Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Heinrich Receives 2nd Place at Oklahoma Transportation Research Day

Samantha Heinrich, a senior from O’Fallon, Illinois, has been working with CEES professor Muralee and assistant professor Scott Harvey on their Oklahoma Department of Transportation  research project.  She presented her research titled “Smart Post-Earthquake Bridge Inspection Protocol for Oklahoma” at the Oklahoma Transportation Research Day on October 20.  Her poster was awarded second place overall.

The research involves revising ODOT’s Post Earthquake Bridge Inspection Protocol, in particular updating the magnitude-based inspection radii to answer the question: how far from the epicenter of an earthquake can we expect to see damage? “To revise the radii, we examined both the capacity of and the demand on ODOT bridges. Bridge capacity was measured using HAZUS fragility curves, which give the probability of a bridge being in a certain damage state based on the intensity of shaking.  The seismic demand on the bridges is characterized by the expected intensity of shaking, which we calibrated to ground-motion data for all earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater affecting Oklahoma since 2010. Our results led to a recommendation for ODOT to update their current protocol. With the new inspection radii, ODOT will be able to make better informed decisions regarding bridge management in light of the increased earthquake threat,” Heinrich said.

“When I was little, I really liked art and drawing pictures of houses, so my parents recommended that I look into architecture, which was what I was convinced I wanted to do until my junior year of high school.  That year, I attended Architecture Awareness Day at Drury University (a small school in Missouri).  As I learned more about architecture that day, I kept wondering where the math was, because in high school my favorite classes were math and physics. When I got back home, one of the people at my church recommended looking into architectural engineering, which was his major in college.  I liked what I saw and have found that, for me, architectural engineering is the perfect combination of working with buildings and learning the math and science behind them,” said Heinrich.

Upon graduation Heinrich plans to complete her master’s degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering through the Accelerated Masters program.