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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 24, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2010

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Volume 24, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2010

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Seminar Series


The EERI student chapter of the University at Buffalo (UB-EERI), MCEER, the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) and the CSEE Graduate Student Association jointly sponsor a seminar series on a variety of topics related to earthquake and extreme events 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 at

Wind Effects on Structures: The Next Frontiers

Ahsan Kareem, Robert M. Moran Professor of Engineering, NatHaz Modeling Laboratory, University of Notre Dame - October 1, 2010

Quantification of aerodynamic loads on modern long span bridges, tall buildings and deep offshore platforms for oil production and supporting wind turbines is central to the assessment of their performance in extreme winds. Prof. Ahsan Kareem addressed the fundamental issues related to the modeling of wind load effects on structures in this presentation—including basic techniques for quantification of wind loads and their effects using analytical, CFD and model-based and data driven simulation schemes, codes and standards based procedures, and experimental and full-scale experiments.

Contact Modeling in the Mixed Lagrangian Formulation (MLF): Towards Progressive Collapse Prediction

Oren Lavan, Ph.D., Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology - July 22, 2010

Prediction of progressive collapse of buildings under extreme events is one of the challenges that the civil engineering community must face. In this seminar, Prof. Oren Lavan presented another step towards enabling the prediction of progressive collapse of structures using Mixed Lagrangian Formulation (MLF) by introducing a new gap element.

Regular Structures in an Irregular World

Leo Argiris, Principal and Structural Engineer, Arup - May 6, 2010

Architectural trends in the design of buildings continue to change. One consistent theme is the desire of architects and building owners to achieve more complex building programs and building forms. At the same time, we are seeing rapid development in building codes, construction methodologies and design tools. In this talk, Leo Argiris explored how these trends are impacting structural engineering and highlighted several recent and current projects engineering by Arup.

Project-Directed Physical Testing and its Importance in Delivering Better Seismic Performance

John D. Hooper, PE, SE, Principal and Director of Earthquake Engineering, Magnusson Klemencic Associates Inc. - April 21, 2010

Over the past decade, project-directed physical testing has been performed on numerous projects by engineers throughout the country. Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) has participated in project-directed physical testing that, in most cases, has resulted in changes to codes or standards that govern the conditions investigated while, at the same time, improves the seismic performance of specific projects. John D. Hooper highlighted several of these project-directed testing efforts and discussed the accompanying seismic performance enhancements.

The Potential of Ubiquitous Sensing

Sharon L. Wood, Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas at Austin - March 18, 2010

If bandwidth issues could be resolved, one could easily envision post-earthquake rescue services similar to those currently used to deploy emergency responders after automobile crashes. In her presentation, Prof. Sharon L. Wood talked about the potential of sensor systems within buildings and bridges that could automatically trigger yellow or red flags based on the measured response.