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Professor Leads Team To New Zealand Earthquake Area
March 3, 2011

Russell Green, of the Charles E. Via, Jr., Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech, is leading the National Science Foundation-sponsored Geo-engineering Extreme Events Reconnaissance Team as it travels to Christchurch, New Zealand, to document the effects of the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that occurred on February 22nd.

Russell Green

The team will focus on documenting geotechnical effects of extreme events as part of the U.S. National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.

Green, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is leading the investigation of the earthquake’s geotechnical impacts. Other team members are: John Allen, TRI Environmental Inc.; Glenn Rix, Georgia Tech; Donald Wells, AMEC Geomatrix; Thomas O’Rourke, Cornell University; Aaron Bradshaw, University of Rhode Island; and Clinton Wood, University of Arkansas.

The team members will work in close collaboration with their New Zealand colleagues from the University of Canterbury and the University of Auckland. Additionally, the team is coordinating its efforts with teams organized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Technical Committee on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering.

The team will be working in the field until March 6th, with the initial plan to focus efforts on: building foundation response, liquefaction and other ground failures, performance of bridges and other lifelines, performance of port facilities, and slope failures.

Prof. Green spent five years as an earthquake engineer for the U.S. Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board in Washington, D.C., prior to becoming a university professor. Part of his responsibility at the safety board was to perform seismic safety analyses on the nation’s defense nuclear facilities.

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