Past News Stories: 2013
Shake Table Testing of NYC’s Unreinforced Masonry Walls Featured in Civil Engineering Magazine
Experimental test setup
Recent shake table testing of unreinforced masonry walls commonly used in New York City buildings was featured in the April 2013 issue of ASCE’s Civil Engineering magazine. The experimental testing, part of a larger project to develop and validate numerical models to be used for seismic vulnerability assessments, provided much-needed experimental data on out-of-plane seismic behavior of masonry walls with parapets. The project is a collaboration between MCEER investigators Andrew Whittaker, Amjad Aref and Gilberto Mosqueda, University at Buffalo Ph.D. candidate Juan Aleman, the Structural Engineers Association of New York and the International Masonry Institute. Read more
MCEER Demonstrates “Why You Wouldn’t Want to Experience a Big One Like 1906”
Students and parents learning about the 1906 earthquake.
It was a morning of combing through the devastation and ruins of historical San Francisco in a quest for clues and answers for a group of 40 University at Buffalo (UB) staff and their children, as MCEER hosted a presentation on the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fires. The presentation was part of the larger UB Bring Your Kids to Work Day event, held on April 19, 2013. Read more
New Monograph: Seismic Design of Buried and Offshore Pipelines
Seismic Design of Buried and Offshore Pipelines, by M.J. O'Rourke and (Jack) X. Liu, addresses many new research developments as well as observations following significant earthquakes around the world that have impacted the current state-of-the-art on the seismic design of buried pipelines since the 1999 version of this monograph was published. Offshore pipelines have been added to the current version because of their importance in addressing the world’s energy needs. Read more
4.4M Earthquake Strikes Near Ottawa
The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a 4.4M earthquake struck near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on Friday morning, May 17, 2013 at 09:43 AM local time (13:43:22 UTC). The quake was felt widely in southeastern Ontario from London to Montreal and much of New York and Vermont in the United States. For more information, visit the USGS website.
UB earthquake engineer says Canada earthquake was “relatively minor" by Cory Nealon, UB Reporter, May 17, 2013
Seismicity of the Eastern United States the Topic of Two Recent Publications
The March 2013 issue of Structure Magazine includes an article entitled The Eastern United States: We had an Earthquake in Virginia – Now What? by Sissy Nikolaou, which highlights key seismic design issues that are not sufficiently addressed in current building codes in the Eastern U.S. The topic is expanded upon in Geo-Seismic Design in the Eastern United States: State of Practice, by S. Nikolaou, J. Go, C. Beyzaei, C. Moss and P. Deming, all of Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, which is one of 15 invited papers that highlight the state of practice in Geotechnical Engineering State of the Art and Practice: Keynote Lectures from GeoCongress 2012 and published by ASCE.
MCEER Investigator Co-authors Book on Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Andre Filiatrault, an MCEER investigator and professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo, co-authored a book on earthquake engineering and structural dynamics that addresses seismic design practices in both Canada and the United States. Primarily intended for senior undergraduate and graduate structural engineering students and university educators as well as practicing engineers, the book provides an introductory understanding of earthquake engineering and the basic knowledge needed to apply the seismic provisions contained within American and Canadian building codes. Read more
Register Now for the Seventh National Seismic Conference on Bridges and Highways
Oakland, California | May 20-22, 2013
Registration is open for the Seventh National Seismic Conference on Bridges and Highways (7NSC), which will be held at the Oakland Marriott City Center in Oakland, California on May 20-22, 2013. With the theme of Bridge Resilience for Earthquakes and Other Natural Hazards, the conference’s objective is to increase awareness of natural hazards and to enhance the technical expertise of engineering professionals so they can mitigate the risk of failure or damage to bridges and highways. Read more
Help Select the Winning Team for the 7NSC Undergraduate Bridge Seismic Design Competition
In conjunction with the Seventh National Seismic Conference on Bridges and Highways, PEER, NEES, and MCEER are conducting an undergraduate competition focused on the seismic design of bridges. Teams have been working since January to design and test small scale K’Nex highway bridges. They have gathered their results in posters and want to share their results with the community. Tell us what you think of their designs by voting for your favorite(s). Voting closes May 20. The top five bridges will be tested at the 7NSC and the winners will be announced at the Awards Banquet.
MCEER Staff Foster STEM Goals through Interactive Demonstrations, Presentations and Visits to UB
Piquing the curiosity of K-12 students and teachers in disaster-resilient engineering is the focus of several outreach activities undertaken by Sofia Tangalos and Andrew McNeil, both of MCEER’s Information Service. The two introduced online educational resources developed by MCEER at a mini-conference for science teachers, teamed up with UB-NEES site operations manager Tom Albrechcinski in a presentation and demonstration for UB’s Science Exploration Day, and hosted a demonstration and display during National Engineers Week at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Read more
MCEER Researchers Conduct Shake Table Testing of NYC’s Unreinforced Masonry Buildings
Unreinforced masonry walls, typical of those used in New York City, were tested at UB.
While not common, earthquakes periodically hit the New York City region, including a 5.5 magnitude temblor in 1884, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Considering that many of the region’s 8.2 million people live in older, unreinforced masonry buildings (row houses) that not are designed for earthquakes, it is probable that even a moderate quake could have critical public safety and economic consequences. Using an earthquake shake table and materials such as 100-year-old brick, researchers conducted a series of large-scale tests to determine how vulnerable panel walls within New York’s row houses are to earthquakes. Read More
CSEE Students Involved in MCEER Research Program Recognized for Achievement
M. Koliou and A. Whittaker
Petros Sideris, Maria Koliou, Chandrakanth Bolisetti, Alireza Farhidzadeh, Manish Kumar and Aaron Thompson, all participants in MCEER’s research program and students in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo, were honored at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 28th Annual Scholarship Reception. Over 420 people attended the event, which was held on March 22, 2013 at the Holiday Inn, Amherst, New York. Read more
Poster Competition Winners Feature MCEER Research Projects
Manish Kumar, Afsoon Nicknam, Jacobo Bielak and Manish Kumar
Afsoon Nicknam (1st place), Manish Kumar (2nd place) and Manish Kumar (3rd place), all participants in MCEER research and Ph.D. candidates in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo, were winners in the annual Graduate Student Poster Competition, held on March 22, 2013. Read More
T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series: Control of Inelastic Structures by Weakening and Damping
View the archived webcast of Andrei Reinhorn's seminar presentation, which took place on Friday, April 5, 2013.
Andrei Reinhorn, Professor Emeritus, University at Buffalo, presented “Control of Inelastic Structures by Weakening and Damping” as the next guest speaker in the T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series. He discussed the concept of structural weakening, the development of weakening components, the innovation of true negative stiffness devices, the theoretical and experimental verification of the concept using simulated earthquakes in the laboratory, and the development of design procedures using active control theories.
T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series: Soil-Structure Interaction Effects of Building Clusters During Earthquakes
View the archived webcast of Jacobo Bielak's seminar presentation, which took place on Friday, March 22, 2013.
Jacobo Bielak, University Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, will present “Soil-Structure Interaction Effects of Building Clusters During Earthquakes” as the next guest speaker in the T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series. He will discuss the response of a simple class of building clusters during earthquakes, their effect on the ground motion, and how individual buildings within the cluster interact with the soil and with each other.
UB/CSEE/MCEER Alumnus Oscar Ramírez Elected Rector of the Technological University of Panama
Oscar Ramírez signs the official inauguration book.
University leadership includes three CSEE/MCEER alumni
Oscar Ramírez, a Ph.D. graduate of the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo, was elected Rector of the Technological University of Panama (UTP), the highest authority of the institution. The appointment was made during an inauguration ceremony on Friday, February 1, 2013, where over 500 people, including university officials, government representatives and the university community, joined in the celebration. His term will run for five years, through 2018. Read More
MCEER Investigator Receives SUNY/RF Research Collaboration Fund Grant to Develop Corrosion Monitoring System for Civil Infrastructures
The development of a new integrated corrosion monitoring system that can accurately forecast the remaining service life of civil infrastructures is the topic of a new research project led by MCEER investigator Salvatore Salamone, Assistant Professor, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo and Guangwen Zhou, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Binghamton University.
Entitled “Collaborative Research to Advance Scientific Knowledge of the Mechanism of Corrosion in Civil Infrastructures,” the joint project will use an interdisciplinary structural engineering and material science approach to develop mitigation strategies to slow the rate of corrosion and the resulting progressive deterioration of civil infrastructures. Read More
7NSC Undergraduate Bridge Seismic Design Competition
Deadline to register undergraduate teams is March 1
Undergraduate engineering students are invited to participate in a Bridge Seismic Design Competition as part of the Seventh National Seismic Conference, to be held May 20-22, 2013. Teams of between 2-5 members will construct a bridge as part of a new highway system to enhance the transportation network in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For more information, visit the 7NSC bridge seismic design competition webpage.
2013 Research Experience for Undergraduates
Undergraduate students (sophomores, juniors and seniors for Fall 2013) are invited to apply for a unique research opportunity and lab experience this summer. The 10-week-long REU program offers two undergraduate students a unique research opportunity and lab experience at Cornell University.
Students will participate in a research project that seeks to rehabilitate aging, underground lifelines, especially those located in areas with seismic risk and constructed of brittle materials such as cast iron. They will work under the direction of Professor Thomas D. O'Rourke at Cornell University. Read More
Two MCEER Investigators Appointed to NYS Commissions Formed to Strengthen State's Response to Future Disasters
MCEER investigators Chris Renschler, Associate Professor of Geography, and Adel Sadek, Professor of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, both from the University at Buffalo, have been tapped to serve on New York State commissions formed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo following Hurricane Sandy. The charge of the commissions is to strengthen New York State’s response to future natural disasters and other emergencies. Read More
Engineering Seminar: Collapse of Shoring during Construction of the Elevated Walkway for the Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:30-11:30 a.m. EST | 140 Ketter Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus
Dominic Kelly, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc., will discuss "Collapse of Shoring during Construction of the Elevated Walkway for the Atlanta Botanical Gardens" as the next speaker in the Engineering Seminar Series. Designed as a steel, cable-stayed bridge with a concrete on metal deck walkway suspended as much as 40 feet above grade, the structure collapsed while being temporarily supported during construction activities. The investigation involved surveys and subsequent failure analyses of the collapsed structure and its components, and the structural steel sections that comprise the original bridge design.
To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/. For technical assistance with the webcast, send an email to SEESLwebcast@gmail.com.
T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series: Prof. Kazuhiko Kasai
Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 | 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. |140 Ketter Hall | University at Buffalo North Campus
Kazuhiko Kasai, Professor and Director of the Structural Engineering Research Center (SERC) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, will deliver two presentations as the next guest speaker in the T.T. Soong Student Lecture Series.
In his first presentation titled "Full-Scale Steel Building Tests Using the World's Largest Shake-Table," Prof. Kasai will discuss the test concept, specimens, method and results of a series of full-scale tests completed in March 2009 using the three-dimensional shake table facilities at E-Defense at the Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center in Japan. He will follow with a presentation on the "Recorded Performance of Tall Buildings during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake," in which he will explore the response of buildings in the Tokyo metropolitan area during the March 11, 2011 earthquake.
To view the free live webcast, visit: http://civil.eng.buffalo.edu/webcast/. For technical assistance, send an email to SEESLwebcast@gmail.com.
MCEER/CSEE Well-Represented at the 15th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (15WCEE)
MCEER/CSEE was well-represented at the upcoming 15th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (15WCEE), held in Lisbon, Portugal from September 24-28, 2012. Sixteen papers and/or posters by MCEER-affiliated authors associated with the University at Buffalo’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) showcased recent research on a wide variety of topics including seismic protective systems, bridges and highways, community resilience, critical lifelines, and nonstructural components. Read More