Media Advisory: UB's State-of-the-Art Earthquake Lab to Host Critical Cranes Test

Release Date: November 23, 2009 This content is archived.


The University at Buffalo's Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL) today (Monday, Nov. 23, 2009) will host a team of civil engineering researchers from Georgia Tech who have travelled to Buffalo to test on one of UB's high-performance earthquake simulators a 1/10 scale model of shipping container cranes.

Best time for media is 2 p.m. in the Ketter Hall lab on the UB North Campus.

The UB tests will be among the first in the world to shake a model of these economically important structures to the point of collapse.

Container cranes are used to load and unload cargo from ships and they play a major role in ports around the world. When they are damaged due to earthquake shaking and ground failure, major economic losses accrue and post-disaster recovery is stymied. During the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, a considerable fraction of the container cranes in the Port of Kobe either collapsed or were damaged beyond repair, leading to significant economic losses for the port and the surrounding region.

The goal of today's test is to develop performance-based seismic design guidelines for crane-type structures so that they can be designed or retrofitted to sustain controlled damage during rare earthquakes.

The crane tests are being conducted in part due to UB's 2004 facilities upgrade supported by the National Science Foundation's George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) program.

SEESL hosts UB-NEES, a key equipment site of this nationwide earthquake-engineering "collaboratory," which allows earthquake engineers and students located at different institutions to share resources, collaborate on testing and exploit new computational technologies.

Andre Filiatrault, deputy director of SEESL and UB professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering, will be available to discuss how and why this UB facility is attracting researchers from all over the world. Georgia Tech researchers will be available to discuss why they needed to come to UB to perform this important test.

Press arrangements: Ellen Goldbaum in the UB Office of University Communications at 716-645-4605 and on-site.

Media Contact Information

Ellen Goldbaum
News Content Manager
Tel: 716-645-4605