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Minutes of the Forum Sessions

Day One Discussion Session
March 2n
d, 2000

Chairs: W. Hayes and D. J. Inman

Discussion in the afternoon session was conducted by providing commentary on each of the talks given throughout the day. A summary of the comments is provided below, for each of the papers:

G. C. Lee:

The focus on response to user’s needs in this work, as opposed to generating a new technology and subsequently fitting it to an application, was seen as a very positive aspect of this paper. There was further agreement that there is too much emphasis on devices, in that researchers create a device and then apply it. A more rational process is to identify the needs of the structure and then create a device to address this need.

I. Juran:

The author suggested that contractors should be responsible for the performance of their system, not for meeting a set of design criteria. This was well received by the group, as this would encourage contractors to take more interest in new technology and using them to find better ways to address the performance needs of geotechnical systems. It was also suggested in discussion that better publicity of the issues in earthquake engineering is needed, in order to generate more support for exploring this area.

M. Feng:

The audience enjoyed many aspects of this work, including that it is quite "avant garde" in this field, and that the column jacket retrofitting technology has the capability to be applied to a wide range of systems, such as pipelines. Further, the work incorporates interdisciplinary researchers, industrial partners, and government agencies. By getting this full range of engineers involved at the early stages, the technology is more likely to be adopted in practice. The interdisciplinary nature and wider applicability of the research generated discussion of the need to break down barriers between Civil Engineering and other disciplines. There exists a need to develop an approach to such new areas in the framework of the technology, not in the framework of specific disciplines. It was further pointed out that Civil Engineering researchers will need to continue to expand their work in this way, or risk losing students to more challenging and relevant fields. The major need of this work that was cited by the group was addressing how the technology would be implemented in practice.

Y. Shimizu:

This work was praised extensively for its aggressive advance in the state of the art in implementing sensor technology in gas pipelines. Some of the issues that arose in discussion were the need to try combining networks for gas with those for water, electric, or other lifelines, rather than leaving each industry to take care of its own technology. Such a combination would generally require a consortium of members from each of these industries, as well as a full understanding of the legal implications of sharing the sensor data. Finally, it was suggested that the authors provide some economic analysis of this work. This would help the group to address important economic issues when requesting resources for earthquake engineering research.

M. Shinozuka:

The audience applauded the fact that the researchers addressed the social, economic, and planning aspects of this work, as this is the best way to get policy makers involved and interested in this work. The other issue in getting these policy makers involved is to demonstrate the feasibility of using this reverse engineering in the decision-making process. A positive aspect of the research is that it is very cost-effective, which will be attractive in developing policy. It was suggested that we begin including social scientists in this research at this stage, in order to help provide incentives to move this discipline forward. Finally, one member of the audience suggested that PEER and PG&E are performing tests to obtain fragility curves for transformers, which may be of interest to these researchers.

R. Ghanem:

All agreed that this is a young technology that has tremendous promise for the future. SAR has distinct advantages in that it can penetrate clouds and that it has improved resolution over traditional aerial photography. It is important that the integration of this technology with land-based technology be addressed. It was further pointed out that this work has great potential to direct emergency response and relief; FEMA’s distribution of resources after the Northridge earthquake was proposed as an example of how there is room for improvement in this area.

C. H. Loh:

The use of data from the Chi-Chi earthquake was seen as an excellent example of how quickly we can gather information from an earthquake to demonstrate the benefits of new technology. Further, the data obtained from this earthquake provides a great opportunity to perform "blind tests" to check bridge and structural damage. It was suggested that the authors add comments regarding the benefits and economic costs of this technology.

T. Sato:

This work is extremely challenging, and the audience agreed that there exists a need to address the complexities of controlling non-linear structures. The group also appreciated that this research addressed prevention of earthquake hazard, as much of the current work is focussed on response to earthquake hazard. This work clearly fills an important purpose in this area. Some suggestions were to indicate results that can be used for disaster mitigation and how they can be used. The author indicated that the results can identify damage time during the earthquake and that they can identify the weak point of the structure.

Day Two Discussion Session
March 3
rd, 2000

Chairs: L. Lund and A. Zeizel

These minutes are organized based on the comments on each paper:

On Mizushina Paper

Shinozuka was very interested in the collection of data from the customer meters. From the viewpoint of SCADA, Shinozuka wanted to know if it was truly a SCADA.

Mizushina acknowledged that he neglected to describe how his data collection system fits into the SCADA system.

Wiesman pointed out that the AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) community deals with similar issues raised in the paper. He listed several companies that have experience in the AMR. He also mentioned that SCADA has a lot of similarities with the AMR concept. AMR has traditionally been involved in this for revenue collection, and that the author should investigate similarities.

Lund: asked how the Hamamatsu experiment was organized.

Mizushina explained that his organization is called TAO (Telecommunications Adv. Organization). The Japanese Ministry of Post and Telecommunications invites proposals for new applications in telecommunications. They funded this 5 years ago. There are 30 similar research centers funded by the Ministry of Telecommunications.

Zeizel wanted to know if this system would be applicable in other cities.

Mizushina still hasn’t finished in Hamamatsu, so agencies have not been fully convinced.

Shinozuka wonders how they enticed customers to install the devices.

Mizushina says that this was not a big problem.

 McDaniel Paper:

Lund: wanted to know about the time frame, staffing, organization, etc. of enhanced system.

McDaniel: wanted to simplify administrative organization. Three staff members are required to run servers and provide support and the same applies to instrumentation mechanics. Funding for the first phase will come out of savings from cancelled upgrade to the old system. It is a $5 million project spread out over 5 years.

Zeizel wanted to know if other hazards were considered.

McDaniel hasn’t had much of a problem with debris flow or flooding. However, wind storms have been a problem. He is looking into wireless communication for the system. Large open reservoirs in the Santa Monica mountains are getting by-pass pipelines so this would avert problem with mudslides into reservoirs.

Lund wondered about the conservation elements of the emergency plan.

McDaniel expects a 70% reduction of water for short periods of time if there is a trunk line break.

 Nakao Paper: (Nakao was not present for discussion)

Shinozuka mentioned that Nakao indicated that SCADA was very useful during the Northridge earthquake, but wasn’t clear on how (in some concrete ways).

McDaniel believes the system isn’t that capable of control. But managers can see the whole system.

Zeizel: wanted to know about the interface between water and power needs.

McDaniel said that there is already coordination. This is done by a radio and telephone system.

 Wiesman Paper:

Zeizel: wondered about the collocation of different types of utilities.

Wiesman said that older infrastructures were not planned well (rather haphazardly). If one is building a new infrastructure, then one could plan SCADA systems etc. to be collocated. Funding limits rate of progress.

Eguchi Paper:

Lund asked regarding liquefaction in Turkey whether ground water maps can be incorporated in order to focus areas.

Zeizel: thinks that there should be a lot of on-ground verification.

Eguchi thinks that Ghanem’s work is valuable. Believes that the repeat pass time is a problem which is very important … can be overcome with additional satellites.

Shinozuka notes that SAR is just one technology. Notes that "Data Fusion" is still important. DOD technology may help (XPATCHT). This allows any resolution in simulation. This tells you what your requirements must be for damage detection.

Zeizel said there should be a linkage between us and DOD.

Hayes mentioned that one should contact Darryl Heard at USGS on this point.

Bardet: mentions that the military was used for the Turkey reconnaissance trip. They were given estimates of casualties. He calls for midrange technologies (i.e. not too close and not too far away).

Eguchi mentioned that airborne systems would be good. The SAR data is from airborne source. LIDAR also gives better resolution, but is very expensive.

Bardet said that he agrees that "Before" pictures should be of better resolution so that good comparisons can be made.

Craig Davis wanted to see if any baseline studies have been done, i.e. have 2 photos been compared with no damage.

Eguchi mentioned that a good example was a study of Las Vegas area that studied the population growth. Denver also has a lot of available data for it because many of the sensing companies are located there.

Eguchi would like to know what the role of government is.

Hayes said that there is a lack of champions.

Zeizel said that the Federal Government needs to put funding to this area, but believes that there needs to be more public private collaboration.

Shinozuka gave some closing remarks and wrap-up.


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