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Fifteen named to Earthquake Hazards Reduction Advisory Committee


William Jeffrey, director of the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), named 15 academic, industry, and government experts to serve on the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction. Established by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, NEHRP is the federal government’s program to reduce the risks to life and property from earthquakes.

Responsibilities of the new independent advisory committee include assessing trends and developments in the science and engineering of earthquake hazards reduction; the effectiveness of NEHRP in performing its statutory activities (improved design and construction methods and practices, land use controls and redevelopment, prediction techniques and early-warning systems, coordinated emergency preparedness plans, and public education and involvement programs); any need to revise NEHRP; and the management, coordination, implementation, and activities of NEHRP.

The initial terms for the advisory committee will be staggered, with the following appointed members serving one, two, or three years, with a possible full three-year second term:

Post-Tensioning Institute announces technical conference and expo


The Post-Tensioning Institute (PTI) announced its Sixth Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, to be held May 6-8, 2007, in Miami. The two-day conference and expo, which focuses exclusively on technology and applications of post-tensioning, features educational seminars, technical sessions, panel discussions, committee meetings, networking events, industry exhibits, and the PTI Legends Awards presentation and dinner.

Technical sessions of interest to engineers, architects, building officials, inspectors, contractors, specifiers, students, researchers, and others with an interest in post-tensioning include the following:

LEED certification offered for neighborhood development


The U.S. Green Building Council is now accepting applications for pilot projects to participate in the LEED for Neighborhood Development program. This new rating system integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building into the first national standard for neighborhood design.

The program emphasizes the design and construction elements that knit buildings together into a neighborhood, and provides guidelines for better location, design, and construction of new residential, commercial, and mixed-use development. Specifically, the pilot program for neighborhood development evaluates projects in the following four areas:

Portlands aerial tram provides catalyst for nations largest sustainable development

An aerial tram has now officially opened to the public in Portland, connecting the city’s new River Blocks neighborhood in the South Waterfront District to the main campus of Oregon Health & Science University.

Research team visits Florida to document damage

A team of researchers from Texas Tech University’s Wind Science and Engineering Research Center visited Florida in early February to study debris and damage in the wake of tornados that killed 20 on Feb. 2.

DHS now offers web-based infrastructure protection training

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Infrastructure Protection recently announced the availability of a new, web-based infrastructure protection training program.

Kentucky dam gets emergency treatment

In late January, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Nashville District began lowering the level of Lake Cumberland to an elevation of 680 feet.

PBS&J adds applied technologies service line

PBS&J formed a new service line, the Applied Technologies Group, designed to align with the technological needs of its clients and the engineering marketplace.

City, county outsourcing leads to fewer full-time jobs

A study of nearly 500 city and county governments demonstrates that private-sector contracting results in lower full-time public employment.

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