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Tri-Center Meeting on Geographically Distributed Systems

Building on the success of the June 24-25, 2003 Tri-Center Workshop in San Pedro, California, a second workshop was held December 11-12, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada to strengthen communication and research coordination between investigators and key stakeholders from the three Earthquake Engineering Research Centers (MCEER, PEER and MAE).

About 50 to 60 participants, including academic researchers and research managers from the three earthquake centers, and representatives from industry who are actively engaged in conducting, planning, or managing research on geographically distributed systems, attended the two-day event. A combination of general plenary sessions, short presentations and breakout sessions offered participants the opportunity to identify and develop plans for collaboration on current and future projects.

Of particular interest is the collaboration planned around the matured REDARS Seismic Risk Analysis software platform developed by MCEER over the past decade as part of the FHWA project, and how the three Centers can integrate fragility information into the platform. The framework of this collaboration will also serve as a model for similar research work on power distribution systems.

Other discussion areas included: (1) developing improved fragility relationships for bridges with emphasis on quantifying relationships between engineering demand parameters, damage, and bridge functionality; (2) prioritizing research needs on transportation system performance, and identifying collaborative activities that will improve the overall assessment of transportation systems and integrate end-user needs into the development of methodologies and software tools; (3) defining the current status and user/researcher needs to conduct seismic risk analyses of electric utility components and systems; and (4) examining opportunities to dramatically improve seismic risk assessment of geographically distributed systems to better characterize seismic hazards (strong ground motions and ground deformations).

The strong and positive set of action items formulated by the workshop participants will help to guide future collaboration between researchers of the EERCs, and help the Centers’ management team facilitate these interactions in ways that help fulfill their strategic plans.

The steering committee was chaired by Amr Elnashi, Mid-America Earthquake Center (MAE), and included Michel Bruneau, Ronald Eguchi and Ian Buckle from MCEER and Greg Deierlein and Cliff Roblee from PEER.

The Bulletin is a free publication offering articles on Center research, cooperative ventures, reports from conferences, educational activities, upcoming events, and reviews of new MCEER publications Spring 2004

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