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"Engineers are Cool!" :-D


A Wind Engineer's Blog

Prof. Ahsan Kareem of the NatHaz Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, is "web-sourcing the 'TechnoCrowd' to enhance wind engineering research and development" through the NatHaz Lab blog.  Visit http://nathazlab.blogspot.com/ and contribute by starting new or participating in current discussions.


Wind Engineering in the Philippines

This is a summary of my presentations at the recent APCWE7 and APEC-WW2009 in Taiwan in November 2009.  Also posted on the ASEANwind website.


CE 256 Part 2 (Wind Effects) - Session 2

Session 2 of this coursework covered still a little bit about Typhoon Engineering and Meteorology, Wind Speed Maps in the Philippines, and started on "Defining the Wind."


International Group on "Typhoon Engineering"

An international group on "typhoon engineering" has now been formed...  Except that they don't call it "typhoon engineering." 


Wind Engineering in Southeast Asia

I have mentioned that I attended the recent 7th Asia-Pacific Conference on Wind Engineering (APCWE7) in Taiwan, which is one of the regional conferences of the International Association for Wind Engineering (IAWE).


Earthquake Engineering on a Global Scale

The following website documents all earthquake-related damages, much like VORTEX-WINDS intends for wind-related typhoon/hurricane damages.


Document Typhoon Damages!

Typhoon hit your town and you want to help?  Go out, bring your camera, point and shoot, then log-on at http://www.vortex-winds.org/ and document damages.  We need to better understand what causes wind-related damages so that we can design better structures in the future!

You can also contribute in other ways to wind engineering by joining a "virtual organization" at the same website (http://www.vortex-winds.org/).


CE 256 Part 2 (Wind Effects) - Session 1

Today I gave Session 1 of my part, talking about typhoon damages, typhoon engineering, why it is important, and a little bit about meteorology.  Actually, I was not able to cover everything so next session I will still be talking a little bit more about meteorology and typhoon engineering before I move on to my official Session 2, which is about "Defining the Wind" and the basic wind loading equation which stems from fluid mechanics.


What does performance-based design mean to you?

I have some background only in performance-based structural/seismic evaluation and design of buildings.  I do think in wind design performance-based design (PBD) is already being done for tall buildings particularly those which undergo wind climate studies and wind tunnel testing for structural loading, cladding design, and occupant comfort checking.  This is how I see what PBD is in general, to apply to any field (and it is just what I think).

I think...


APEC-WW in Taipei, Taiwan, 2009

The 5th workshop on harmonization of wind loading and wind environment specifications in Asia-Pacific economies was held at Tamkang University, Yi-lan campus, Taiwan from 13-14 November 2009 after an opening ceremony right after the APCWE-VII.  The workshop has now gone beyond wind load coding issues over to wind-related disaster risk reduction.  As such, our country report made mention (again) of the efforts of the PICE-DMAPS committee.


7th Asia-Pacific Conference on Wind Engineering (APCWE-VII)

I am probably the very first delegate to a regional or international conference on wind engineering who is directly from the Philippines.  Other Filipino wind engineering colleagues who have attended such conferences were either PhD students or employees at foreign universities or consulting firms.  Thus my presentation focused less on technical details but more on what's happening in the Philippines in terms of wind engineering, research, and disaster risk reduction.  I presented on the 3rd day of the conference on 11 November 2009 at the Wind Coding Issues session.


Multi-Tiered Evaluation of Existing Structures

If you are familiar with FEMA publications related to seismic evaluation of existing buildings, you may have heard of the terms "Rapid Visual Assessment," "Tier 1 Screening Procedure," "Tier 2 Evaluation Procedure," and "Tier 3 Detailed Evaluation Procedure," and even "Seismic Rehabilitation."

Looking at these different types of "assessment" procedures together, I would consider them to be a 6-step overall process of seismic evaluation and rehabilitation design for existing buildings:


CE 256 - Structural Design for Dynamic Effects

This semester I am lecturing at the Institute of Civil Engineering, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.  The course number is CE 256, and the course title is "Structural Design for Dynamic Effects."  The course is divided into three parts, namely: Structural Dynamics Review (2 sessions), Wind Effects (7 sessions), and Earthquake Effects (5 sessions).  The very last session is going to talk about structural design considering both wind and earthquake effects (i.e. the case in the Philippines).  I am lecturing the second part on Wind Effects.

The main outline of the Wind Effects part is as follows:


Engineering Misconceptions, Part 4 - To what extent can I not design to code? Will it still be safe against earthquakes and typhoons?

The above subject is a three-part question.

A. To what extent can your building be not designed to code?

1. To no extent! You can't not-design to code. The code is the minimum requirement by law! You can choose to not design to code only if it has been superseded.


Engineering Misconceptions, Part 3 - Earthquake Magnitude and Intensity

Wrong: I designed your building to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 and intensity 10.

Right: I designed your building according to the minimum safety requirements of the building code which aims to protect life and limb from harm due to a 475-year return period earthquake. I also designed the foundations as appropriate. The intensity depends on the expected level of damage. If all buildings were designed properly, the intensity scale (expected level of damage) would go down for the area around your building.



Engineering Misconceptions, Part 2 - Design Wind Speeds

Wrong: A wind speed of 60 m/s has been recorded recently in this area.  Therefore the 55 m/s design wind speed (50-year return period) shown in the Building Code is now wrong.

Right: A wind speed of 60 m/s has been recorded recently in this area.  The basic wind speed for this area as shown in the Building Code is only 55 m/s. I should convert 55 m/s to the actual design wind speed for this area based on the height, topography, and surface roughness to see if the recorded 60 m/s is over and above the actual design wind speed for this specific area. I should also read books to find out what exactly are return periods to better understand them.



Engineering Misconceptions, Part 1 - Return Periods

Wrong: The 50-year return period wind speed of 55 m/s occurs once every 50 years.

Wrong: A wind speed of 60 m/s has been recorded recently in this area. Therefore the 55 m/s 50-year return period wind speed is now wrong.*

Right: The 50-year return period wind speed of 55 m/s has a 63% chance or probability of occuring or being exceeded at least once in the next 50 years.



ALERT▲M7.2 quake to hit M.Manila?

------ Forwarded Message from a friend

I hope this one's not true. Let's just pray that this will not happen. May God continue to protect us.

--- On Tue, 3/17/09, aceschool.blogspot.com wrote:

From: aceschool.blogspot.com@gmail.com
Subject: ALERT▲M7.2 quake to hit M.Manila - Phivolcs
To: aceschool.blogspot.com@gmail.com
Date: Tuesday, 17 March, 2009, 11:40 AM

Do you know that according to the Phivolcs, a Magnitude 7.2 Strong Earthquake will hit Metro Manila anytime?

Are you prepared?


Basic Structural Dynamics for Structural Engineers

I just delivered a basic structural dynamics lecture for structural engineers.  The audience had varying structural engineering experience from a few months to a couple of decades.