Late last month, Karen and John Huff School Chair Dr. Reginald DesRoches traveled to California as the invited speaker at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.
DesRoches' talk, "Seismic Retrofit of Structures Using Auto-adaptive Materials and Innovative Systems" was the featured lecture for the school's CEE249 Seminar Series.
As a researcher, DesRoches primary interests have centered around the design of buildings and critical infrastructure under earthquake loads, and seismic risk assessment.
In his talk, he referenced the recent earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand and Chile as timely reminders of the importance of developing new approaches and technologies to improve the performance of structures during earthquakes. His presentation highlighted the application of several innovative retrofit approaches for mitigating the effects of earthquakes in buildings and bridges.
One of those retrofitst uses Nitiol shape memory alloys.
"Shape memory alloys are a unique metallic alloy which can undergo large deformations while reverting back to their original, undeformed shape," DesRoches says. "This unique property has led to the development of applications in the biomedical, aerospace, and commercial industry."
He also looked at another class of sustainable retrofit systems that are scalable, adaptable, cost-effective and do not require heavy machinery to implement
"A multi-scale and multi-disciplinary approach is taken to explore the potential use of these systems for applications in earthquake engineering. Complementary analyses show great potential for these systems to improve the earthquake performance of nonductile buildings and bridges."