Engineering in practice – Meet David Sanders


Well, when I went to the University of
Nevada, I was primarily focused in bridge engineering. But I showed up to
Nevada shortly after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Then shortly after
that was the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, and these two events really shaped my
career. So my area of research is in the seismic design and behavior of
structures and, more specifically, in concrete structures. So in my career, the
the first part of my career focused on just life safety. How do we find ways to
just have structures standing after an earthquake? We don’t care what it looks
like, just don’t collapse. The last part of my career is focused more on
serviceability, meaning we want a structure to not only be standing after
an earthquake, but we want it to be usable. We found out that earthquakes can
have huge social-economical impacts, and so we want that computer to still be
working. We want that hospital to still be working. We want that bridge structure
to still be accessible after an earthquake. And so our focus has been on
keeping structures not only up but also working.

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