$1.3 Million from NSF for Tsunami Engineering

 The department has received $1.3 million to lead a multi-university, 4-year research project to develop Performance Based Tsunami Engineering. The funding comes under NSF”s National Earthquake Engineering Simulation-Research (NEES-R) program. Investigators in the project are Ian Robertson, Ron Riggs and Si-Hwan Park from CEE, Fai Cheung and Geno Pawlak from ORE, Solomon Yim from Oregon State University, Julie Young from Princeton University, and Gary Chock of Martin & Chock, Honolulu.  Consultants involved in the project are Laura Kong and Brian Yanagi of the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) and Mike Hamnett of the UH Social ciences Research Institute.  The project start date was September 15, 2005.

Tsunamis pose a significant threat to coastal communities and infrastructure
throughout the world. In many cases horizontal evacuation is not possible
due to the potential local source of the tsunami or the number of people
to be evacuated. It is essential that existing buildings, or new emergency
centers, be evaluated or designed for vertical evacuation.  However,
there has been a lack of research on the effect of tsunami waves on coastal
infrastructure such as buildings, bridges, and harbor facilities, and
design guidelines are lacking. To overcome this deficiency, this project
will develop the methodology and tools for implementation of site-specific
Performance Based Tsunami Engineering (PBTE) for use in the analysis,
evaluation, design and retrofit of coastal structures and facilities.
The technical focus of the work is the simulation of fluid-structure
interaction, development of structural loading time histories, and the
application of these in a non-linear structural analysis to determine
the expected performance of the constructed facilities. Significant outcomes
include : PBTE methodology; refined and validated analysis tools; requirements
for tsunami-resistant structural design, including building code compatible
guidelines; performance level specifications; significant efforts in
outreach and education; and dissemination of the results.