In July 2004, 16 Ph.D. students from MAE, PEER, MCEER and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) were accompanied by advisors Scott Ashford and Linda Nelson from PEER, Reginald DesRoches and Sandra Menke from MAE, and three high school teachers, on the 2004 Tri-Center Student Field Mission to Japan. Held July 17-24 and organized by PEER, the trip's purpose was to learn more about international centers of excellence in earthquake studies; study emerging areas of research and application; view areas impacted by recent earthquakes; discern useful lessons learned in recovery and rebuilding; experience the international culture of earthquake research; foster cooperation between the three Earthquake Engineering Research centers and encourage networking among the students.
During the group's stay in Japan, they visited several universities, research institutions, laboratories and field locations. The group was hosted by Professor Masanori Hamada and his research team at Waseda University; Dr. Eiji Kohama of Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI); Dr. Akio Abe of Tokyo Soil Research Co. Ltd; and Professor Masayoshi Nakashima and his research team at Kyoto University. At Waseda University and Tokyo University, both the hosts and group members gave presentations about their research. With their hosts, the group toured experimental facilities in PARI, the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED), the Building Research Institute (BRI) and the Public Works Research Institute (PWI). They also visited the largest shake table facility in the world, E-Defense, which is located in Miki City and still under construction; it will be completed in 2005.
After the trip, the students wrote papers on different aspects of earthquake engineering, and post-event design and recovery. Follow-up seminars and a photo journal of the trip are also planned.
The 2005 Field Mission will visit Greece and Turkey in July. Details will be posted at http://mceer.buffalo.edu/education/tricenter/default.asp when they become available.
-Submitted by Yufeng Hu, University at Buffalo