PEER 1999 NSF Site Visit and
Annual Meeting

PEER's administrative headquarters at the University of California's Richmond Field Station welcomed more than 100 participants to the PEER site visit by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and to the Annual Meeting. The site visit and Annual Meeting were held concurrently. Participants included the NSF review team, faculty and students from the PEER core and affiliated institutions, and members of the PEER Business and Industry Partnership (BIP) program and Implementation Advisory Board (IAB). Highlights of the two-day event included overviews of PEER's accomplishments in Year One, the introduction of PEER's new strategic plan, and a PEER student poster session involving representatives from all nine core institutions.

NSF Site Visit

On Day One, PEER Director Jack Moehle presented opening remarks on PEER's mission to develop and disseminate technology for design and construction of buildings and infrastructure to meet the diverse seismic performance objectives of owners and society, and introduced PEER's new strategic plan. Frieder Seible, PEER Deputy Director for Research, then provided an overview of the Year Two research program, which was followed by presentations by each of the five Thrust Area leaders: Peter May (Socio-economic); Steve Kramer (Hazard Assessment), Helmut Krawinkler (Global Assessment/Design Methodologies), Gregory Fenves (Demand Assessment), and Frieder Seible (Capacity Assessment). The luncheon break on Day One provided the attendees with the opportunity to meet PEER students from the core institutions and to view 35 PEER student posters that presented the results of Years One and Two research. Following the luncheon break, PEER Associate Director Andrew Whittaker, introduced the PEER program on technology transfer, and Gerry Pardoen, Assistant Director for Education, discussed the accomplishments of the education program in Year One and the plan for Year Two. NSF met in closed session with the Implementation Advisory Board Executive and Student Leadership Council to obtain an independent assessment of the PEER program. The first day ended with a meeting of the NSF review team and PEER management.

On Day Two, Gregory Fenves, PEER Assistant Director for Directed Studies, discussed the scope and products of the Utility Lifelines program, which has been funded to date by Pacific Gas & Electric, the California Energy Commission, Bonneville Power Administration, BC Hydro, and Southern California Edison, and presented PEER's vision for directed studies in Years Three and Four. PEER management then responded to NSF's Day One questions and comments. The remainder of Day Two involved report writing by the NSF review team.

Annual Meeting

The PEER Annual Meeting, held concurrently with the NSF site review, involved faculty, students, and members of the PEER Business and Industry Partnership and Implementation Advisory Board. The BIP is composed of 15 design professional consultancies (Anatech, Brandow & Johnston, Degenkolb Engineers, Earth Mechanics, Fluor Daniel, Forell/Elsesser, Geomatrix, Hess Engineering, Imbsen & Associates, Ove Arup & Partners, Rutherford & Chekene, Skilling Ward Magnuson Barkshire, SOHA Engineers, URS/Greiner/Woodward Clyde, and Wiss Janey Elstner); two utilities (Pacific Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison), two manufacturing companies (Bridgestone, Enidine), and Computers and Structures, Inc. and the Nevada Testing Institute. The IAB is composed of the California Seismic Safety Commission, Caltrans, the California Energy Commission, WashDot, and all members of the BIP program.

On Day One of the Annual Meeting, the IAB met in closed session in the morning to review the PEER program and to make recommendations to the NSF review team. Following the student poster session, the IAB Executive (chaired by Jim Malley of Degenkolb Engineers) met with the review team to provide an industry perspective on the progress and prospects of the PEER program. The IAB then participated in discussions with faculty and students on the PEER Field Laboratories, which were selected to facilitate cross-disciplinary research and integrate research work in the five Thrust Areas. Day One ended with a social hour that fostered continued and lively discussion on the objectives of the PEER program.

On Day Two, the IAB, faculty, and students discussed the scope and integration of the Year Two research projects in five concurrent Thrust Area sessions. Faculty investigators made presentations on each Year Two project. These presentations and the discussions that followed served to promote collaboration and to better integrate work in the individual Thrust Areas.