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Update on SLC Activities

Attendees at the Tri-Lateral SLC meeting pose for a group picture

The tragic events of September 11 affected, besides many major things, the activities of MCEER's Student Leadership Council (SLC). A few SLC members were preparing to attend the Student Retreat as part of the Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Annual Meeting organized by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This meeting was scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. this past November, however it was canceled as a safety precaution.

In the meantime, the MCEER SLC is working on developing its student web page. Besides containing information about the SLC organization, members and activities, the web page will serve as a useful tool where students will be able to post resumes, get information on ongoing research projects, and have easy access to valuable resources on earthquake engineering.

MCEER's SLC members reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the center. The academic departments represented by our members range from sociology to energy, environmental & mineral economics, to various majors in earthquake engineering such as geotechnical and structural engineering. The research areas are thus diverse; political engineering of disaster mitigation legislation, passive site remediation for mitigation of liquefaction risk, performance based design, seismic energy dissipation and isolation systems ­ to name a few. All of these topics eventually contribute to MCEER's ultimate goal to enhance the seismic resiliency of communities. MCEER SLC students take great pride in serving this honorable cause. We invite you to take a glance at the Bulletin's 'Student Spotlight' column, which features a different student each issue.

MCEER SLC members Jeffrey Berman, Gordon Warn, A. Natali Sigaher and Rory Connell attended the 2002 EERI Annual Meeting.

Last but not least, four MCEER SLC students, Rory Connell (University of Delaware), Ani Natali Sigaher, Gordon Warn, and Jeffrey Berman (University at Buffalo) attended the 2002 EERI Annual Meeting in Long Beach, California, from February 6-9, thanks to support from MCEER. The group attended several sessions of lectures on multidisciplinary earthquake topics regarding historical and state-of-the-art perspectives, including the presentation by the 2002 EERI Distinguished Lecturer Dr. Mete Sözen (Purdue University). On a side note, Dr. Mete Sözen has agreed to speak at the University at Buffalo on April 5th, as part of the ongoing UB-MCEER-EERI seminar series. As usual, this seminar will be webcast live as well as archived for future viewing.

The students also represented MCEER SLC at the tri-lateral SLC meeting, which brings together students and education coordinators from MCEER, MAE, and PEER--the three Earthquake Engineering Research Centers (EERC). Each SLC presented a summary of their activities in the past year and their plans for the upcoming year. The SLC's took advantage of this opportunity to make plans for some collaborative projects, including a tri-lateral mentoring program in which current SLC members would consult with undergraduate students at all the EERC universities, to assist and inform them of the opportunities available within each EERC. Plans were also made to set up video conferencing and chat conferencing between the SLC chairs. This will assist in getting tri-lateral projects off the ground. Students concluded the meeting by surprising Ms. Gina Ring (the education coordinator of PEER) with a good-bye cake. Gina has accepted a new position within University of California at Irvine.

The four MCEER SLC students were very glad to participate in the unique opportunity to network with industry professionals, members of the academic community, and other student colleagues. They sincerely thank MCEER, especially Ms. Andrea Dargush, for the opportunity to attend this event and look forward to participating in similar meetings in the future.

Submitted by A. Natali Sigaher and Jeffrey W. Berman, University at Buffalo

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