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NSF Site Team Reviews MCEER Activities and Future Plans
Site team members and other participants visited Taylor Devices, where a research team from Cornell University was conducting large full-scale tests on pipelines. James Mason (far right), a graduate assistant at Cornell, led the tour and described the research project.

On June 6-8, 2001, MCEER hosted its third annual site visit organized by the National Science Foundation's Division of Engineering Education and Centers. Dr. Joy Pauschke, NSF Program Officer, coordinated the site team to review MCEER's Year 4 activities and plans for Years 5-10. The written recommendations from this year's site visit team, including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), will be reviewed by a Blue Ribbon Panel convened by NSF. The panel will also review the reports prepared by all three NSF Earthquake Engineering Research Centers in response to the issues and concerns raised by the site team in their SWOT analyses. Directors and other representatives of the three centers will brief the Blue Ribbon Panel in Washington, D.C. on July 26-27. The panel will then evaluate the centers and make their recommendations on program issues to NSF Program Officers. This will influence the direction of the three centers over the next several years.

Many people participated in this year's site visit, including MCEER staff, researchers, partners and students. The review began Wednesday morning, with introductions and an overview of MCEER's program by George Lee, Director, and Michel Bruneau, Deputy Director. This was followed by descriptions of each of MCEER's research programs. Presenters were:

Program 1: Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Lifeline Networks

  • Masanobu Shinozuka, University of Southern California, electric power systems
  • Stephanie Chang, University of Washington, earthquake loss estimation
  • Thomas O'Rourke, Cornell University, water and gas systems

Program 2: Seismic Retrofit of Hospitals

  • Michel Bruneau, MCEER and the University at Buffalo, seismic retrofit of hospitals
  • Michael Constantinou, University at Buffalo, examples of projects and accomplishments made possible in the "Center" environment

Program 3: Earthquake Response and Recovery

  • Kathleen Tierney, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware

User Networks for Seismic Assessment and Retrofit of Critical Facilities

  • Andrei Reinhorn, University at Buffalo

MCEER Industry/User Collaboration

  • Donald Goralski, MCEER Education and Educational Outreach
  • Andrea Dargush, MCEER, education and educational outreach
  • A. Natali Sigaher, University at Buffalo, MCEER Student Leadership Council activities

A highlight of this year's review was a student led demonstration of a research project currently being conducted at Cornell University. The initial full-scale testing series were of 12" diameter steel pipes and were conducted at Cornell. The second phase of testing included 30" and 36" diameter pipes and required equipment with capacities greater than that available at Cornell's structural testing laboratory. One of MCEER's partners, Taylor Devices, Inc., volunteered the use of their facility for the large full-scale pipe testing and was the location for the demonstration. The research is investigating the feasibility of using fiber reinforced composite wraps to retrofit and reinforce welded slip joints on large diameter steel pipelines. Professor Thomas D. O'Rourke, with James A. Mason, a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell, and Ilker Tutuncu, who recently completed his Ph.D, is directing the project. Mason led the tour describing the test program and its outcome to date. Participating contractors (Master Builders, Inc, Fyfe Company, and R.J. Watson, Inc.) and one of the end users of the technology, the Los Angles Department of Water and Power, were also there to answer questions for the NSF site team. The project provides an excellent example of how industrial partners and ultimate end users are participating in MCEER research projects. It also demonstrates how students play an integral part in the research process.

Partners intimately involved in Center research projects, including many from the users advisory groups for Programs 1, 2 and 3, attended the site review in support of the Center's research plan. The partners participated in a closed-door SWOT session with the site team and NSF officials. Later in the evening, several partners were recognized for their close cooperation and commitment to MCEER throughout the years.

The site team and NSF officials also met with University officials to discuss financial management procedures and other institutional policies.

Using the Internet and videoconferencing facilities, virtual tours of the laboratories at University of Nevada-Reno, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cornell University and the University at Buffalo were coordinated by undergraduate student and former MCEER REU intern Jason Hanley, under the direction of Professor Andrei Reinhorn. Equipment at the host institutions was integrated with the capabilities at UB to provide the tours. Although the quality of the video transmissions varied, due to the shortcomings of current technology, the possibilities created by this capability are endless and will be explored for other uses in the coming year. Many of MCEER's students attended the review and contributed posters for discussion and display. A formal poster session took place on Thursday, which gave the students an opportunity to discuss their research projects with the site team members. Other students presented posters remotely during the virtual lab tours. Later that day, the students participated in a closed-door SWOT session with the site team, and held a meeting of the Student Leadership Council (SLC).

Student Poster Sessions

UB graduate student Dyah Kusumastuti explains her research to NSF Deputy Division Director Lynn Preston during the student poster session.

Jeffrey Berman, Department of Civil, Structural and 
Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo 
"Special Steel Shear Walls and Modular Infill Panels" 

Quan Gan, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo 
"Vibration Control on Helicopter Blade Aeronautical Application of MCEER Structural Control Technology" 

Benedikt Halldorsson, Gang Dong and Apostolos Papageorgiou, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo 
"Seismic Hazard and Ground Motions" 

WooYoung Jung, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo 
"Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC) Infill Walls for Seismic Retrofit" 

Michael Kiley-Zufelt and Rory Connell, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware 
"Hospital Rehabilitation Impediments and Incentives" 

Dyah Kusumastuti, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo 
"Development of Benchmark Model for Irregular Structures" 

Diego Lopez Garcia, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo 
"A Simple Method for the Design of Optimal Damper Configurations" 

Wei Liu, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo
"Performance-based Optimal Design of Building with Added Energy Dissipation Devices" 

Babak Mansouri, Civil Engineering Department, University of Southern California 
"Change/damage Detection in Seymen-Turkey Using ERS SAR Data" 

James Mason, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University 
"Fiber Reinforced Composites for Advanced Seismic Performance of Water Supplies" 

Ehab M. Mostafa, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University 
"Fragility Surfaces as a Measure of Seismic Performance" 

M.V. Sivaselvan, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo 
"Seismic Progressive Collapse Analysis of Framed Structures" 

Ran Tao, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo
"Temporal Characteristics of Earthquake Ground Motion and Their Possible Implications on Structural Damage"

Ilker Tutuncu, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University
"Compressive Load and Buckling Response of Steel Pipelines During Earthquakes"

Eric Wolff, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo "Experimental and Analytical Study of Buildings Equipped with Seismic Isolation and Damping Systems with Emphasis on Primary and Secondary System Response Prediction"

 

 


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