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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 21, Number 1, Spring 2007

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Volume 21, Number 1, Spring 2007

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NSF Site Review Celebrates MCEER’s History


With the theme, A Decade as a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, MCEER hosted a summative site review on October 26 - 27, 2006 in Buffalo, New York. The day-and-half long event featured a full day of presentations on MCEER’s research and education plans, accomplishments, and activities. The site team was led by Vilas Mujumdar, NSF Program Officer, and participants included MCEER investigators, University at Buffalo officials, Industry Advisory Board (IAB) members, and students and former students.

Representatives of Facility Risk Consultants, FM Global, Kinetics Noise Control, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Terra Firm Earthquake Preparedness, Taylor Devices, Weidlinger Associates, as well as Bonneville Power Administration, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and New York State Department of Transportation, participated in the event. Glenn Singley, Ellis Stanley and Douglas Taylor made presentations.

Following the Site Review, IAB members joined nearly 20 MCEER investigators, engaging in discussions under the theme of “Capturing Research and Emerging Opportunities: Nurturing IAB/Investigator Synergies.” Issues relating to nonstructural components took center stage in the discussion, including a presentation by Steve Eder (Facility Risk Consultants) on the work of the Seismic Qualification Utility Group. IAB members also discussed the prospect of forming a specialty interest group focusing on nonstructural components. Conversations also included the work of MCEER’s Electric Utility Consortium (EUC), focusing on issues regarding qualification of substation equipment to meet and improve IEEE 693 standards.

SLC students also played an active part in the site visit, with 14 students presenting their research posters. A panel of former and current SLC members made formal presentations and engaged in a question and answer session with the NSF panel, regarding their experiences as part of MCEER. The student panelists included Michael Pollino, Ph.D candidate, University at Buffalo, Jeffrey Berman, Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Terri Norton, Aerospace Corporation, and Rory Connell, Innovative Emergency Management, Inc..

After the presentations, a formal dinner was held at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. On the second day, the site review team toured the University at Buffalo’s Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL), a NEES Equipment Site, before writing their reports.