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Faculty Research

NSF-NEESR Payload Project

ARCE faculty Graham Archer and Cole McDaniel recently were awarded a NSF-NEESR payload project (CMMI-1135037) in which the ultra-low forced vibration testing (UL-FVT) procedure is applied to a full-scale five-story building structure built on the NEES-UCSD Outdoor Shake Table.  The complete building structure is accurately represented including cladding, interior partitions, and a working elevator.  At four opportunities during the seismic testing of the building structure, the co-PIs determined the natural frequencies, mode shapes, and equivalent viscous damping ratios.  The UL-FVT procedure has also proven effective at determining how the dynamic characteristics of the building change as the structure experiences damage.  Preliminary results will be presented by the co-PI’s at the CMMI/NEES conference in Boston, MA in July 2012.

To learn about hmore about how Professor Baltimore uses his interests in applied engineering for sustainable uses in places such as Africa, and to visit his web page, click HERE.

Posted 10.30.11

John W. Lawson SE , Assistant Professor

Research: Seismic Stiffness of Large Wood Diaphragms

This research is developing a more accurate approach to predicting the behavior of large wood building diaphragms (flat roof systems) undergoing earthquake forces. Large wood roof diaphragms are commonplace, and they provide critical seismic strength in traditional “big box” wholesale stores as well as in very large warehouse and distribution buildings. In general, the current methodology used by structural engineers to predict seismic stiffness has remained essentially unchanged since the 1960s, and there are severe concerns among structural engineers and building code officials that the actual building behavior is being grossly misrepresented.

In conjunction with a graduate student’s thesis research, full-scale experimental testing is being conducted on continuity crosstie connections, which are common in these panelized wood roof systems. Results from these tests will assist stiffness modeling of these roof systems to better determine their system stiffness as a whole.

Peter T. Laursen Assistant Professor

Prof. Peter Laursen and graduate student Nick Herskedal are conducting research on Interlocking Compressed Earth Blocks.  Specifically, they are conducting a series of experiments to determine the structural behavior of walls made out of these new earth blocks when subjected to wind and earthquake loading.  This research is part of an ongoing effort at Cal Poly with Engineers without Borders in order to gain knowledge on how the Interlocking Compressed Earth Blocks behave as a structural system, and to provide details on how these new buildings will react to an earthquake.


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