Infrastructure

  • As more U.S. embassies come under threat, ATG Access’ bollards offer a solution

    ATG Access offers bollards to meet every security level required and has products impact-tested at 30, 40, and 50 mph with vehicles ranging from 7.5 ton up to 18 ton; the company says that the latest addition to the product family is a fixed bollard that will dead-stop a 7.5 ton truck traveling at 50 mph; what is more, the foundation of the company’s bollards is just 150 mm; with a foundation of only 20 cm (8 inches) deep — typical bollard requires 1.5 m (5 feet) — ATG’s shallow mount can be installed on pavements, on top of bridges, or in locations where other ordinary products may be impossible to install

  • Researchers work to help secure the U.S. power grid

    The U.S. Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) team explores the Smarter Grid — secure and reliable technology involved in the underpinnings of the U.S. electrical power infrastructure; as power grids are upgraded and connected to online systems to increase efficiency, they become vulnerable to malicious attacks and hackers; the TCIPG team will develop cyber security tools and technologies to ensure that power supplies are not disrupted

  • Engineers urge overhaul of Haiti's archaic, anarchic building practices

    In Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, building codes, if they even exist, exist on paper only; all governments in Haiti, including the present one, have been corrupt, predatory, and utterly indifferent to the welfare of the people; a recent OAS report detailed a litany of flaws in Haiti’s attitude to buildings: weak or missing reinforcement, structures on steep slopes with unstable foundations, inadequate or nonexistant inspections, poor designs, materials, and techniques; Kit Miyamoto, a California structural engineer who went to Haiti last week: “No code, no engineering, means death”

  • Army engineers: Haiti's bad roads not damaged by quake

    Engineers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say that many of Haiti’s roads are not any worse than they were before because they have always been in poor condition; 80 percent of the major destruction is around the city’s capital; 200 million cubic yards of debris will need to be removed from Port-au-Prince

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  • Quake-proofing U.S. buildings

    An Indian civil engineer has invented a sleeved column braces which help buildings withstand earthquakes; the sturdy brace apparatus surrounds a core of high-performance steel, but is spaced from the sides of the core; the sleeve thus absorbs and dissipates energy, but does not buckle under pressure; several large buildings in California, built in the last few years, have adopted the technology

  • U.S. structural engineers begin on-site damage assessments in Haiti

    U.S. engineers are going to Haiti to study the earthquake and its ramifications for structural engineering; the structural engineers emergency response committee (SEER) of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) — the SEER consists of volunteer structural engineers trained in the structural engineering aspects of emergency response to earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters — is in talks with the U.S. government and the private sector to identify ways in which the structural engineering community can lend its talents, skills and experience

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  • Scientists anxious about other big quakes

    The Haitian earthquake may have increased the chance of a future quake in the neighboring Dominican Republic and other parts of the Caribbean; during the Haitian quake, only 30 to 60 miles of the 300-mile fault near Port-au-Prince ruptured and slid; the rest of it stayed stuck, still glued together by friction; the area that ruptured is likely to have increased the amount of strain — and the risk of quake — in other parts of the fault

  • Haiti’s lack of building standards major contributor to scope of disaster

    One of the major contributors to the magnitude of the disaster in Haiti was the fact that there were no building codes in the country – a study done by the Organization of American States (OAS) concluded last month that many of the buildings in Haiti were so shoddily constructed that they were unlikely to survive any disaster, let alone an earthquake like the one that devastated Port-au-Prince last Tuesday

  • WHOI expert: Haiti quake occurred in complex, active seismic region

    Most of the time, the earth’s plates do not slide smoothly past one another; they stick in one spot for perhaps years or hundreds of years, until enough pressure builds along the fault and the landmasses suddenly jerk forward to relieve the pressure, releasing massive amounts of energy throughout the surrounding area; in Haiti, the tremor was centered just 10 miles southwest of the capital city, Port au Prince, and the quake was shallow — only about 10-15 kilometers below the land’s surface

  • U.S. aging infrastructure a national security concern

    There many immediate and long-term economic benefits to investing in shoring up the U.S. crumbling infrastructure – but investing in creating a robust and resilient infrastructure is essential for national security as well: because the United States is the world’s dominant military power, the only real way for enemies to attack the country is through its infrastructure, including cyberspace, making infrastructure resilience critical

  • Why the U.S. needs an infrastructure bank

    The U.S. aging infrastructure will eventually constrain economic growth; government alone can no longer finance all of the nation’s infrastructure requirements; a national infrastructure bank (NIB) could fill the gap; the NIB could attract private funds to co-invest in projects that pass rigorous cost-benefit tests, and that generate revenues through user fees or revenue guarantees from state and local governments; investors could choose which projects meet their investment criteria, and, in return, share in project risks that today fall solely on taxpayers

  • Bruker’s Autonomous Rapid Facility Chemical Agent Monitor advances to DHS Phase IIIb

    Bruker uses its proprietary RAID Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) technology for the Autonomous Rapid Facility Chemical Agent Monitor Program, which is designed for long-term monitoring of ambient air for the presence of hazardous chemical vapors in the interior or exterior of critical government buildings, subways, airports and other facilities; the company says it has also developed a new product – the DE-tector — which uses next-generation IMS technology with selectivity and specificity that approaches that of mass spectrometry

  • The 106-foot San Clemente to be torn down, largest dam removal in California

    California dam inspectors declared the San Clemente dam unsafe in 1991, at risk of collapse in a major earthquake; “In 1921, this dam was a marvel of engineering. It has fulfilled its purpose and its usefulness is behind us,” said Rob MacLean, president of the California American Water Co., which owns the dam

  • Haiti's earthquake was long anticipated

    A group of scientists from the United States and Jamaica warned in 2008 that a fault zone on the south side of the island — the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden fault zone — presented a danger; they predicted that a magnitude-7.2 earthquake would result if all of the strain along the fault “is released in a single event”

  • Flood-prone state road gets temporary fix

    A section of Route 12, just north of the village of Rodanthe, North Carolina, increasingly has become flood-prone over the past decade due in part to rapid beach erosion in the area; wind-driven waves from a slow-moving mid-November storm buckled and undermined approximately 800 ft of pavement, flattened 900 ft of 15-ft to 20-ft-high sand dunes, and damaged hundreds of sandbags placed by NCDOT following a 2007 storm event; the North Carolina Department of Transportation has decided to relocate 1,800-ft-long stretch of the highway