Feb 15, 2008    #003
Contact: Angela Turner

First place awarded to UMKC engineers in international earthquake simulation

University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Computing and Engineering assistant professor Ganesh Thiagarajan and student Rini Mitra won first place in an international blind prediction contest for an earthquake simulation.

Researchers in Japan simulated an earthquake by using hydraulics attached to a shake table to jolt a full-scale four-story steel building in three directions. Each researcher predicted 50 parameters concerning the sustainability of the building.

Thiagarajan and Mitra competed in the 3-D analysis for researchers, one of four categories in the contest. The pair used commercial computer software and their own drawings to predict closest the actual movements of the building.

Forty-seven teams from seven countries competed in the contest. The primary goal of the challenge was to predict and thereby improve the seismic performance of steel frames through numerical simulation. Thiagarajan and Mitra, who did all their work from Kansas City, will receive their awards at the 14th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering in Beijing, China.

“When we found out that we’d won, we were very shocked,” Thiagarajan said. “At the award ceremony, people from all over the world will be listening to us talk about the simulations we did at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The joy is in sharing so that others can possibly benefit.”

Thiagarajan said engineering is a quiet but booming industry in Kansas City. He said the practical experience that students gain from research projects and from partnerships with local engineering firms prepares them to take on challenging projects once they graduate.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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