The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Breña Part of Earthquake Team in Chile

Associate Professor Sergio Breña is travelling in April with an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) team as part of an effort to document and evaluate the performance of existing reinforced concrete buildings during the recent 8.8 magnitude Chilean earthquake. The ASCE team is made up of approximately 20 individuals participating in different aspects of the post-earthquake reconnaissance effort. Dr. Breña will be working with a group to collect data from existing buildings that were rehabilitated after the 1985 earthquake. Initially the group will concentrate on damaged buildings in the cities of Santiago, Valparaiso, and Viña del Mar.

The group’s observations will be used to update and improve the ASCE 41-Standard for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings. This standard is used by professionals worldwide when conducting seismic evaluation and rehabilitation activities for buildings.

In 2009, Dr. Breña was named as a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI). ACI Fellows have “made outstanding contributions to the production or use of concrete materials, products, and structures in the areas of education, research, development, design, construction, or management.”

He has over 11 years of experience in laboratory and field testing of structures and structural systems. Additionally, he has more than seven years of structural design experience in projects involving rehabilitation of existing buildings to improve earthquake performance. (April 2010)