ATC Announces Deployment of Team to Mexico City

October 6, 2017

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The Applied Technology Council (ATC) would like to express its deepest sympathies over the loss of life and property in Mexico as a result of the recent earthquakes.  In support of ongoing U.S. Government-funded research and development projects in earthquake engineering, the ATC Endowment Fund is sponsoring a team of experts to investigate the performance of buildings in Mexico City following the September 19, 2017 magnitude-7.1 earthquake.  Although our focus is on engineering issues, we are cognizant of ongoing response and recovery efforts.  Through investigations such as this, we hope to contribute to the state-of-knowledge for avoiding losses in future earthquakes, both in the United States and internationally.

Led by Ramon Gilsanz (U.S. on-site leader), Sissy Nikolaou (U.S. off-site coordinator), and Rodolfo Valles Mattox (Mexico on-site leader), the team includes structural engineers, building instrumentation researchers, and geotechnical and seismology specialists from around the world.  The team will be charged with collecting detailed information on structural design, vibration properties, site and seismological characteristics, strong ground motion records, and performance of engineered reinforced concrete structures that are relevant to ongoing ATC projects funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  It is anticipated that this data collection effort will allow for comprehensive follow-up studies in ways that have rarely, if ever, been possible before. 

This work will be used to assist in the calibration and contribute to the further development of methodologies, guidelines, and standards for seismic performance assessment applicable to concrete buildings in the United States and internationally.

Engineering firms and research institutions participating in the team include:

  • Gilsanz Murray Steficek, New York
  • WSP, New York, Miami, Mexico
  • Degenkolb Engineers, San Francisco
  • Forell/Elsesser Engineers, San Francisco
  • IDS Group, Irvine
  • Rutherford + Chekene, San Francisco
  • National Technical University of Athens, Greece
  • University at Buffalo
  • University of Greenwich, UK
  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)