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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 20, Number 2, Summer 2006

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Volume 20, Number 2, Summer 2006

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MCEER Movers & Shakers

Shinozuka Awarded 2006 Scanlan Medal


M. Shinozuka

MCEER Executive Committee member and investigator, Masanobu Shinozuka, Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, received the 2006 Robert H. Scanlan Medal from ASCE. This prestigious award is presented by the society to recognize distinguished achievement in engineering mechanics based upon scholarly contributions to both theory and practice in the areas of structural mechanics, wind engineering and aerodynamics. The award, which consists of a certificate and medal, will be presented to Professor Shinozuka during the 15th US National Congress on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics conference in Boulder, Colorado on June 25-30, 2006.

Lembo Receives SUNY Chancellor’s Award


A. Lembo

Arthur J. Lembo, Jr., MCEER investigator and faculty member in the Department of Crop and Soil Science at Cornell University, was presented with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is given based on the following selection criteria: teaching techniques and expectations of students; scholarship and professional growth; student services; and major teaching achievements. The award was presented at Dean’s Award Reception at Cornell University.

Taylor Receives UB Engineering Dean’s Award


D. Taylor

Douglas P. Taylor, President of Taylor Devices, Inc. and Tayco Developments, Inc., was the 2006 recipient of the University at Buffalo’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) Dean’s Award for Achievement. The award is presented each year at the SEAS Commencement ceremony. Since 1978, SEAS gives this, its highest honor, to someone who has made a substantial contribution to the practice of engineering or the applied sciences and/or has had an exceptional professional career. Mr. Taylor is a long-time member of MCEER’s Industrial Advisory Board, and Taylor Devices is a Flagship partner in MCEER’s Strategic Partnerships Network.

Rose Presents Report and Study Results to Congressional Hazards Alliance States Caucus


A. Rose

MCEER investigator Adam Rose, Professor in the Department of Geography, Pennsylvania State University, served as the leader of the Benefit-Cost Analysis track for a report to congress on Future Savings from FEMA Mitigation Activities from 2003 - 2005. The study covered FEMA grants for earthquake, flood, tornado, and hurricane mitigation for the period 1993-2003. HAZUS-MH and various modifications and extensions of it, as well as several other methods, were used to analyze several categories of benefits: the avoidance of direct property damage, direct and indirect business interruption, environmental and historical damages, societal losses (casualties and displacement), and emergency service expenditures. The discounted value of future benefits were estimated at over $14 billion, and on average, benefits exceeded costs by a ratio of 4 to 1.

The research team was assembled by the Applied Technology Council on a contract from the Multi-hazard Mitigation Council (MMC) of the National Institute for Building Sciences. Other MCEER researchers who participated in the effort were Ron Eguchi, Project Manager; Kathleen Tierney, Project Management Committee member; and Bill Petak, chair of the Internal Advisory Review board.

During the same time period, Professor Rose also served on a National Research Council panel on the Benefits of Advanced Seismic Monitoring that evaluated a network of both strong and weak motion sensors. He adapted the benefit categories from the MMC study as an organizing framework for this analysis. The various applications of the monitoring system were evaluated on a very conservative basis. Still, the study was able to conclude that while the system cost would be in the tens of millions of dollars, it would likely return benefits in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Professor Rose presented a summary of both the mitigation report and the seismic monitoring study to the U.S. Congress Hazards Alliance States Caucus in February 2006.