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NSF-sponsored GEER team documents impacts of M=6.3 New Zealand Earthquake

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Professor Glenn Rix travelled to Christchurch, New Zealand with the National Science Foundation-sponsored Geo-engineering Extreme Events Dr. Glenn Rix, professor and group leader of Geosystems Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringReconnaissance (GEER) team to document the effects of the Magnitude 6.3 earthquake that occurred on February 22, 2011. The GEER team will be working in the field until March 6th, with the initial plan to focus efforts on: building foundation response, liquefaction and other ground failures, performance of bridges and other lifelines, performance of port facilities, and slope failures.

Professor Russell Green of the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech is leading the investigation of the earthquake’s geotechnical impacts. In addition to Dr. Rix, GEER team members include: Mr. John Allen, TRI Environmental, Inc.; Mr. Donald Wells, AMEC Geomatrix; Dr. Thomas O’Rourke, Cornell University; Dr. Aaron Bradshaw, University of Rhode Island; Mr. Clinton Wood, University of Arkansas. Team members will work closely with colleagues from the University of Canterbury and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The GEER team is also coordinating efforts with teams organized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and ASCE Technical Committee on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering (TCLEE).

GEER is part of the U.S. National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). Immediately following the occurrence of an extreme event, perishable data is systematically collected in order to provide hard data of well-documented case histories. This data drives the development of empirical procedures used in geoengineering practice. Documenting and sharing key lessons learned from major events around the world significantly contributes to the advancement of research and practice in engineering.

Dr. Rix earned his BSCE from Purdue University in 1982 and his MSCE and PhD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 and 1988, respectively. His primary research and teaching interests are in soil dynamics and geotechnical earthquake engineering including laboratory and in situ measurement of dynamic soil properties, site response analysis, and liquefaction hazards. Current research projects are focusing on continued development of array-based surface wave methods, frequency dependence of shear modulus and material damping ratio, earthquake hazards in the Central and Eastern U.S., and seismic risk mitigation for ports. Dr. Rix is active in a variety of professional organizations including the American Society of Civil Engineers, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Seismological Society of America, Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, and the NEES Consortium, Inc.

RELATED LINKS

Additional information about Dr. Glenn Rix:  http://www.ce.gatech.edu/people/faculty/541/overview

GEER Association:  http://www.geerassociation.org/