Teaching Structural Design, Construction Practices, and Sustainable Technologies for Mitigation of Natural Disaster Damages in Coastal and Fault Areas of Developing Regions

Vanderbilt University

This project supports the development of a two-semester course sequence for seniors focusing on design and construction to mitigate the impacts of earthquakes on residential structures in developing regions. Through lectures, guest speakers, mentorship and on-site visits, students will be introduced to structural dynamics, passive seismic control, low-tech and low-cost alternative construction techniques, value engineering and socioeconomics. The course will be made up of about fifteen engineering and architecture students divided into three or four E-Teams, each assigned an industry mentor.

The E-Teams will research and design solutions, and build and test prototypes in a Structural Control and A-seismic Research (SCARE) lab. They will document their progress in a report, including a business plan for field implementation of the proposed solution, and visit a selected community in a developing region to implement their solution.

Among the educational outcomes, students will be taught the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, and environmental context, with an emphasis on design to save lives in earthquake regions