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MCEER Student Participates in Tri-Center Field Mission to Taiwan

Photo of Diego Lopez Garcia (right) and Dr. Juin-Fu Chai (NCREE Field Mission Coordinator) at NCREE's Sturctural Laboratory in Taipei

Diego Lopez Garcia (right) and Dr. Juin-Fu Chai (NCREE Field Mission Coordinator) at NCREE's Sturctural Laboratory in Taipei.

Diego Lopez Garcia, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo, was among eight students and one faculty member who traveled to Taipei, Taiwan, for a week of study at the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE). The students were sponsored by the three U.S. earthquake centers, MCEER, PEER and MAE. The mission was organized by MAE and coordinated by Professor Paul Roschke from Texas A&M University (MAE).

The group convened at NCREE for two days of presentations by experts from NCREE. The next two days consisted of a field trip to the Chi-Chi earthquake region. Sites visited included Feng-Yuan, Chung-Cheng Park (fault precipice), Pei-Feng bridge, Shi-Kang dam, Shi-Wei bridge, Tong-Feng bridge, Wu-Feng, Kuan-Fu Elementary School (geological damage), Tsau-Tun, Shu-Kung Junior High School (reconstructed school), Tsau-Tun, Ninety-Nine Peaks (landslide), Yen-Feng bridge, Chi-Lu cable stayed bridge and Chi-Chi town (epicenter). Several local people invited the group into their homes or businesses and showed examples of non-engineered repair and retrofit. The last full day included presentations by NCREE members, one by PEER student Charles Chadwell, University of California, Berkeley and a presentation by all of the MAE/MCEER/PEER students.

Group photo of the The Field Mission Team in front of the Chi-Lu Bridge

The Field Mission Team pose in front of the Chi-Lu Bridge, which was under construction at the time of the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake. The bridge suffered some damage and is not yet open to traffic.

After their return to the U.S., the students have been asked to make at least two presentations during the fall 2002 semester based on information they learned during the trip. One presentation is to be given to groups of students or adults in the U.S. that do not have an academic background in engineering or earthquakes, such as for middle or upper level high school students or lower-division undergraduate students. The second presentation is intended to be a technical seminar for graduate students and interested professors at the earthquake centers.

MCEER is grateful to NCREE for its significant contribution to the success of the Field Mission. MCEER extends its appreciation to all NCREE members who contributed their time and expertise to make this opportunity a great educational experience.

--Submitted by Diego Lopez Garcia, University at Buffalo

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