SE lit Café (2) bonus pictures!

Thanks to one of the readers, here are some additional pictures of the hybrid simulation setup at University of Swinburne, that was discussed in this post. New research on creaking of drywalls in high-rise buildings being done at the hybrid simulation setup. Stay tuned for more info in the upcoming weeks! ( Read about the creaking problem here ) Continue reading SE lit Café (2) bonus pictures!

I prefer to isolate myself now: What structural system works better for low-rise steel buildings?

SE Literature café (6):A quick look at “Terzic, V., & Mahin, S. A. (2017). Using PBEE to assess and improve performance of different structural systems for low-rise steel buildings, International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, Vol.7, No.4,532-544″ There are different structural systems to resist earthquakes, just like many “models” of electronic gadgets and brands of peanut butter (which the latter is very confusing). Each structural system has its pros and cons: one is cheaper, but it is pricier to fix when damaged. Another one is cheap and easy to fix, but does not work great for large earthquakes, and … Continue reading I prefer to isolate myself now: What structural system works better for low-rise steel buildings?

“I’m pretty sure wood is better than steel”: Revisiting rules of thumb and perceptions in AEC industry

SE literature café (5): a quick look at “Saade, M. R. M., Guest, G., & Amor, B. (2020). Comparative whole building LCAs: How far are our expectations from the documented evidence?. Building and Environment, 167, 106449. There are certain observations (or “rules of thumb” if you would like) in each industry that “supposedly” have been made so many times, they become common knowledge: “customers will be interested in buying your product, and you benefit from sales in the long run” (link), “Avocado goes well on a crunch toast” “, etc. In the AEC industry, the same goes for “environmental” performance: ”wood is … Continue reading “I’m pretty sure wood is better than steel”: Revisiting rules of thumb and perceptions in AEC industry

Strength, stiffness, or deformation capacity: What makes a building more resilient?

SE Literature Café (4) A quick look at Joyner, M. D., & Sasani, M. (2020). Building performance for earthquake resilience. Engineering Structures, 210, 110371. Seismic resiliency is a system problem where all system components should perform well: buildings, the water and electricity infrastructure, and the road networks that connect these systems. From a structural engineering perspective, resiliency starts from building better structures.  But how can an architecture-engineering-construction (AEC) team do that? Following codes requirements and engineering intuition, the structural engineer makes decisions that balance stiffness, strength and deformation capacity of building components, and consequently the building. Stiffness helps reduce damage to partitions … Continue reading Strength, stiffness, or deformation capacity: What makes a building more resilient?

Why build better? Making a case for seismic resiliency in the US

A quick look at the article: Porter, K. A. (2021). Should we build better? The case for resilient earthquake design in the United States. Earthquake Spectra, 37(1), 523-544. Buildings, and other elements in our infrastructure, are essentially a product. These products meet certain regulations (AKA building codes) to be usable by the public. The focus of these regulations is on safety. While safety standards are important, they are not the only things we care about: we want our phones not to explode because of overheating, but most certainly, this is not our only criteria to buy a phone. Meanwhile, in a hypothetical … Continue reading Why build better? Making a case for seismic resiliency in the US

SE Literature Café (2): A party of four: resiliency, sustainability, hybrid simulations, and retrofitting non-ductile concrete frames

A quick look at the article: Hashemi, M. J., Al-Attraqchi, A. Y., Kalfat, R., & Al-Mahaidi, R. (2019). Linking seismic resilience into sustainability assessment of limited-ductility RC buildings. Engineering Structures, 188, 121-136. A kind of intro Non-ductile concrete frames (read old frames that were not really designed for earthquakes) are in the spotlight of resiliency assessments. Often these types of studies aim to understand what happens to these structures if the big one occurs. To answer this question,  numerical structural models are coupled with probabilistic models. This  coupling links impacts (what earthquakes do to the building), exposure (what you can expect from … Continue reading SE Literature Café (2): A party of four: resiliency, sustainability, hybrid simulations, and retrofitting non-ductile concrete frames

SE Literature Café: Wait, I cannot just multiply my earthquake records by 10?

A look at the article: Dávalos, H., & Miranda, E. (2019). Evaluation of bias on the probability of collapse from amplitude scaling using spectral‐shape‐matched records. Earthquake Engineering & Structural Dynamics, 48(8), 970-986. Kind of an intro. Anyone doing a time history assessment deals with ground motion records. To many SE people, these records are nothing but a mere loading protocol, with a pinch of trust in people preparing them. However, (hopefully, if we are well-informed) we cannot just go and take an earthquake record from somewhere in California and apply it to Peru. We need to “select” appropriate records (from sites with … Continue reading SE Literature Café: Wait, I cannot just multiply my earthquake records by 10?

WOMEN in STEM: overcoming centuries of social bias in a world constructed by tumbling patriarchy

Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, nolock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields encompass a variety of disciplines that greatly benefit the society and its members’ well-being, and transition to a wide spectrum of well-paying jobs. In 2013, The average salary of entry-level STEM jobs, ranging from computer programming to aerospace and civil engineering, was 66123$, 26% larger than non-STEM jobs. At the same time, the STEM graduates had access to 2.5 times more … Continue reading WOMEN in STEM: overcoming centuries of social bias in a world constructed by tumbling patriarchy

The art of social media in the classroom: the perfect excuse to play with your phone

For a long time, playing with your phone was (among) the greatest sins possible in the classroom, indicating a reluctance to the lecture and materials presented. With the growing use of social media and the ubiquity of phones, can this lurking enemy become classrooms’ friend? According to Alyssa Tormala and Shannon lee, It can; students are becoming more comfortable sharing on social media and although there is a tendency to exhibit the ideal self, educators have the opportunity to help students learn and make better choices through empowerment by a positive online community. The authors provide some practical examples: collaborative … Continue reading The art of social media in the classroom: the perfect excuse to play with your phone

Sometimes, you need to mix it up a bit.

As the US universities and higher education institutes are transitioning to online methods due to the widespread of COVID-19, I’m sitting here reflecting on this quote by the undying Salinger in his marvelous book “Franny and Zooey” which goes on as “An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s.” What a better statement to express the challenges and beauty of combining every pedagogical tool to face the challenges of non-traditional issues such as this one? Consider the current status: We are all trying to practice social distancing to … Continue reading Sometimes, you need to mix it up a bit.