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Research Progress and Accomplishments 2001-2003


The ultimate vision of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) is to help establish earthquake resilient communities. The overall goal is to enhance the seismic resiliency of communities through improved engineering and management tools for critical infrastructure systems and emergency management functions. These tools will, in turn, help concerned organizations and communities to mitigate hazards, contain the effects of disasters when they occur, and carry out recovery activities in ways that minimize disruption and mitigate the destructive effects of future earthquakes.

To accomplish its mission, MCEER focuses on improving the resilience of facilities and organizations whose functions are essential for community well-being in the aftermath of earthquake disasters. The flowchart below schematically shows how the Center's research interests contribute collectively to achieve its vision.

Research on electrical power and water systems, together with transportation systems, focuses on problems germane to the infrastructural backbone of all communities. Research on hospitals addresses issues related to highly complex facilities (structure plus critical non-structural systems) that must remain functional to support essential medical services following earthquakes. Furthermore, in spite of efforts to strengthen existing structures and provide better designs for new structures, the built environment of many population centers will remain seismically vulnerable and unretrofitted. This condition may result in potential heavy losses and extensive social dislocation when the next major earthquake strikes. Therefore, MCEER's research also concentrates on bringing about improvements to a community's ability to respond to and recover from a disaster.

Each paper in this volume describes an aspect of MCEER's coordinated program to achieve its vision. They represent work in many stages, from just beginning, to those that are introducing new tools and techniques. Some are continuations of progress reported in previous volumes (with the Internet address to the electronic version of the earlier paper(s)), and others report on new efforts. Each paper identifies its sponsor, which is primarily either the National Science Foundation's Earthquake Engineering Research Centers program or the Federal Highway Administration. Next, the Research Team is identified, including the principal investigators, their students, and other integral members of the research team. Since many tasks rely on other tasks for information, these related team members are listed under the MCEER Team heading. Those listed under Collaborative Partners have similarly contributed to the research, but are not directly part of MCEER's research program. Finally, the Internet addresses of sites that contain information related to the research task are provided. These links have been made live in the electronic version of this report (available from the Publications section of MCEER's web site at

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 e-mail at

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