REU Students at UC San Diego Featured on DesignSafe Radio

Published on August 28, 2017


Source: UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering


In episode #4 of DesignSafe Radio, host Dan Zehner talks with UC San Diego’s Darren McKay, development engineer and operations manager for LHPOST, the world’s largest outdoor shake table at the Jacobs School of Engineering. As part of the research experiences for undergraduates program, 3 engineering undergraduates participated in a major project underway here, shaking a full scale, two-story wood-frame building.

On LH POST, researchers can “build big” and rigorously test their designs for seismic reliability. The facility is part of the NSF-funded, Natural Hazard Engineering Research Infrastructure, NHERI.

The students describe doing hands-on tasks such as setting up instrumentation for the test, applying sensors and analyzing data -- and using construction power tools for the first time. A little scary! Find out what NOT to wear when spending your summer climbing in and around a large-scale test structure. The REU experience convinced all three undergrads to pursue master’s degrees in engineering.

Find out why safety is a top priority at the facility when McKay tells anecdotes about engineers who fail to follow safety protocols. Feeling ghoulish, host Dan Zehner asks everyone to tell their favorite disaster story – including one about a plane ride through a typhoon. Lastly, find out about the engineering research capabilities of the LHPOST shake table, where multi-university research projects are the order of the day – even if the schools are football rivals like Oregon State and the University of Washington.