YMC Blog

  • Author: Maha Kenawy, Ph.D., University of Nevada, Reno The advent of performance-based earthquake engineering placed large emphasis on quantifying extreme limit states of structures. Predicting structural performance under extreme events relies upon the availability of sophisticated yet efficient numerical tools which can capture the highly nonlinear behavior of structures, and particularly the deterioration of structural components. This article looks at the numerical modeling approaches employed today in simulating the response of reinforced concrete structures to extreme loads, and highlights some of the existing gaps and novel frameworks that were recently developed to advance the current state of structural modeling.

  • Author: Dustin Cook, P.E., Ph.D. Candidate, University of Colorado Boulder One of the pressing challenges of new and evolving seismic risk assessment methods is the need to validate, confirm, and/or verify the outcome of these assessments to support their broader use. A recent collaborative study between the University of Colorado Boulder and the Haselton Baker Risk Group performs a scenario assessment of over 2.6 million buildings to benchmark losses from FEMA P-58 with observed losses from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. This comparison indicates that, while results from FEMA P-58 are heavily dependent upon modeling decisions, the method can be used to provide accurate predictions of post-earthquake economic losses.

  • Author: Yolanda C. Lin, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Disaster Analytics for Society Lab at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. After an earthquake, earthquake engineers and scientists work tirelessly to understand exactly the mechanisms of what happened, what was damaged, who was affected, how we can best move forward. In the process, we typically strive to identify what valuable lessons-learned can be harnessed from the event, so that a future, similar event may be safer and less impactful the next time around. But, why restrict ourselves to learning from our past disasters only exactly as they unfolded? To address this, we are formalizing a framework to incorporate the use of counterfactual thinking to take a second look at past disasters and uncover additional lessons-learned that we may have missed before.

  • Author: Christine Z. Beyzaei, Ph.D., Senior Engineer, Exponent The EERI Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Travel Study Program provides the opportunity for young professionals to visit areas previously impacted by earthquakes and observe the long-term recovery efforts and resiliency measures implemented in the years following the earthquake event. The 2019 LFE Travel Study program brought a group of 25 young professionals to New Zealand, to observe recovery following the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence and the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake. The program was co-hosted by EERI and QuakeCoRe (a NZ Crown Research Institute), with participants from around the world comprising a diverse, multidisciplinary group.

  • Author: Ezra Jampole, Ph.D., P.E., Senior Engineer, Exponent On 07 November 2016 (01:44:25 UTC) a M5.0 earthquake devastated the historic downtown of Cushing, Oklahoma. Within a week of the earthquake, EERI sent a reconnaissance team to Cushing to document the damage to the built environment and implement a business resilience survey in the historic downtown. The team found that unreinforced masonry buildings sustained significant damage, including out-of-plumbness, partial collapses, and extensive façade damage, effectively closing the downtown. More than two years after the earthquake, Ezra Jampole returned to Cushing’s historic downtown to observe how the community had rebuilt following the earthquake. Numerous buildings have been demolished and many buildings sit unrepaired.

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