The University of Nevada, Reno's new large-scale structures Earthquake Engineering Lab was featured Friday, Oct. 17 on NBC's Today Show as part of its coverage of the 25th anniversary of the deadly magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake in northern California.
The lab crew built and furnished a three-sided room on one of the four 14-by 14-foot shake tables in the huge, world-renowned lab to demonstrate what happens to the contents of a room during an earthquake. It wasn't just the usual technicians and researchers taking notes and collecting data, this time the national news television crew had the massive table shaking under the spotlights, literally, with six stationary point-of-view cameras, two cameramen shooting interviews and the journalist reporting on the action.
Lab Director and Civil Engineering Foundation Professor Ian Buckle was interviewed about how to respond in an earthquake and the lab crew ran several simulations of the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake, leading up to final violent shake mimicking the motions one might find on the 10th floor of a building at the earthquake's epicenter.
The demonstration helps people understand the importance of securing your space to help reduce injury and deaths from falling objects inside a building. The lab conducts innovative experiments on large-scale structures such as bridges and buildings to find new ways to build safer structures.
When combined with the University's Large-Scale Structures Laboratory, just steps away from the new lab, the facility comprises the biggest, most versatile large-scale structures, earthquake/seismic engineering facility in the United States, according to National Institute of Standards and Technology, and possibly the largest University-based facility of its kind in the world."Our facility is unique worldwide and, combined with the excellence of our faculty and students, will allow us to make even greater contributions to the seismic safety of our state, the nation and the world," Manos Maragakis, dean of the College of Engineering, said. "We test new designs and materials that will improve our homes, hospitals, offices and highway systems. Remarkable research is carried on here."
The University of Nevada, Reno College of Engineering has internationally and nationally acclaimed programs with departments in several engineering disciplines. The College has graduated more than 1,500 engineering students in the past five years. U.S. News and World Report recently announced its new college rankings and the College of Engineering civil engineering ranked in the top 50 in the nation and environmental engineering in the top 100.