EERI Seismic Design Team stands up to the competition in Boston

Monday, April 27, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin

The UBC EERI Seismic Design Team recently returned from a solid performance at the 2015 Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition in Boston, Massachusetts. The competition was held in conjunction with the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting and featured thirty-eight teams from all over the world; with UBC one of just two teams representing Canada.

To prepare for the competition, thirty students put in over 750 hours of labour, working together to design and construct a 1/78th balsa wood scale model of a 30 storey high-rise building.  This effort gave the students hands-on experience in structural and seismic engineering through design, construction, and analysis. At the competition, the balsa wood models were tested under three concurrent ground motions. UBC’s model withstood both the magnitude five and six ground motions; however, it was not able to withstand the final magnitude nine ground motion. Overall, the team’s efforts paid off in many other aspects of the competition, as evidenced by the following results:

  • second place in poster presentation
  • third place in architecture
  • fifth place in oral presentation
  • seventh place in design proposal

By scoring exceptionally well in all of these categories, UBC’s structure had the eighth highest final annual building income and placed 20th overall.

As an entirely student-run operation, the UBC EERI Seismic Design Team relies heavily on the support of the civil engineering industry and could not have achieved these results without help from their sponsors. For this, the team would like to extend a sincere thank you to their sponsors for the continuing support. The Department of Civil Engineering congratulates the team for its achievements at the competition!

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