Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Virtual Seismology Committee - opinions and suggestions wanted

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
The Panel discussion held last Saturday at the Santa Barbara SEAOC Convention 
was, in my opinion, a good start at publically reiterating the problems that 
are faced by the practicing professionals on wood framed structures - mostly 
residential. I believe there was an overwhelming agreement that more 
attention should be placed on developing the load path and paying attention 
to shearwall deflection than on whether or not the diaphragm acts as a rigid, 
flexible or non-flexible manner. However, the most often stated comment, 
after the discussion, is that most believe that this is as far as it goes and 
that there will be very little in the nature of productive change to occur 
out of the discussions.

I have received numerous emails from Ron Hamburger (SEAOC State President) 
over the last few days. Ron is committed to persuing the concerns of 
practicing professionals and not staying stagnant on the issues raised at the 
discussion. The interaction of the Virtual community is an important and 
potentially powerful source of resources for Seismology and other committees. 
The problem is establishing a working relationship between established 
physical committees and this new SEA International Network (including this 
listservice). 

I have suggested that we create a Virtual Seismology committee. However, to 
insure equal weigthed consideration in the physical committee, I believe it 
is necessary to have one or more representatives who will physically attend 
Seismology committee meetings and assist in summarizing the discussions from 
the list (or dedicated newsgroup) to a more managable format that would work 
into the committee meeting in much the same fashion as their normal course of 
discussion. The representatives will insure that the same consideration is 
given the opinions and suggestions originating from the virtual community as 
those of any other committee participant.

Ron suggested that the strength in the committee structure is the ability to 
have smaller represented groups (the four California chapters) who are able 
to assimilate information for productive use in the state committee . 
Therefore, he suggests that SEAOC consider adopting a fifth chapter - the 
Virtual Seismology Committee.

So, I now lay this out for discussion on our listservice. We have an 
opportunity before us to become an active participant in the Seismology 
Committee (and, hopefully, other committees down the road). The specifics 
need to be discussed and addressed, but this is the closest that we have ever 
gotten to being a part of the policy making team. The sucess or failure is in 
our hands and inasmuch as so many, including myself, were vocal on these 
issues, I would expect this committee to receive support from listmembers 
passionate out these issues.

Here are some of my opinions that I stated to Ron as how I believe the 
community wants to involve itself. How this actually works out is purely up 
to the Listservice members but these comments are from past discussions. 

1. I believe that the majority of list members do not want to commit to 
regular and scheduled participation.
2. Members want the ability to comment on the issues that directly relate to 
them and not necessarily stay abreast of each and every issue that needs to 
be resolved.
3. The list subscribers tend not to want a strict format (ie, coding of 
messages) and wish to approach the work at their leisure.

I don't think these traits are wrong for virtual committee participation. 
However, I do think that we need to be realistic about them and expect the 
level of our participation to be a function of the interest in the arguments 
or problems presented. 

The discussion is now open to all of you. I ask that you do preface this with 
the code VSC so that I or another will have an easier time of compiling the 
threads for those outside the virtual community.

PLEASE START WITH SUGGESTIONS AS TO HOW BEST TO ESTABLISH, INTEGRATE AND 
PARTICIPATE WITH EACH OF THE EXISTING FOUR CHAPTERS OF THE SEAOC SEISMOLOGY 
COMMITTEE. WHAT SHOULD OUR PART BE? WHAT GOALS SHOULD WE SET? ARE WE AN 
INDEPENDENT GROUP OR ARE WE SUPPORT AND INFORMATION RESOURCES FOR THE 
ESTABLISHED COMMITTEES? 

One final comment - THIS IS NOT A REGIONAL ISSUE as many will believe. For 
now, SEAOC is the most active, however, I would welcome the participation by 
ASCE members and non-affiliated engineers who practice in wind and seismic 
regions. The issues are UBC oriented at this point, but the future is 
International - the adoption of the IBC and this will require the help and 
opinons of engineers in many other regions of the world.
I urge all of you who wish to participate in your profession to do so based 
on what the future will bring rather than seeing this as a local or regional 
issue.

Sincerely,
Dennis S. Wish, PE