Earthquake Resistant Structures: Exploring Innovative Structural Materials

Perumalsamy Balaguru (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and
Husam Najm (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Are you intrigued by earthquakes? Are you curious about learning why some buildings collapse during an earthquake while others don’t? In this seminar we will learn about earthquakes and earthquake engineering, their history, their effect on buildings and bridges and on human life. We will explore the basics of structural engineering; structural materials that can best resist earthquake shaking, and what factors contribute to a safe design of buildings in seismic zones. This seminar will include two activities: 1) designing and constructing a 5-story building structure made of balsa wood to resist ground shaking. The structure will be about 5 feet high and will be placed on a 18in x 18in shaker that will shake the structure simulating an earthquake event; 2) evaluating new innovative structural materials by fabricating plates made of mortar and hybrid steel fibers (6mm/30mm) to get the maximum strength. Students will use four types of fibers and try different proportions to obtain maximum strength.

Course Number: 
01:090:101 section 98 index 12209