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/

For technical difficulties, send an email to SEESLWEBCAST@gmail.com.

The seminar is organized and sponsored by the University at Buffalo Student Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (UB-EERI), the Graduate Student Association of UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE-GSA), MCEER, the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and the University at Buffalo Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE).

Undergraduate Students Invited to Apply for 2012 REU at Cornell and UB

Undergraduate students (sophomores, juniors and seniors for Fall 2012) are invited to apply for a unique research opportunity and lab experience this summer. The 10-week-long Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, offers two paid summer internships – one at NEES@Cornell and the other at NEES@Buffalo. Applications are due March 6, 2012. For more information, visit the 2012 REU page.

ENR Online Cover Story Notes Contributions of UniQ-UB/MCEER Earthquake Engineering Seminars toward Haiti’s Recovery

"Seismic Training Efforts Help Haitians Help Themselves" appears in the Jan. 30, 2012 online issue of the Engineering News Record.

"Seismic Training Efforts Help Haitians Help Themselves" appears in the Jan. 30, 2012 online issue of the Engineering News Record.

The cover story in the Jan. 30, 2012 online edition of the Engineering News Record reports on seismic training efforts in Haiti, with special coverage on the seminar series provided by Quisqueya University (UniQ) and the University at Buffalo's (UB) MCEER. Since the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the UniQ-UB/MCEER Earthquake Engineering Seminar Series has trained more than 500 architects and engineers, or an estimated 50% of the designer population in Port-au-Prince. Among those interviewed for the story were Andre Filiatrault, curriculum coordinator for the seminars and Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at UB; Sofia Tangalos, MCEER Senior Program Officer for Education/Outreach Activities and Information Services; and Haitian-born UB students, Pierre Fouché, seminar instructor and Ph.D. Candidate in earthquake engineering; and Gael Lamothe, a civil engineering undergraduate student whose study of Haitian construction materials contributed to the seminar content. The article also appears in the Architectural Record.

2012 Tech Wars Competition Features Seismic Design Competition

Graduate students from UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering test a structure designed and built by students on a portable shake table at Tech Wars 2012.

Involvement of CSEE Students Significantly Improve Model Construction and Evaluation Criteria

More than 900 middle and high school students from 29 school districts from Western New York gathered at Niagara County Community College (NCCC) on January 11, 2012 for Tech Wars, an annual technology-based student competition presented by the Western New York Technology Education Association (WNYTEA).
Read More

Seismic Behavior of RC Columns with Corroded Reinforcing Bars

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. EST | 140 Ketter Hall, North Campus, UB

Akkaya

Caglar Goksu Akkaya

Corrosion of reinforcing bars in concrete structural members is a common problem in the rehabilitation of old and damaged structure stock, particularly in humid environments where porosity of concrete can be relatively high. Corrosion will damage the bond between concrete and steel reinforcement, which in turn can compromise the seismic safety of a structure. On March 7, Caglar Goksu Akkaya, Ph.D., of the Structural and Earthquake Engineering Laboratory at the Istanbul Technical University, will deliver a seminar on the "Seismic Behavior of RC Columns with Corroded Reinforcing Bars." Dr. Akkaya will talk about an experimental and analytical study that was carried out to investigate the seismic performance of corroded reinforced concrete columns with plain and deformed bars.

The seminar is organized and sponsored by the University at Buffalo Student Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (UB-EERI), the Graduate Student Association of UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE-GSA), MCEER, the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and the University at Buffalo Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE).

To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/. For technical difficulties with the webcast, email seeslwebcast@gmail.com.

Performance of URM and RC Structures in the Feb. 22, 2011 Christchurch Earthquake: Lessons for USA Practice

Friday, March 2, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. | 140 Ketter Hall

Roberto Leon

Roberto T. Leon

The 6.3-magnitude earthquake on Feb. 22, 2011 near Christchurch, New Zealand took at least 163 lives and severely damaged much of the city's critical infrastructure. As the next speaker in the "T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series," Roberto T. Leon (David H. Burrows Professor, Virginia Tech) will give a presentation on the “Performance of URM and RC Structures in the Feb. 22, 2011 Christchurch Earthquake: Lessons for USA Practice." Leon, who was in Christchurch when the event occurred, will describe the behavior of unreinforced masonry (URM) and reinforced concrete (RC) structures during the unusual series of events, and how lessons learned from the earthquake can be applied to practice in the U.S. In addition, he will discuss the rescue/recovery and building assessment efforts in the aftermath.

Webcast URL: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/

Related MCEER Information Service Literature Searches:

T.T. (Larry) Soong Presents Inaugural Lecture in Series Named in His Honor

Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. | 140 Ketter Hall | View Flyer

T. T. Soong

T. T. Soong

Tsu Teh (Larry) Soong, Emeritus Distinguished Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE), University at Buffalo (UB), and one of the founders – and the first Deputy Director – of the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER, now MCEER) will make the inaugural presentation in a series of distinguished lectures named in his honor. The "T. T. Soong Student Lecture Series” recognizes Prof. Soong’s outstanding research accomplishments and contributions to the field of structural and earthquake engineering over the course of his 48-year career at the University at Buffalo. The series is dedicated in his honor by UB’s EERI Student Chapter and UB’s Graduate Student Association of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE), with support from MCEER.

Prof. Soong’s lecture, “NCEER/MCEER: A Historic Perspective and Structural Control Research,” will discuss NCEER at the time of its inception in 1986 and its development thereafter. The first part of the talk will be a brief retrospect of NCEER's people, research goals and programs. In the second part of the talk, Prof. Soong will provide an overview of the activities and achievements of NCEER/MCEER's structural control research initiative, which continues to be one of the Center's most notable national and international research strengths. A recording of the lecture will be made available for future viewing.

Abstracts Now Being Accepted for 2012 CSEE Graduate Student Poster Competition

Graduate students in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) at the University at Buffalo (UB) are strongly encouraged to participate in the 2012 CSEE Graduate Student Poster Competition, which will take place on March 2, 2012. The posters will be judged by a panel of CSEE faculty members and a guest judge. The competition will have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner with $250, $150 and $50 prizes, respectively, and these posters will be displayed in the Department after the competition. The winning posters will also participate in the Graduate Student Poster Competition organized by The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Abstracts are due February 20, 2012. For more information, visit the 2012 CSEE Graduate Student Poster Competition page.

Roles and Responsibilities of State DOTs

Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 at 5 p.m. | Baldy Hall, 2nd Floor, Room 200G

D'Angelo

Dan D'Angelo

The Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series will host Dan D'Angelo (Deputy Chief Engineer & Director of Design, New York State Department of Transportation) in the next installment of the series. D'Angelo will explain "Roles & Responsibilities of State DOTs," using NYSDOT as an example. He will provide an overview of a typical state DOT organizational structure and the collaborative working relationship with organizations such as the Federal Highway Administration. He will discuss the NYSDOT’s strategic goals, strategies used to achieve those goals and key performance indicators. The presentation will conclude with a description of contemporary issues facing state DOTs. From 6:30 until 7:45, there will be an opportunity to ask questions and engage in dialogue with the speaker. Participants of Monday's session are eligible to receive three professional development hours.

MCEER Remembers: Haiti Two Years Later

A new classroom building on the UniQ campus was put to use to host the seminars.

Two years after the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, much still remains to be done. An estimated 550,000 people continue to live in temporary shelters, as efforts to construct new housing have been complicated by the vast amounts of rubble and debates over land ownership. Despite the setbacks, Haiti is slowly paving roads and drawing up plans for new construction. Read More


Roles and Responsibilities of the Federal Highway Administration

Myint Lwin

Myint Lwin

Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 at 5 p.m. | Baldy Hall, 2nd Floor, Room 200G

The Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series will host Myint Lwin (Federal Highway Administration) on Monday, February 6. In his presentation "Role & Responsibilities of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)," Lwin will discuss the FHWA’s mission, jurisdiction, organization and programs established to provide the stewardship and oversight necessary to assure safety of the nation’s highway bridges. He will explain the federal government’s relationship with states and local agencies, including an explanation of various laws, regulations, road systems and funding programs that are provided in a typical transportation bill. He will also highlight opportunities that are presented by these challenging times.

Andrew Whittaker Elected MCEER Director

Andrew S. Whittaker

Andrew S. Whittaker

Andrew S. Whittaker, Ph.D., S.E., an expert in earthquake and blast engineering, has been elected MCEER Director. As Director, he assumes overall leadership of MCEER and its research, education and outreach initiatives. A UB faculty member since 2001, he becomes the sixth director in the Center's 25-year history.

Whittaker, Professor and Chair of UB’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, was elected to the post by the MCEER Management Council, a group of University at Buffalo faculty members who oversee MCEER’s operations. As MCEER Director, he will also serve as Chair of the Council.
Read More

Obituary: Michael “Mike” Gaus, 1928-2012

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our dear colleague and friend Michael “Mike” Gaus, a well known advocate of earthquake engineering. He passed away on January 3, 2012 in Seattle. Read More

Applicants Sought for Second PRC-U.S. Earthquake Engineering Forum for Young Researchers

Applications are being sought from graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and junior faculty members in the field of earthquake engineering in the United States who are interested in establishing cooperative research activities with their counterparts in China.

The award will provide funding to attend the Second PRC-U.S. Earthquake Engineering Forum for Young Researchers (May 21-22, 2012) and the International Conference on Earthquake Engineering Research (ICEER 2012): Challenges in the 21st Century (May 18-21, 2012), as well as a technical tour of Beijing (May 22-24, 2012). Round trip excursion airfare between the U.S. hometown and Harbin, China, conference registration, and all accommodations, meals and local transportation while in China are included in the award. Read More

MCEER Collaborates with IEM to Develop New Device for Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges

Dr. Zach Liang and Prof. George Lee describe the concept behind a new type of device that is being developed to monitor the structural strength and deterioration of bridges. Shown from left are Xiaolong He, Zach Liang, Norm Duennebacke, Kevin Marracino and George Lee.

MCEER, University at Buffalo (UB), is collaborating with the Institute of Engineering Mechanics (IEM) in Harbin, China to develop a structural health monitoring device for use by highway bridge inspectors who play a vital role in the safety of our infrastructure. The new device will be able to accurately measure the curvature of a bridge as it deflects under normal traffic. The measured responses can then be correlated to the strength parameters of a bridge, resulting in a condition assessment that is not possible with a purely visual inspection.

Plans are to further test and develop the system with collaboration of NYSDOT. Use of this technology compared to conventional visual methods could result in better and more efficient inspections for certain types of bridges. Read More