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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 25, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2011

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Volume 25, Number 1, 2011

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Undergraduate CSEE Student Receives Recognition for Research Project on Construction Materials Used in Haiti

Gael Lamothe, a Long Island, NY, undergraduate student and Haitian native majoring in civil engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB), conducted an MCEER-funded research project in which he examined the strength of concrete masonry units (CMUs), typically used in Haitian construction.

Gael Lamothe

Gael Lamothe's project involved testing common construction blocks found in Haiti.Apostolos Sarlis

Under the mentorship of Andre Filiatrault, Professor of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering and former MCEER Director, Lamothe tested six sets of blocks from Haiti in the Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL) according to the ASTM C1716 standard. He then compared these with blocks manufactured in the United States.

The conclusions from Lamothe’s project, which recommended an upgrade to CMU quality, are being shared with Haitian engineers attending the UniQ-UB/MCEER Earthquake Engineering Seminar Series in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (see Page 2 for details) so that they can be taken into consideration as the country rebuilds. He is also currently a work study student at MCEER on the Haiti Education Project.

Lamothe received recognition for his project through UB's Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), in which he was a participant, and he has been nominated to present his research at the UB Annual Celebration of Academic Excellence in April 2012.