During the first week of March, a team of undergraduate students from the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department competed against thirty-seven other universities around the world at the 2019 Seismic Design Competition. Held every year at the EERI Annual Meeting, this was the Stanford team's eighth time competing and was the first time our team has come in first place (they have also had two fourth place wins and came in second two years ago).
Each team designs and builds a complex tall building model made from balsa wood that will be tested on a shaking table. Student teams are judged on their oral design presentation, their summary poster, the model’s architectural design, their ability to fit within the design criteria and constraints, their analytical prediction of their model performance, and the response of their model during shaking table testing.
This year's team consisted of Joel White, Tim Ngo, Nikhil Chaudhuri, Jeffrey Valdespino, Junha Hwang, Emma Bowers, and Paul Calderon. White writes that "The Stanford Seismic Design Team is a small but determined and close-knit group. Members represent many diverse interests and academic studies ranging from civil engineering, architecture, and art practice. Everyone on the team works together in a concerted effort and has a voice in all aspects of our process from design through construction. Although everyone is somewhat a 'jack of all trades,' each member still specializes in certain tasks that best suit their skills and match their interests. This year’s design brief certainly presented our team with unique challenges and pushed us to think more creatively. We were confident, however, that our dedicated time and effort resulted in a final tower that would perform well at the competition and our efforts certainly paid off. We are thrilled to have won first place against nearly 40 other teams and look forward to another successful year."