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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 22, Number 1, December 2008

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Volume 22, Number 1, December 2008

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Seminar Series


The EERI student chapter of the University at Buffalo (UB-EERI), the MCEER Student Leadership Council, the Networking and Education Programs of MCEER, and the University at Buffalo’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering jointly sponsor a series of seminars on a variety of topics related to earthquake hazard mitigation. The purpose of the seminar series is to widen accessibility to timely, technical presentations by students, researchers, visitors and affiliates of MCEER. All seminars are held at the University at Buffalo, and most are broadcast over the Internet in real-time. See the MCEER webcast page for links to archived webcasts, abstracts and more on the series.

Shear Strength and Deformation Capacity of Reinforced Concrete Slabs

Thomas Jaeger, Ph.D., Institute of Structural Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, October 30, 2008

Dr. Jaeger discussed the research project “Deformation Capacity of Structural Concrete,” an extensive series of tests on reinforced concrete slab specimens with and without transverse reinforcement conducted at the Institute of Structural Engineering of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Brittle shear failures occurred for all specimens without transverse reinforcement. The use of a minimum transverse reinforcement eliminated the size effect, and a ductile flexural failure as well as significantly improved deformation capacity was achieved. The test results served as a basis to develop a mechanical model, the extended sandwich model, that allows a general treatment of the strength and the deformation capacity of reinforced concrete slabs with and without transverse reinforcement.

Base Isolated Addition to 185 Berry Street Building in San Francisco’s China Basin

Ronald L. Mayes, Ph.D., Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger, Inc., EERI Friedman Family Visiting Professional, April 16, 2008

Dr. Mayes described an innovative application of seismic isolation that permits the vertical expansion of an existing three story reinforced concrete moment frame building with the addition of two new stories, while reducing seismic demands by introducing isolation bearings between the existing structure and the addition. Mayes presented the results of the analyses, documented the design process for the application of this approach and discussed the design of the unique isolation system.

Earthquakes, Hurricanes and other Disasters: A View from Space

Ronald Eguchi, President and CEO of ImageCat, Inc., March 18, 2008

group photo

About 40 people attended Ron Eguchi’s seminar on the use of remote sensing in disaster management.

The seminar, which was also presented as the 2008 EERI Distinguished Lecture, focused on the use of remote sensing technologies in disaster management. Mr. Eguchi explained the different imaging technologies available, such as synthetic aperture radar, commonly known as SAR, and light detection and ranging or LiDAR, noting the benefits and drawbacks of each technology. He also described the development of evaluation techniques, including before and after comparisons to determine damage to urban infrastructure. He discussed the use of remote sensing technologies following several major disasters, including the Bam, Iran Earthquake of 2003, the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He showed the evolution of the technology, specific applications, and identified areas of future development, including the use of remote sensing to measure progress in disaster recovery.

E-Defense Full-Scale Experimental Projects on Conventional and Value-Added Steel Buildings

Kazuhiko Kasai, Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology; Leader, E-Defense Steel Building Research Projects; February 26, 2008

Professor Kasai’s presentation focused on two steel building projects at Japan’s E-Defense facility, the world’s largest full-size three dimensional vibration destruction facility (shake table), which has been operating since 2005. Dr. Kasai first discussed the Building Collapse Simulation project, in which a full-scale 4-story building, of a conventional type and constructed according to current design standards and practice, was tested in September 2007. The building collapsed under 1.0 times the JR Takatori record, developing a side-sway mechanism in the 1st story. Dr. Kasai then described the Damper and Isolation Systems Project, in which full-scale 5-story buildings, either passively controlled or base-isolated, will be tested the future. Dr. Kasai also explained mechanisms of the different damper types and experimental behavior, together with analytical simulation, and gave various details of the steel subassemblies and their effects on cyclic behavior.