NSF Seafloor Instrumentation Workshop 2018
John Selker, professor of biological and ecological engineering and Chris Parrish, associate professor of geomatics and Eric H.I. and Janice Hoffman Faculty Scholar at the seafloor instrumentation workshop in July 2018.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Oregon State hosted a seafloor instrumentation workshop, “Integrating Science Needs with Advanced Seafloor Sensor Engineering to Provide Early Warning of Geohazards: Visioning Workshop and Roadmap for the Future,” which integrated the expertise of leading scientists and engineers to advance seafloor sensor development and widespread deployment.

Integrating autonomous marine vehicles, computer science, geotechnical engineering, marine geomatics, robotics, and more, the two-day workshop charted the future for instrumenting the seafloor to provide real-time data. One key focus was to develop strategies to enable early warning of geohazards. Participants explored the development of sensors to measure seafloor deformation, temperature, and fluid flow with high resolution over broad areas, strategies for transmitting the data to land quickly and efficiently, and methods for obtaining energy from the environment.

Erica Fischer
Erica Fischer, assistant professor of structural engineering

Erica Fischer, assistant professor of structural engineering, is working on a project funded by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center to evaluate which types of industrial facilities are vulnerable to collapse in fires that occur after earthquakes.

Traditional design approaches allow for the movement and bending of buildings but do not require fire suppression systems to be operable after an earthquake. This design method leaves many structures susceptible to fires after earthquakes because they do not have functional automatic fire suppression systems.

By varying ground accelerations under experimental settings and using Open System for Earthquake Engineering Simulation software for simulating the seismic response of structural and geotechnical systems, Fischer and her research group will quantify how much additional damage is caused by fire compared to the motion of the ground during an earthquake.

This project will identify vulnerable components of facilities and potential improvements by integrating seismological, multi-hazard, and socio-economical aspects of earthquake and fire engineering. Ultimately, Fischer is working to improve emergency management practice and help communities plan for their recovery after a disaster.