A Selection of Papers Chronicling Technical Achievements of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research
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The research accomplishments of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research are as numerous as they are varied. Since the Center was established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1986, its vision has been to help establish earthquake resilient communities throughout the United States and abroad. Over the past 14 years, our research and education programs have annually supported more than 80 investigators throughout the country and the world, to work toward this goal. Much has been accomplished, most notably in the areas of lifelines and protective systems, but our vision has not yet been fully realized.
Toward this end, we believe that the best way to achieve earthquake resilient communities in the short-term is to invest in two highly focused system-integrated endeavors:
- Rehabilitation of critical infrastructure facilities such as hospitals and lifelines that society will need and expect to be operational following an earthquake; and
- Improvement of emergency response and crisis management capabilities to ensure efficient response and prompt recovery following earthquakes.
Our research is conducted under the sponsorship of two major federal agencies, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Earthquake Engineering Research Centers Program and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the state of New York. Significant support is also derived from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), other state governments, academic institutions, foreign governments and private industry. Together these resources are used to implement our research programs.
This Research Progress and Accomplishments report is intended to provide the reader with an understanding of our current research efforts. The papers highlight research tasks that are in progress or have recently concluded, and provide those in the earthquake engineering community with a glimpse of the foci and direction that our programs are taking. We anticipate that this information will contribute to the coordination and collaboration effort in earthquake engineering research nationally and globally. The presentation is in descriptive form with preliminary observations and recommendations, and an indication of future efforts is provided.
The year 1999 was marked by two devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Taiwan. MCEER reconnaissance teams visited both these areas, and several of the papers in this report describe their efforts to learn from these tragic events. A few papers describe research that has been completed, most notably the Federal Highway Administration-sponsored project on the seismic vulnerability of new highway construction, while others describe work in progress. The authors identify the sponsors of the research, collaborative partners, related research tasks within MCEERs various programs, links to research and implementation efforts outside MCEERs program, and web site addresses for additional information.
Although MCEERs vision is to achieve earthquake resilient communities, it is the various professionals in earthquake hazard mitigation who will collectively join forces to create them. We can provide relevant tools to these professionals, who include practicing engineers, policy makers, regulators and code officials, facility and building owners, governmental entities, and other stakeholders who have responsibility for loss reduction decision making, and educate them on how to best use or apply these tools. Their decisions can encompass a range of actions, including the adoption of various new technologies, the retrofitting of structures using improved techniques and approaches, and response and recovery activities. This process, which moves from research through knowledge transfer, adoption, and implementation, is illustrated in the figure below.
Each paper in this report highlights the end users of the presented research or educational effort.
If you would like more information on any of the studies presented herein, or on other MCEER research or educational activities, you are encouraged to contact us by telephone at (716) 645-3391, facsimile (716) 645-3399, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.