ATC-NIST Presents Blind Prediction Contest Findings at NASCC

At this year’s NASCC Steel Conference, organized by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) in Baltimore, the Applied Technology Council (ATC) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) presented modeling techniques, quality assurance techniques, challenges and engineering decisions involved in the recent blind prediction contest held to advance knowledge on design and modelling of deep wide-flange columns.

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Jennifer Lan Presents in EERI Webinar

Jennifer Lan was a panelist on an EERI Technical Case Studies Webinar, during which speakers who conducted reconnaissance following the September 19, 2017 Puebla-Morelos earthquake presented geotechnical and structural case studies. Jennifer’s presentation described the reconnaissance methodology and provided an in-depth analysis of building performance, using two buildings that were damaged during the earthquake as case studies.

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Mexico City, Day 5 – Structural Monitoring and Reconnaissance Review

On Friday, the members of the ATC reconnaissance team reviewed their individual observations. Specific buildings were also identified for ongoing monitoring.<!–more–>

Having reached out to local engineers, building owners and residents, the team received helpful information about the earthquake itself, as well as the consequent building performance. Some residents invited our team members into their apartments to see the damage in person. The 9/19/17 earthquake caused structural damage — damage to buildings — precipitating 44 collapses. Many buildings also experienced non-structural structural damage (i.e. the shaking of contents within the buildings), or damage caused by geotechnical failure.

On this day, Laura Hernandez also assisted University at Buffalo Professor, Andreas Stavridis, with the instrumented inspection and measurement of a damaged building. Prof. Stavridis, member of the ATC team, conducted instrumented investigations of one building each day throughout this reconnaissance trip.

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Mexico City, Day 3 – Teams Investigate Building Damage

On Wednesday, the ATC reconnaissance team sub-groups were rearranged. Ramon and Jennifer’s group visited the Condesa neighborhood in the northern part of the city. Here the team assessed two buildings, one of which suffered some damage, and the other nearly none. Another group, including Laura Hernandez, focused on the southern area of Mexico City where they saw several structures with distinct damage

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Mexico City, Day 2 – Engineers review Seismic Standards and Inspection Procedures

GMS engineers and the other members of the Applied Technology Council (ATC) reconnaissance team arrived in Mexico City and coordinated their plan of action to study the effects of the 9/19/2017 earthquake on building structures. The first morning, they met at the WSP office to organize the reconnaissance for that day. In order to maximize the use of the researchers’ time, the team was divided into three smaller groups. Each went to a different section in the city to evaluate damage.

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Mexico City, Day 1 – Engineers Embark on Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance Mission

GMS engineers departed for Mexico City on Monday to be joined by remaining members of the Applied Technology Council (ATC) reconnaissance team reviewing the aftermath of the 9/19/2017 earthquake. The goal of this reconnaissance mission is to perform detailed assessments of reinforced concrete structures with all levels of damage. The reconnaissance will focus on identifying the likely cause of collapse in concrete buildings that performed poorly, and the likely cause of good performance in non-collapsed buildings in the immediate vicinity.

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GMS Engineers on ATC Reconnaissance Team Deployed to Assess Mexico City Aftermath

Mexico is one of the world’s most seismically active regions, sitting atop several intersecting tectonic plates. On September 19, 2017, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit the Greater Mexico City area killing 370 people and collapsing 40 buildings. The quake occurred on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which killed around 10,000 people. The 1985 quake was commemorated, and a national earthquake drill was held, at 11 a.m. local time, just two hours before the 2017 earthquake. Twelve days earlier, the even larger 2017 Chiapas earthquake struck 400 miles away, off the coast of the state of Chiapas.

In support of ongoing U.S. Government-funded research and development projects in earthquake engineering, the Applied Technology Council (ATC) Endowment Fund is sponsoring a team of experts to investigate the performance of buildings in Mexico City following the event.

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GMS Presents at 16WCEE in Santiago, Chile

The 16th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, organized by the International Association of Earthquake Engineering took place from 9th January to the 13th January 2017 in Santiago, Chile. The conference covered engineering seismology, tsunamis, geotechnical earthquake engineering, design of new structures, assessment and retrofitting of existing structures, infrastructure and lifeline systems, preparedness and emergency management of large earthquakes, as well as social and economic aspects, and urban risk assessment.

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GMS Presents to SEAoNY about Global Trends in Earthquake Resilience

On October 18, 2016, Ramon Gilsanz of GMS presented to the members of the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) about global trends in earthquake design and resilience.

The lecture looked at common features of buildings in a variety of regions across the world which are prone to earthquakes. Such features include weak ground stories, considerations for adding new floors, alterations and enlargement of existing buildings and the potential for soil failures like liquefaction and lateral spreading. Using his experience from earthquake reconnaissance trips to Chile, Virginia, Greece, Taiwan and Ecuador, Mr. Gilsanz then discussed the impact of resilience in structures, specifically how to apply lessons from other cultures to improve the built environment here in New York City. He concluded with a review of the NYC Building Code provisions for resilience.

 

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GEER and ATC Publish Ecuador Earthquake Reconnaisance Report

On the evening of April 16th, 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck northern Ecuador, offshore from its west coast. The event drew the attention of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association, due to the several hundred casualties, tens of thousands homeless, and destruction along the west coast, with evidence of severe ground motions and geotechnical failures.

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GMS Presents at 2016 SEAOC Convention

Jessica Mandrick presented at the SEAOC Technical Session on the recent Taiwan Meinong earthquake.

Jessica Mandrick, SE presented fifth in the Session titled Learning from the 2014 South Napa and 2016 Tainan Earthquakes during the 2016 Annual Conference of the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), October 12-15 in Ka’anapali Beach, Maui. The focus of this session was to highlight the lessons learned during the GMS and USGS reconnaissance trip to Tainan, which took place in February 2016 in collaboration with EERI, ATC, and NCREE. The team visited the city of Tainan and its vicinity to survey, study, and document damage and site-related observations from the recent 6.4 Meinong Earthquake. The focus of the paper/presentation included observed design and construction issues as well as the societal response to the earthquake.

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GMS Provides AIA Continuing Education

GMS is very excited to announce that we are now a continuing education provider in The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System.

Our first course, Understanding Resilience through a Musical Analogy can be presented in person by Ramon Gilsanz, author of the STRUCTURE magazine article upon which this presentation is based. The course is accredited for 1 Learning Unit of Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW)-related training (1LU/HSW).

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GMS at International Workshop on Connections in Steel Structures

Ramon Gilsanz and Akbar Mahvashmohammadi attended the Eighth International Workshop on Connections in Steel Structures (Connections VIII). Researchers, designers, fabricators and steel industry representatives gathered in Boston on May 24-26, 2016 to collaborate and share knowledge within the areas of strength, behavior, fabrication and design of connections for structural steel and composite steel/concrete frames.

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GMS Travels to Ecuador for Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance

On Saturday, April 16, 2016 a massive magnitude-7.8 earthquake rocked Muisne, Ecuador, with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). GMS’s Ramon Gilsanz and Virginia Diaz traveled to Ecuador to help in relief efforts, assist other rescuers and collect data on the performance of structures during the event. The reconnaissance trip was coordinated by Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association (GEER), sponsored by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from the Applied Technology Council (ATC).

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GMS Visits Taiwan for Post-Earthquake Reconnaissance

Last month a team including Gilsanz Murray Steficek (GMS) engineers Ramon Gilsanz, Cathy Huang, Jessica Mandrick and Joe Mugford, Cerea Steficek from the Earth Sciences department at Northeastern University and Mehmet Celebi from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) accompanied by Sheng-Jhih Jhuang from the National Center of Research for Earthquake Engineering in Taiwan (NCREE) visited the earthquake stricken city of Tainan and vicinity to survey, study and document damage and site-related observations from the recent 6.4 Meinong Earthquake. GMS coordinated this effort with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and the Applied Technology Council (ATC).

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GMS Attends 2016 Geotechnical & Structural Engineering Congress

Ramon Gilsanz, Phil Murray, Jonathan Hernandez, Jessica Mandrick, Sanaz Saadat, Joshua Peng, Mark Beltramello and John Hinchcliffe attended the 2016 Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Congress in Phoenix, Arizona. This unique Congress was a joint endeavor of two sectors within the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Geotechnical Institute (G-I) and Structural Engineering Institute (SEI).

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Ramon Gilsanz Celebrates Professor Kausel at MIT

On October 26, 2015, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology held a Rapid-Fire Conference to celebrate the accomplishments of Professor Eduardo Kausel over 40 years in MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The “Rapid-Fire Conference @MIT” was a day full of enlightening talks and intellectual discourse on important engineering and scientific issues of our times. The occasion sought to bring together colleagues Prof. Kausel had met in the academic community throughout the years that had influenced his own work.

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Understanding Seismic Design through a Musical Analogy

Seismologists, earthquake engineers and seismic code experts understand the science of earth that moves and the structures built on it, but many of the concepts involved may be too abstract for architects, builders and the public. This article offers an analogy to help explain seismic design and presents three different construction techniques used in Chile, Japan and the United States that counter an earthquake’s effects.

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Challenges Facing Young Structural Engineers

By Jessica Mandrick, P.E., LEED AP and JasonMcCormick, PhD., with the SEI Young Professionals Committee

As current leaders in structural engineering approach the end of their careers, it is increasingly important that young professionals take active measures to step into leadership roles. Leadership transition plays a vital role in the profession, but always brings with it challenges that differ from those of past generations. This article highlights select challenges identified by the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute’s Young Professionals Committee.

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