Full Session without Abstracts
An Industry/University Co-operative Research Center on Wind Hazard and Infrastructure Performance (I/UCRC WHIP) is established under the umbrella of the National Science Foundation (NSF). There are six industry/company partners representing risk, insurance, material, and construction interests. The academic partners are Texas Tech University and Florida International University. The purpose of the Center is to pursue research in wind hazard mitigation. The research performed at the academic institutions is guided by the Industry Advisory Board representing company members.
On a frequent basis, the United States is exposed to several major wind hazards including hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms which cause damage to the infrastructure of buildings and to lifelines of power, communication, transportation, and water systems. The damage to infrastructure produces fatalities and injuries and extensive property losses. According to Property Claim Services, U.S. insured catastrophe losses between 1995 and 2014 were almost $400 billion, a total that translates to almost $20 billion in annual insured losses. (The total loss to the country due to hazards may be twice the insured losses.). Of the total catastrophe losses, 80% of the losses are due to windstorms. Future losses from windstorms are only likely to increase because of the growing population in hazard-prone regions, aging infrastructures, and our changing climate.
The research results from this Center will directly benefit the structural engineering profession. As a part of the construction industry the structural engineering profession has a keen interest in mitigating the effects of windstorms. A panel session of 90 minutes is proposed to educate the structural engineers on the benefit of the Center. The panel will consist of two company members and two academic investigators from the two institutions. The panel session will be moderated by Dr. Kishor Mehta, Fellow of SEI and Dist. M of ASCE.
Each of the panelists will make comments on why they are part of the Center. What are the benefits of the Center? What results they hope to obtain in the five-year phase of the Center. The comments by panelists will be restricted to 15 minutes each leaving the remaining time of 30 minutes for general discussion and questions and answers from the audience.