Two CAEE faculty and graduate student Oscar Suncar are visiting Haiti to apply their technical expertise on earthquakes and structural dynamics.
Geotechnical Engineering Professor Ellen Rathje will travel to Haiti to investigate how the soil conditions influenced the damage caused by the earthquake. Their findings will serve as a means to improve construction of critical facilities, including ports. Rathje, the team’s group leader, will help advise the Haitian government on how to make critical facilities safer for future earthquakes.
The focus of Rathje’s research is understanding and predicting geotechnical earthquake hazards, with particular emphasis on the evaluation of earthquake-induced ground failure (slope instability, soil liquefaction), the effect of soil conditions on earthquake ground motions, and the use of remote sensing to document earthquake hazards. She has received many awards for her work and is the co-principal investigator of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) at UT-Austin.
To watch Professor Rathje’s recent interviews with local news, please visit:
UT Engineers Heading to Haiti – Fox News Austin
UT Engineering Students, Faculty go to Haiti to Research – KEYE News
Structural Engineering Assistant Professor Wassim Ghannoum arrived in Haiti on January 21, 2010 to assess structures in the earthquake-torn area. His week-long safety assessment will focus mainly on hospitals and ports and will help determine which structures remain safe to re-enter. Ghannoum’s research interests are in seismic performance of reinforced concrete with older-type reinforcement details and in estimation of structural component fragility.
To read more about Assistant Professor Ghannoum’s trip to Haiti,
Engineer Assessing Human Safety of Remaining Shelter in Haiti – Cockrell School of Engineering