MCEER logo

MCEER Bulletin, Volume 20, Number 2, Summer 2006

skip navigation

Volume 20, Number 2, Summer 2006

mceer logo

MCEER-UB Team Competes in Third Annual Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition

group photo

MCEER-UB team members Charles Ekiert (l) and David Keller (r) along with their SLC Advisor Yu-Chen Ou (c)

This year, eight teams from around the country competed at the Third Annual PEER Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition, which was held from April 18 - 21, 2006 during the 8th US National Conference on Earthquake Engineering at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Representing the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) were the following six teams: Oregon State University, University of California at Davis, University of California at San Diego, University of California at Berkeley, University of Washington, and the University of Hawaii. Representing the Mid-America Earthquake Center and MCEER were Georgia Institute of Technology and the University at Buffalo (UB), respectively.

photo of model

The MCEER-UB team’s model won first place in the seismic performance category

Each team was challenged to design and build a cost efficient and structurally stable building model to withstand three major earthquakes – El Centro (1940), Northridge (1994), and Kobe (1995). Each team was not only judged on the architectural features, economics and seismic performance of the building, but also on how well they presented their design during an oral presentation session as well as through a poster presentation.

team on stage

The MCEER-UB team presented their design to a panel of judges

The UB team, consisting of Charles Ekiert and David Keller, prepared the design of their building according to similar concepts used for a previously tested model, which placed first in the MCEER Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition held a few months earlier (see review in the Volume 20, No.1, Spring 06 issue). The Buffalo building, with viscous dampers at its base and 29 balsa wood floors, reached five feet tall and performed as well as expected, winning first place in seismic performance and third place overall, closely behind Berkeley (second) and University of Washington (first).