Bulletin Board


Earthquake Engineering Research Centers Program Announcement

The National Science Foundation's Earthquake Hazard Mitigation Program (EHM) in the Directorate for Engineering is concerned with the discovery, integration and utilization of knowledge in earthquake engineering and related disciplines. While the program focuses on geotechnical and structural engineering, it is acknowledged that earthquake hazard mitigation is a multi-disciplinary problem and thus earthquake-related research in architecture, planning, and the social sciences is also supported. Individuals and small group projects are the main recipients of funds from EHM, with a typical focus on a single discipline. These projects have led to important discoveries in particular areas. However, other significant discoveries with broader implications may often be more effectively pursued through a team approach involving several persons working across disciplines in a coordinated fashion. This is especially important in earthquake hazard reduction, since it relies upon contributions from a diversity of disciplines.

Thus, EHM's goal is to facilitate a more holistic approach to knowledge discovery to complement the strengths of individual investigator projects funded by NSF and others. NSF's experience with centers indicates that they are important mechanisms for achieving the type of knowledge integration and innovative problem solving that is crucial for rapidly advancing many aspects of earthquake research and mitigation. Therefore, NSF has initiated a new competition for earthquake engineering research centers to be funded through the EHM Program.

U.S. academic institutions with engineering research and education programs are eligible to submit proposals. Multi-institutional proposals are encouraged. Such a cooperative endeavor should expand opportunities to share available human, laboratory, computational and financial resources. It is also expected that centers will develop significant cooperation and interactions with industry and government organizations.

NSF expects to fund up to three earthquake engineering research centers, depending upon the availability of funds and the quality of proposals received. Initial awards will be made as cooperative agreements for a duration of up to five years. Each center will be funded for up to $2 million per year beginning in Fiscal Year 1997. A center must match the NSF contribution on at least a dollar-for-dollar basis from nonfederal sources. Proposals must be received by October 15, 1996. Program inquiries may be directed to Dr. William Anderson (wanderso@nsf.gov); Dr. Clifford Astill (castill@nsf.gov); or Dr. S.C. Liu (sliu@nsf.gov); phone: (703) 306-1362. The complete text of this and other announcements may be found on the NSF web site, http://www.nsf.gov.

Research Opportunities in Earthquake Hazard Mitigation

The National Science Foundation is interested in receiving proposals for research in a number of areas related to earthquake hazard mitigation, including Mitigation of Urban Earthquake Disasters, Next Generation of Codes for Seismic Safety, and Composite and Hybrid Structures. Information on these and other research opportunities may be obtained as indicated below, or by contacting Drs. S.C. Liu or W. Anderson at the NSF, phone: (703) 306-1361.

U.S.-Japan Cooperative Research for Mitigation of Urban Earthquake Disasters - The Kobe, Northridge, Loma Prieta and other recent earthquakes have clearly demonstrated the catastrophic effects of earthquakes on urban areas. The proceedings from the NSF-sponsored U.S.-Japan Workshop on Mitigation of Urban Earthquake Disaster, held December 1995 in Hawaii, identify more than 60 high priority research topics suitable for cooperative efforts between U.S. and Japanese researchers in urban disaster mitigation. The proceedings are available from the Earthquake Engineering Research Center, National Information Service for Earthquake Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1301 South 46th Street, Richmond, California 94804-4698; phone: (510) 231-9401. The workshop participants indicated several subject areas where special cooperative efforts would be most effective. These were:

NSF is interested in receiving unsolicited proposals in these and other related areas, especially those to be conducted jointly with Japanese investigators.

Development and Implementation of the Next Generation of Codes for Seismic Safety - There is considerable discussion in many professional groups and organizations concerned with the development of codes for structures located in seismic zones regarding the need to address a broad range of performance goals. For instance, the Structural Engineers Association of California has prepared a report entitled Vision 2000: Performance-Based Seismic Engineering of Buildings. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also sponsored a User Needs Colloquium on Performance-Based Seismic Design of Buildings and has supported the development of Guidelines and Commentary for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings which includes a number of new approaches for the design and analysis of structures subjected to seismic actions. The form of future codes is still an open question that will require a great deal of additional research, study and discussion. NSF encourages the submission of unsolicited proposals aimed at providing new insights and solutions for those concerned with the development of performance-sensitive codes. Research undertaken should address the definition of principles that control the demands on and the behavior of structures in any seismic zone. A scientific basis for setting performance or behavioral objectives and determining the ability of structures to meet those objectives is needed for code formulation and for general use by designers. The collaborative efforts of research and design teams is encouraged.

U.S.-Japan Cooperative Earthquake Engineering Program for Research on Composite and Hybrid Structures - Considerable attention has been directed recently towards the innovative use of combinations of materials and systems to improve seismic performance and construction economy. The U.S. is in the second year of a five year cooperative research program with Japanese investigators to improve seismic safety practices through efforts to develop new and innovative composite structural elements and hybrid systems using advanced, new materials and/or devices, and developing practical design guidelines for typical composite and hybrid structures. For the purposes of this program, investigations are subdivided into the following four categories depending on the type of structural elements used: (1) Concrete Filled Tube Column Systems, (2) Reinforced Concrete/Steel Reinforced Concrete Column Systems, (3) Reinforced Concrete/Steel Reinforced Concrete Hybrid Wall Systems, and (4) New Materials, Elements and Systems. The background of the program, and the theme structures used to focus the investigations, are presented in Recommendations for U.S.-Japan Cooperative Earthquake Research Program; Phase 5 - Composite and Hybrid Structures, Report No. 92-29, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. This report is available from Professor Subhash Goel, the U.S. Coordinator for the technical program, phone: (313) 764-8419. Information on NSF's solicitation for proposals in this area and requirements for proposal submission may be found in the NSF Program Initiative Announcement entitled Research on Composite and Hybrid Structures: A U.S.-Japan Cooperative Earthquake Engineering Program. The next deadline for submission of proposals is expected on January 24, 1997.

ATC-R-1 and ATC-21-T Reports Available

The Applied Technology Council announced the availability of two reports: the ATC-R-1 report, Cyclic Testing of Narrow Plywood Shear Walls and the ATC-21-T report, Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards Training Manual. The ATC-R-1 report is the first self-directed research project to be funded by the Henry J. Degenkolb Endowment Fund of the Applied Technology Council. It addresses the dynamic performance of narrow plywood-sheathed shear walls, which have been and continue to be used extensively in wood frame construction throughout California and other western states. The report describes the details of the testing program and summarizes the results. The cost is $20.

The ATC-21-T manual was developed to facilitate the training of individuals who desire to apply the procedures described in the ATC-21 report, Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards, A Handbook. The newly published ATC-21-T Training Manual, bound in a 3-ring binder, consists of 120 slides of photographs, schematic drawings and textual information, and a companion 120-page training presentation narrative coordinated with the slides. The cost is $160.

To order, contact the Applied Technology Council, 555 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 550, Redwood City, California 94065; phone: (415) 595-1542; fax: (415) 593-2320.

SSC Reports Available

The Seismic Safety Commission released two reports about existing buildings and retrofits. Northridge Building Case Studies summarizes the performance of 25 buildings subjected to moderate to strong ground shaking in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The report highlights seismic performance levels, large scale failures including department stores, parking structures, and unreinforced masonry buildings and less spectacular damage in buildings that performed well. Included are recommendations for code changes and insights into how engineers presently evaluate the performance of buildings. The cost is $50 (SSC 94-06, 440 pp.).

Provisional Commentary for Seismic Retrofit describes the evolution of seismic performance levels and objectives, and can guide design professionals in applying these new principles when retrofitting buildings. The cost is $15 (SSC 94-02, 125 pp.).

To order, please send a check to the Seismic Safety Commission at 1900 K St., #100, Sacramento, California 95814 ; phone: (916) 322-4917.

Interim Guidelines Available

Interim Guidelines: Evaluation, Repair, Modification and Design of Welded Steel Moment Frame Structures was produced by the SAC Phase I project. Until superseded by SAC Design Advisories, which may be issued during the project, or by the final guidelines to be produced by SAC near the end of Phase II, these Interim Guidelines serve as the industry standard for seismic design of steel moment frames. To obtain a free copy from FEMA, request "FEMA 267, Interim Guidelines," phone: (800) 480-2520.

1997 American Control Conference

The American Automatic Control Council (AACC) will hold the sixteenth American Control Conference on June 4-6, 1997 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Held in cooperation with the International Federation of Automatic Control, the conference will cover a range of topics relevant to theory and practical implementation of control and automation. Prospective authors can submit five copies of either a regular paper (five page complete description of finished work) or short paper (two page exposition of a novel idea or preliminary results). Manuscript forms and additional instructions for submitting papers can be obtained from the AACC home page at http://www.eece.unm.edu/controls/ACC97/welcome.html.

For further information, contact: General Chair, Naim A. Kheir - ACC'97, Oakland University, Dept. of Electrical and System Engineering, Rochester, MI 48309-4401; phone: (810) 370-2177; fax: (810) 370-4633; email: kheir@vela.acs.oakland.edu.

Stability and Ductility of Steel Structures: Japanese Session '97

The Japanese Session of the Fifth International Colloquium on Stability and Ductility of Steel Structures will take place July 29-31, 1997 in Nagoya, Japan. Organized by the Japanese Society of Steel Construction, The Kozai Club and Nagoya University, and cosponsored by the Structural Stability Research Council and the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering, the aim of the colloquium is to discuss future trends in stability and ductility of steel structures under static/dynamic loadings in general, and in particular, explore the important features and issues of seismic design methodology for steel structures in the 21st century. Prospective authors are invited to submit three copies of a 400-word abstract by is June 30, 1996. For more information, contact Professor Tsutomu Usami, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-01, Japan, phone: (+81) 52-789-4617; fax: (+81) 52-789-3738;
email: a40622a@nucc.cc.nagoya-u.ac.jp.

IDNDR Plans Disaster Reduction Day and Internet Conference on Cities at Risk

The International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) is sponsoring an Internet conference entitled Solutions for Cities at Risk. The conference will run from August to mid-October 1996. The conference is a virtual conference and will begin with a "plenary" session to provide an overview of the key issues and conference agenda. It will continue with a series of successive workshops each dealing with one topic for varying lengths of time (between one week and ten days). The conference address is http://www.quipu.net.

The IDNDR has also prepared a variety of information/activities for International Disaster Reduction Day, which will be celebrated on October 9 this year. Information is centered around this year's theme, "Cities at Risk." These include a poster contest, suggestions on how to organize local activities and meetings on the topic of "Cities at Risk," suggestions for activities that can be carried out with children, a factual summary of how disasters pose a growing threat to cities, and a list of forthcoming materials to help local organizations in their campaigns.

To obtain any of the above materials or for further information, contact the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) Secretariat, UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, phone: (4122) 798-6894; fax: (4122) 733-8695; or email: idndr@dha.unicc.org.

Third Annual Congress on Natural Hazard Loss Reduction

The Third Annual Congress on Natural Hazard Loss Reduction will take place June 10-11, 1996 in Dallas, Texas. The conference is sponsored by the Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction and will cover the following topics: climate change, wind, hail, tornadoes, wildland-urban interface and earthquakes. For more information and registration, contact: 1996 Congress, Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction, 73 Tremont Street, Suite 530, Boston, MA 02108-3910; phone: (617) 722-0200, ext. 223; fax: (617) 722-0202.

Third Conference on Nondestructive Evaluation of Civil Structures and Materials

The Third Conference on Nondestructive Evaluation of Civil Structures and Materials will be held September 9-11, 1996 in Boulder, Colorado. The 1990 and 1992 conferences were very successful with over 130 attendees representing private practitioners, government agencies, research organizations, and academic institutions. Attendees of this unique conference represent a wide range of user groups with interests in evaluation of bridges, dams, buildings, and utilities constructed with concrete, steel, timber, and masonry. For more information, contact Michael Schuller, Atkinson-Noland and Associates, 2619 Spruce St., Boulder, Colorado 80302; phone: (303) 444-3620; fax: (303) 444-3239.

Architecture Awards Competition

Architecture Magazine and the American Institute of Architectural Research (AIAR) are cosponsoring an awards program for architectural research. This program is the successor to the previous collaborative effort between AIAR and Progressive Architecture. The awards competition seeks to recognize outstanding research in architecture and urban design.

Entrants will be judged on three broad areas of research: energy and sustainable design, behavioral and social science, and technology and materials. The submission deadline is July 1, 1996. Winning entries will be published in Architecture's November 1996 issue.

For more information, contact Deborah Dietsch, Architecture Magazine, phone: (202) 828-0993 or Pradeep Dalal of AIAR, phone: (202) 626-7447.

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