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bridgesmall.gif (4301 bytes)MCEER/NCEER Bulletin Articles: Administrative Mtgs

Highway Seismic Research Council Holds Inaugural Meeting

labphoto.jpg (43300 bytes)The Highway Seismic Research Council (HSRC) held its inaugural meeting on March 3-5, 1993. The meeting was held at the University Inn and Conference Center, near the University at Buffalo, and was coordinated with the Scientific Advisory Committee's meeting, which began the afternoon of March 5 (see related article).

The Council comprises two groups to provide better guidance to NCEER in its administration of the Highway Project. The Coordination Group is responsible for advising NCEER on issues of technology transfer and coordination with end users, including state transportation agencies, and other federal agencies involved in earthquake hazard mitigation. The Technical Group will advise NCEER on issues of a technical and/or scientific nature, including elements of the individual research tasks.

NCEER's Director George Lee welcomed all participants and introduced the co-chairs of the Highway Seismic Research Council. Dr. Joanne Nigg, Director of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, is chair of the Coordination Group, and Mr. Joseph Nicoletti, Senior Consultant at LTRS Consultants/John A. Blume and Associates, San Francisco, is chair of the Technical Group.

Dr. Lee described NCEER's mission as that of performing problem focused research through the use of interdisciplinary research teams. Fundamental research is conducted to support the applied research projects and programs. The four major research projects are: Buildings, Nonstructural Components, Lifelines and Highways (formerly the Bridge Project).

Mr. James Cooper, Chief of the Structures Division at the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, provided an overview of the FHWA earthquake program and its part in overall bridge research program.

He briefly described federal mandates that will support a strong FHWA role in earthquake engineering, such as Public Law 102-240, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). He also discussed other federally 93AprFig16.jpg (52152 bytes)supported agencies involved in research and implementation, such as the various state transportation departments through the federally supported State Planning and Research (SPR) program (most notably California), the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

He closed by emphasizing that considerable FHWA resources have been committed to this project and requested that the HSRC assist NCEER in addressing the proper research tasks and ensuring that the project stays on track throughout its six year life.

Dr. Ian Buckle, NCEER Deputy Director, provided a technical overview of NCEER's Highway Project. He emphasized that a bridge is only one component of a large and complex highway system. In the Highway Project, NCEER plans to analyze system failures - by first evaluating the entire system and then developing vulnerability estimates. He described the organization of the project, and identified common tasks. The major components of the highway system to be addressed are:

For the project which focuses on new highway construction, six subject areas have been identified to deal with technical issues. These are:

For the retrofit projects, four areas have been identified.
These are:

He also explained NCEER's management structure and introduced senior staff members. He explained how researchers have been pre-assigned to tasks, and asked that during the meeting, these assignments be coordinated, and milestones and products be identified. He asked the HSRC to draft a written report to NCEER with its recommendations, to be completed within a one month time frame.

Next, technical presentations were made in the following areas:

Common Research

New Construction

Existing Construction

Ian Friedland, NCEER's Assistant Director for Bridges and Highways, discussed administrative issues pertinent to the Highway Project. He explained the budget, scheduling and contractual requirements for the research tasks.

The HSRC toured NCEER's seismic laboratory and viewed a demonstration of the Information Service's QUAKELINE® database.


Highway Seismic Research
Council Members

Coordination Group

Joanne Nigg**, Chair, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware

Ralph Anderson, Illinois Department of Transportation

William Anderson, National Science Foundation

Gary Johnson, Federal Emergency Management Agency

John O'Fallon, Structures Division, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, Federal Highway Administration

Walter Podolny, Bridge Division, Federal Highway Administration

James Roberts, California Department of Transportation

Arun Shirole, New York State Department of Transportation

Donald Trilling, Office of Commercial Space Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation

Robert Wesson, U.S. Geological Survey

Richard Wright, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Technical Group

Joseph Nicoletti**, Chair, URS Consultants/ John A. Blume and Associates

Roger Borcherdt**, U.S. Geological Survey

James Cooper, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, Federal Highway Administration

James Gates, CALTRANS**

Mary Ellen Hynes, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station

I.M. Idriss, University of California at Davis

Ayaz Malik, New York State Department of Transportation

Jack Moehle**, University of California at Berkeley

Joanne Nigg**, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware

Joseph Penzien, International Civil Engineering Consultants

Roland Sharpe, Consulting Structural Engineer

J. Carl Stepp**, Electric Power Research Institute

Bojidar Yanev, New York City Department of Transportation

**indicate those who serve on both the Highway Seismic Research Council and the Scientific Advisory Committee.


NCEER Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 2, April 1993

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