The MCEER Student Leadership Council (SLC) held its fifth annual retreat on September 30th through October 2nd, 2004 at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). The retreat was graciously hosted by the UNR, Department of Civil Engineering and organized by the UNR SLC members. The MCEER SLC annual retreat provides an opportunity for students to discuss current issues, future SLC activities and to present their research and receive feedback from student peers.
The retreat commenced with an icebreaker at the Siena Hotel Spa Casino on Thursday evening where arriving students were greeted by Elliott Goodwin and Phil Butler, hosting SLC members. On Friday, the meeting began at the UNR Department of Civil Engineering with opening remarks by Jeffrey Berman, the current SLC chairman. Following his opening remarks, Jeffrey introduced Dr. Manos Maragakis, a Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at UNR, who extended a warm welcome to the MCEER SLC. The morning session began with a tour of the new George E. Brown Jr., Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) facilities at UNR, and concluded with an open discussion led by Jeffrey Berman regarding activities for the upcoming academic year, including, "'The Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition."
The afternoon session opened with a presentation on the seismic retrofit of bridge structures by the distinguished guest speaker, Dr. M. Saiidi, a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at UNR. Dr. Saiidi received a warm round of applause for his excellent presentation.
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The afternoon session continued with student presentations. Due to time constraints, students were given ten minutes to present a summary of their research and five minutes for questions. The various topics presented by the twelve participants representing six different universities demonstrated the diversity of research supported by MCEER.
Student presentations were given by: Navid Allahverdi (New Jersey Institute of Technology), Michael Astrella (University at Buffalo), Jeffrey Berman (University at Buffalo), Phil Butler (University of Nevada, Reno), Lyle Carden, Ph.D. (University of Nevada, Reno), Elliott Goodwin (University of Nevada, Reno), Marlon Hill (Florida A&M), Anita Jacobsen (Cornell University), Terri Norton (Florida A&M), Michael Pollino (University at Buffalo), Jale Tezcan (Rice University) and Gordon Warn (University at Buffalo). Following the student presentations, Jeffrey Berman provided some final remarks, closing the afternoon session. The SLC reconvened that evening for dinner at a local Brew Pub.
On Saturday, the MCEER SLC met in the hotel lobby for a trip to Lake Tahoe, which included a BBQ organized by the UNR SLC students and a boat tour. Upon returning from Lake Tahoe, the SLC reconvened for dinner, after which Jeffrey Berman provided closing remarks for the 2004 retreat.
-Submitted by Gordon Warn, University at Buffalo