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MCEER Movers & Shakers


George C. Lee Receives Award for International Education


George Lee

MCEER’s George C. Lee received an award for his “Outstanding Contribution to International Education” from the University at Buffalo (UB) on April 29, 2005. This university-wide award honors a faculty or staff member who has made exceptional contributions to international education.

Throughout his long career at UB, Dr. Lee has championed a wide variety of international educational programs. His efforts have helped shape many of today’s leaders in the field of earthquake engineering.

Among his most important contributions are the cooperative research programs he developed as director of MCEER/NCEER with other centers throughout the world, most notably in Japan, Korea, India, Taiwan and China. These include the US-PRC Research Exchange Program in Earthquake Engineering, the US-Taiwan Cooperative Demonstration Project and development of the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering, and the US-Japan Cooperative Project between NCEER and INCEDE, University of Tokyo.

As Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), George worked with Dr. Stephen Dunnett, Vice Provost for International Education, to develop the first US-PRC Scholarly Exchange Program in the U.S., which was founded in 1980 and continues today. They also established UB’s first overseas branch campus program in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia in the late 1980’s.

Many of the students who participated in these programs now hold responsible government positions and/or are researchers and professors at prominent universities throughout the world.

Currently, Dr. Lee is continuing his international educational activities by serving as president of the Asian-Pacific Network of Centers in Earthquake Engineering Research (ANCER), a consortium comprising eleven centers. He is also developing a new program that will pair young U.S. researchers with their counterparts in China to develop joint research activities, with a particular emphasis on multi-hazard protection of buildings and infrastructure systems.

MCEER Announces New IAB Executive Committee Appointments

Andy Taylor

Andy Taylor

Gary Hart
Gary Hart

Ellis Stanley

MCEER is pleased to announce a number of changes among the leadership of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) Executive Committee. These include the appointment of a new Chair, Ellis Stanley; Vice-Chair, Andy Taylor; and three new members, Sreenivas Alampalli, Scott Campbell and R. Jay Love. Ellis Stanley, General Manager of the Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Department, was previously Vice-Chair and Andy Taylor of KPFF, has served on the Executive Committee since the IAB’s inception in 2002.

Sreenivas Alampalli of the New York State Department of Transportation will serve as the committee’s highway thrust representative. Scott Campbell of Kinetics Noise Control and R. Jay Love of Degenkolb Engineers will serve as members at-large. The three join continuing members Jeremy Isenberg of Weidlinger Associates and Glenn Singley of LADWP, who represent the lifelines thrust and Chris Tokas of OSHPD, who along with Andy Taylor, represent the hospitals thrust. Ellis Stanley represents interests in MCEER’s emergency response and recovery research, ensuring that each of the Center’s four main thrust areas-- seismic evaluation and retrofit of lifelines; seismic retrofit of hospitals; earthquake response and recovery; and seismic design and retrofit of highways—have a practitioner voice in the strategic direction of research, education and outreach initiatives.

Gary Hart of the Hart-Weidlinger Division of Weidlinger Associates, the IAB’s inaugural chair, steps down after three years of service. MCEER thanks him for his outstanding commitment and leadership in the IAB’s initial years of development.


Thomas O'Rourke

Thomas D. O’Rourke, Thomas R. Briggs Professor of Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University and long time MCEER investigator, received the prestigious Ralph B. Peck Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The award is given annually to a geotechnical engineer selected for outstanding contributions to the profession through the analysis and publication of case histories. Tom delivered the Peck Lecture, entitled “Lessons Learned for Ground Movements and Soil Stabilization on the Boston Central Artery” at the ASCE Geo-Institute’s Geo-Frontiers Congress 2005, held in Austin, Texas on January 23-26, 2005. Tom also delivered a keynote address at the 13th World Conference for Earthquake Engineering (13WCEE) entitled “Advances in Lifeline Earthquake Engineering,” which was largely based on the work he conducted as co-leader of MCEER’s research in the lifelines area.


Terri Norton

Terri R. Norton, Ph.D. candidate from Florida A&M University and MCEER SLC member, was awarded the Graduate Student Leadership Award at the 19th Annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference, held February 17-19, 2005. This distinguished award honors innovators who exhibit a strong commitment to engineering expertise, leadership, and managerial panache. The award also acknowledges individuals for their contributions as role models and mentors working to expand the minority presence in technology enterprise and engineering. Terri also received the Graduate Student of the Year Golden Torch Award by the National Society of Black Engineers. She was honored at the Golden Torch Awards ceremony on March 24, 2005.


Sofia Tangalos

Sofia Tangalos was promoted to MCEER Senior Program Officer for Education/Outreach Activities and Information Service. In her new position, Sofia will coordinate MCEER’s educational activities, as well as manage the Information Service. She is working directly with Education Director S. Thevanayagam and Diversity Director Makola Abdullah to further MCEER’s initiatives in these areas. Another main activity will be to expand the current library collection to include literature on multiple hazards to support research on extreme events. Sofia was previously a Program Officer for a U.S.A.I.D- funded international education project through the African America Institute in New York. She has traveled extensively, and has taught English in Indonesia and Greece. She received her MLS degree from the University at Buffalo in 2003, and her B.A. in French Literature from Bryn Mawr College.


David Parisi

David Parisi joins MCEER as a Senior Programmer Analyst, where he oversees the Center’s computing network, which includes administration of several large servers and complex websites. He is responsible for hardware and software purchases and training, recommending solutions to improve productivity, maintaining Center-wide databases, programming, and providing technical support both in-house and during special events. Prior to joining MCEER, he led projects in programming, web development, and systems analysis at Copeland Data Systems. He received both his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University at Buffalo, and received an Outstanding Service Award from the Vice President for Student Affairs. David is a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and enjoys film and travel.


Joy James

Joy James joins MCEER as an Administrative Assistant and word processing expert. Before joining the MCEER team, she was involved in many office activities, such as purchasing, internal auditing, documentation and process improvement at Delphi Thermal and Interior. She has also worked for several Buffalo-area defense contractors. Joy holds an AAS degree in Science from Erie Community College. She is married and has two sons, one attending UB.

MCEER said a fond farewell as two of its staff members, Carolyn Baumet and Barbara McManus, retired. Carolyn, an Administrative Assistant for the Highway project, retired after 14 years with MCEER. She plans to travel and spend time with family. Barb, Senior Programmer Analyst since 1997, will be working as a volunteer for Prader-Willi USA, a national organization that supports children with this disability.

group photo at retirement party

The MCEER administrative team celebrates the contributions of its two retirees during the holiday season.

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 2005

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