AIR Expands San Francisco Office for Research in Earthquake Engineering

June 18, 2003

AIR Worldwide Corporation (AIR) announced the relocation and expansion of its San Francisco office to accommodate the increasing number of research initiatives being undertaken there. The San Francisco team, led by Dr. Paolo Bazzurro, has been awarded several new grants that will further the engineering community’s understanding of how earthquakes impact structures.

Among these are grants from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center. While the research is being conducted on behalf of different organizations, the findings will be incorporated into AIR earthquake models.

The PEER project, “Parameterization of Non-Stationary Acceleration Time History,” will examine two techniques used to model the impact of intense ground motion from large magnitude earthquakes on structures: scaling up the amplitude of real recordings from smaller earthquakes and artificially simulating recordings of large earthquakes. AIR will investigate the soundness of each practice to determine whether, and to what extent, they generate structural responses that are materially different from those that are actually recorded. AIR researchers will also investigate the ability of an already-damaged structure to withstand an aftershock in the wake of a large earthquake.

AIR’s work on the USGS grant, “Correlation of Damage of Steel Moment-Resisting Frames to a Vector-valued Ground Motion Parameter Set that Includes Energy Demands,” is being performed in conjunction with the University of Texas at Austin. AIR and other researchers will study the relationship between earthquake ground motion energy parameters and structural damage in order to improve damage and loss prediction from earthquakes. Understanding this relationship is essential to estimate the likelihood of various levels of seismic damage, and ultimately, monetary loss, for a given structure, or a portfolio of structures.

AIR’s new San Francisco office is located at 388 Market Street, Suite 610, in downtown San Francisco. The telephone number is 415-912-3111.

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