One Year Later, Haiti’s Engineers Are Acquiring Tools to Begin Rebuilding the Right Way

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — As Haitian citizens struggle to achieve some normalcy a year after the devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake, its structural engineers and architects are demonstrating an unwavering resolve to rebuild the country the right way, despite the daily challenges.

In seminars held in May and September in Port-au-Prince, some held in tents in 100-plus degree heat, they are learning from some of the world’s leading earthquake engineers how to incorporate seismic design into their work.

Approximately 350 engineers and architects — about 35 percent of all structural engineers and architects in Port-au-Prince — have attended the seminars, organized by the University at Buffalo’s MCEER (Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research), which is partnering with Quisqueya University (UniQ) in Haiti. The next seminar will take place in Port-au-Prince in March; more information is at http://mceer.buffalo.edu/education/UniQ/registration/default_EN.asp.

“The goal of the partnership and these seminars is to help Haiti establish its own community of earthquake engineers to mitigate damage to its buildings in the event of future earthquakes,” says Andre Filiatrault, PhD, MCEER director and UB professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

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