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MCEER Publishes Special Report Series on The World Trade Center Attack

Cover of Volume I of the WTC Report Series

Cover of Volume 2 of the WTC Report Series
Cover of Volume 3 of the WTC Report Series

MCEER has issued a report series titled Engineering and Organizational Issues Related to The World Trade Center Terrorist Attack. The series is based on the premise that the World Trade Center attack could be seen as a "proxy" for what a major earthquake might do in a complex, densely populated, modern urban environment. Like an earthquake, the terrorist attack occurred with virtually no warning. As would be expected in an earthquake, fires broke out and multiple structural collapses occurred. As has been observed in major urban earthquakes and in other disasters (e.g., Hurricane Andrew), structures that performed critical emergency functions were destroyed, heavily damaged, or evacuated for life-safety reasons.

Additionally, because the majority of the damage occurred to relatively new and well-engineered structures and because the emergency response system in New York City was considered well prepared for all types of emergencies (particularly terrorist attacks), the attack and its aftermath provide a useful laboratory for exploring a variety of engineering and emergency management issues.

With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), MCEER initiated a research project to collect perishable data in the aftermath of the WTC attack for later study to gain a better understanding of how resilience is achieved in physical, engineered systems, and in organizational systems. Engineering and Organizational Issues Related to The World Trade Center Terrorist Attack presents these findings. Each report in the series focuses on a narrow aspect of the disaster as studied by MCEER researchers. These reports, as listed below, are available in PDF format or as hard copies that can be ordered from the MCEER web site.

  • Overview of Damage to Buildings near Ground Zero, by Michel Bruneau, Andrew Whittaker and Andrei Reinhorn, MCEER-02-SP02

  • Reconnaissance and Preliminary Assessment of a Damaged Building Near Ground Zero, by Jeffrey Berman, Gordon Warn, Andrew Whittaker and Michel Bruneau, MCEER-02-SP03

  • Emergency Response in the Wake of World Trade Center Attacks: The Remote Sensing Perspective, by ImageCat, Inc., Charles K. Huyck and Beverley J. Adams, MCEER-02-SP05.

Each report is $25.00. To order, contact at (716) 645-3395, or online.

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