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SIT-Summer Institute in Taiwan
Academic Exchange & Cultural Experience in Taiwan
Patricia Clayton
The research that was conducted during the SIT program was the culmination of a year-long collaboration between earthquake engineering researchers at the University of Washington (UW), the University at Buffalo (UB), National Taiwan University (NTU), and the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE) in Taiwan. This research was on the new Self-Centering Steel Plate Shear Wall (SC-SPSW), an innovative structural system that has been developed to reduce damage, repair costs, and loss of building functionality after earthquakes.
Experimental testing of a full-scale two-story SC-SPSW was conducted at NCREE during the SIT program. Large-scale testing is ideal for better understanding how new structural systems will perform in a real building during a real earthquake, and NCREE is one of the few laboratories in the world that is capable of such large-scale testing. The pseudo-dynamic tests conducted at NCREE were able to show how the SC-SPSW specimen would behave during earthquakes of varying intensity, thus giving a more realistic assessment of how well it would perform in different earthquake magnitudes. This type of testing has never been done on the new SC-SPSW system. Ultimately, the experiments conducted during the SIT program showed that the SC-SPSW was capable of reducing damage and repair costs when compared to conventional steel plate shears walls that are currently used in practice, which could help reduce the economic impact of earthquakes.
In addition to successful large-scale testing at a world-class structural laboratory in Taiwan, the SIT program provided a great chance for collaboration with researchers at NCREE and NTU. Numerous journal and conference publications will result from the SC-SPSW test conducted at NCREE, and ideas for future collaboration were discussed. While at NCREE, ideas on experimental procedures and methods were exchanged with technicians at NCREE and fellow students at NTU to promote the advancement of research methods at our respective institutions. The international collaboration and personal interaction with Taiwanese researchers not only advanced my current study of SC-SPSWs, but it also fostered an open exchange of knowledge between our US and Taiwan institutions and established the foundation blocks for international collaboration during my future career in academia. I plan to come back to Taiwan to conduct experimental testing at NCREE in the future, and I can only hope that I will be able to send one of my future graduate students to Taiwan though the SIT program.
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