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Tri-Center Collaboration and New Research Initiatives

The three earthquake centers (MCEER, Mid-America Earthquake Center (MAE), and the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Center (PEER)) plan to share their expertise on highway networks and power distribution networks in the coming year. PEER and MAE will contribute to the development of REDARS, a platform for seismic risk assessment of highway systems developed by MCEER as part of its highway project (see article on page 3). They will collaborate on the assessment of post-earthquake traffic demands; determine “link capacity,” i.e., define optimal alternate routes needed due to bridge closings; and bridge repair time.

MCEER and PEER will also merge their efforts on power distribution networks by combining PEER’s research on assessing the seismic performance of substations and components with MCEER’s research on power system performance, seismic evaluation and retrofit of transformers, and fragility curve development, to create a seismic risk methodology similar to REDARS.

A major new initiative in MCEER’s research program is the creation of “Overarching Research Tasks.” These tasks link the coordinated efforts in each thrust area to center-wide measures of resilience. Power and water research data are being merged with an aim toward creating integrated measures and quantitative assessments of the seismic resilience for the two systems, using Los Angeles as a case study. In another effort, researchers are working toward developing the knowledge base needed to create decision support systems for the seismic retrofit of hospitals, that would encompass structural, nonstructural, geotechnical, economic and social factors into an integrated system.

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