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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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MCEER REU Student Wins EERI Competition

Alma Garcia

MCEER REU student Alma Garcia’s project assessed the effectiveness of seismic isolation as a retrofit strategy

Alma Garcia, an MCEER REU student from California Polytechnic State University, won EERI’s 2008 best undergraduate paper award. The paper, entitled “Experimental Seismic Fragility Assessment of Nonstructural Components and Systems in Multistory Buildings,” describes the research project that she carried out at the University at Buffalo, under the supervision of Gilberto Mosqueda. The goal of her investigation was to assess the effectiveness of seismic isolation as a retrofit strategy to reduce damage to nonstructural components and systems (NCSs). A series of small-scale shake table experiments was conducted on a five-story structural model continuing displacement-sensitive partition walls and several configurations of freestanding acceleration-sensitive equipment. Alma found that the base isolation system reduced the probably of overturning of NSCs and the probability of cracking for displacement-sensitive partition walls.