Advancements in Light-Payload Seismic Isolation:
Theory, Experiments, and Future Needs

NHERI Lehigh Seminar Series
March 21, 2018 | Noon - 1pm EST


Philip Scott Harvey Jr, PhD
PE Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma

Passive protective measures, such as seismic isolation, have shown promise as effective solutions to mitigate damage to vital equipment housed within mission-critical facilities, such as telecommunication centers and emergency response centers, thus reducing business interruption following earthquakes. However, existing equipment isolation systems suffer from limited displacement capacities, degrading their performance under extreme seismic events.

In this seminar, the challenges in designing passive rolling isolation systems capable of withstanding MCE (maximum considered earthquake) level events are introduced, with particular attention to modeling the complex dynamics of these systems. Two advancements are presented as possible solutions, which include increasing the rolling resistance and doubling the displacement capacity via a multi-layer isolator configuration. Ongoing efforts to optimally design these advanced systems are discussed, and future challenges are presented, including the modeling of impacts in such systems.


Dr. Scott Harvey is an Assistant Professor in the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science at the University of Oklahoma. His primary research interests focus on enhancing the behavior of the built environment and increasing building and bridge resilience through the development of response-modification devices. Dr. Harvey is currently leading research funded by NSF, Oklahoma DOT, and ABC-UTC. Dr. Harvey holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from Duke University, and is a registered P.E. in the state of Oklahoma.

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