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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 23, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2009

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Volume 23, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2009

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Seminar Series

MCEER • UB-EERI • MCEER SLC • UB-CSEE

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. They can be viewed on the MCEER website.


Field Reconnaissance following the April 6, 2009 L`Aquila Earthquake in Italy

Gian Paolo Cimellaro, Assistant Professor, Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering at Polytechnic University of Turin (Politecnico di Torino), and Ioannis Christovasilis, Graduate Student, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo, June 11, 2009

The presentation detailed the preliminary reconnaissance findings of MCEER team members from UB’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering who visited the earthquake-stricken area. Ioannis Christovasilis, a graduate student, traveled to the region within a week of April 6, 2009. Later that month, Andrei Reinhorn, Professor, and Gian Paolo Cimellaro, Visiting Professor, joined a team from the Polytechnic University of Turin (Politecnico di Torino) that focused on infrastructure facilities, particularly electric power, water, hospitals and telecommunications. The majority of the damage occurred in the medieval city of L’Aquila (capital city of the Abruzzo region) and its surrounding villages. For example, the 13th-century Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio collapsed from the transept to the back of the church. The third floor of Forte Spagnolo, the 16th-century castle housing the National Museum of Abruzzo, collapsed, as did the cupola of the 18th-century Baroque church of St Augustine, damaging L’Aquila’s state archives. The City Hall (Palazzo Margherita, XIII sec.) and its civic tower were damaged as well as the Palace of the National Library. The apse of the Basilica of Saint Bernardino of Siena, L’Aquila’s largest Renaissance church, was seriously damaged, and its campanile collapsed. Almost the entire dome of the 18th-century church of Anime Sante in Piazza Duomo fell down. Damage to new buildings in the area of Pettino and at the Hospital San Salvatore was also observed. A PDF of Dr. Cimellaro’s presentation is available from MCEER.


L`Aquila Earthquake in Italy

Gian Paolo Cimellaro, Assistant Professor, Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering at Polytechnic University of Turin (Politecnico di Torino), April 15, 2009

Dr. Cimellaro’s presentation gave an overview of the M6.3 earthquake that struck L’Aquila Italy on April 6, 2009, killing 294 people and leaving approximately 29,000 people homeless. Topics included geology at the site of L’Aquila, seismic zonation, emergency response, damage to recently constructed buildings (masonry and RC), damage to critical facilities and damage to historic monuments, including the 13th century Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio, which was seriously damaged in the quake. A PDF of the presentation is available from MCEER.


Infrastructure – Economic Stimulus Possibilities: Barriers Removed Allow Engineering and Construction “Miracles”

Reinhard Ludke, S.E., Vice President, Creegan & D’Angelo Infrastructure Engineers; President, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, March 20, 2009

Reinhard Ludke’s presentation described how structural engineers and contractors constructed the 580 Maze Disaster freeway ramp in only twenty-five days after a gasoline tanker crash caused the bridge structure to collapse. Experts predicted 100 days or more of freeway closures and detours. The “miracle” occurred when seven disaster response components – a Disaster Response Plan, Emergency Declaration by the Governor, Support and Commitment by Local, State and Federal Government, Eliminate Barriers to success, Dedicated Structural Engineers, Financial Incentives and a Qualified Experienced Contractor - all came together, under committed leadership.