Under the theme of “Engaging Community ... Enlisting Opinion ... Attaining Resilience,” MCEER’s 2004 Annual Meeting was held January 15-16 in Los Angeles, California. The meeting provided a setting for MCEER’s researchers, students, and Industry Advisory Board (IAB) members to engage West Coast practitioners and stakeholders to help shape the Center’s research plan for the coming year. In all, more than 150 people attended the event, including more than 40 practicing architects, engineers, planners, owners, emergency managers, policy makers, and public officials.
The meeting was held in Los Angeles, at the invitation of the city’s Emergency Preparedness Department; Ellis Stanley, Sr., general manager, helped preside over a number of annual meeting activities, beginning with an Icebreaker Reception. The reception provided an opportunity for practitioners to informally interact with MCEER researchers, students and industry partners. The annual meeting included:
A “Practitioners Day Forum,” involving presentations and discussions by and with guest practitioners and Industry Advisory Board (IAB) members, and focusing on earthquake resiliency challenges faced in practice;
A full day of Strategic Research Planning during which MCEER industry partners, students and researchers met to integrate practitioner concerns into the Center research thrusts for the coming year. These are: Seismic Evaluation & Retrofit of Electric Power & Water Systems; Seismic Retrofit of Hospitals/Acute Care Facilities; and Earthquake Response & Recovery
Presentation of the “MCEER Best Student Article,” by Michael Pollino. Pollino, a civil engineering graduate student at the University at Buffalo, presented his article titled, “Seismic Retrofit of Bridge Steel Truss Pier Anchorage Connections.” He was selected as the winner of the inaugural competition, by a panel of distinguished judges from MCEER’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB), and was presented with an award in recognition of his achievement (See "Winner of First 'Best Student Article' Competition Presents Research at Annual Meeting);
Student Posters and Industry Exhibits, which were on display throughout the Annual Meeting, helped to foster further interaction between MCEER students, industry partners, researchers, and others in attendance;
On the evening of Thursday, January 15, an Annual Meeting Banquet honored the leadership of former MCEER director, George C. Lee. Dr. Lee recently decided it was time to step down as director to focus on his own research and education interests. He is serving as MCEER’s Special Tasks Director (see "New MCEER Team" article) and is continuing to lead MCEER’s Highway Project. He has held the post of MCEER director since 1992.
The Annual Meeting convened with the Center’s Executive Committee and Industry Advisory Board Executive Committee meeting in joint session, to review and further discuss past research progress and plans made for the coming year.
The day before the Annual Meeting, MCEER investigators and graduate students involved in the MCEER Hospital Project visited the new Westwood Campus of the UCLA Medical Center, which is currently under construction. The visit was guided by IAB member Mr. Chris Tokas from the Office of Statewide Health, Planning and Development (OSHPD). The group had the opportunity to learn about typical hospital construction, as well as observe a wide variety of nonstructural components included in an acute care facility.
To read more about the 2004 MCEER Annual Meeting, visit the MCEER web site at http://mceer.buffalo.edu/meetings/2004AnnualMeeting/defaultnew.asp.
Following the Annual Meeting on January 17, 2004, MCEER staff and students participated in a day-long awareness and outreach event on the CalTech campus in Pasadena entitled Northridge Earthquake 10th Anniversary: Learning from the Past, Planning for the Future. Caltech, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Earthquake Country Alliance hosted a day of lectures, movies, displays and activities for the whole family. Designed as a family-friendly event, several earthquake experts were on hand to present talks on topics ranging from “Can We Predict Earthquakes Yet?,” to “Will High Rise Buildings Collapse?,” and “Can We Catch Quakes with New Technology?,” as well as an afternoon “Ask the Experts” panel.
In addition, three short earthquake films, “Quakes in Space: Studying Earthquakes in the Satellite Age,” “Masters of Disasters,” and “Written in Stone: Earthquake Country – Los Angeles” were shown continuously in nearby Beckman Institute Auditorium.
MCEER was one of more than 20 exhibitors to display useful earthquake information, and to demonstrate MCEER’s wealth of educational and informational resources. Other exhibits and displays showcased fault rupture animations, working seismographs, the history of California’s earthquakes, an Earthquake Kid Zone Display, and many more topics, presented by other exhibitors such as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, the Southern California Earthquake Center, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and many others. Several hundred people attended the event.