Thursday, February 17, 2011

One more pic

I just wanted to put a picture up of the whole EERI Seismic Design Competition Team. These guys did a lot of work and deserve a lot of credit.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

San Diego!

Well I think most of you know that this last weekend I went to San Diego for a Seismic Design Competition. For the last 4 months we have been designing, building, and analyzing a balsa wood tower with a group of 15 students. We would go to the school two nights a week for a couple of hours and we would work on the tower. Before talking about the tower I want to talk about San Diego. It has been freezing here in Utah and it was so nice to walk on the beach in California. I actually came back with a little tan.

We went to the Children's Cove in San Diego and watched the seals flop around and bask in the sun. They are pretty weird animals.

I also got an acai bowl on the beach. I had been craving one of these ever since I got back from my mission. It wasn't exactly the same but it was the best one I've had since being in Brazil.

But we didn't go to San Diego just to hang out on the beach and eat Acai bowls. We went for a competition. Here are a few pictures of the tower under construction.

The main goal of the competition is to maximize your revenue. The revenue comes from floor area of the building. Higher floors get a higher revenue per square inch of floor area. Then we have costs based on weight, area of land it was built on, and seismic costs. the tower is put under three earthquakes and the seismic cost is determined by the drift and acceleration of the top of the tower.
After your revenue is totalled, there are then four factors that could act as multipliers for the final revenue. These are presentation, poster, architecture, and predictions. If someone had the best poster, their score would receive a 10% increase, 2nd best poster would receive an 8% increase, and so on for all four things.
Anyway, that stuff is all pretty boring. The competition consisted of 29 teams, including teams from Malaysia, Romania, and British Columbia. Then you had UCLA, USC, Purdue, Missouri, Nebraska, UC Berkley and many others. we had a guy that was really good with a computer program called Revit and he did some drawings for us. Here are a few of the renderings that he did.

Out of 29 teams we ended up taking 6th place. We wanted to do better than this but this isn't bad. We did have some penalties for certain reasons. I won't go into any detail about it but we got a 28% penalty for something that is not in the rule book. We talked to the judges about it, had the rules right in front of us, and when I asked him to point out what part of the rules we had broken, he couldn't show me. It was very frustrating. But... the experience was fun and we learned a lot.

Oh and the best part was that I got to see and hang out with Mark! (but I forgot to take pictures)... We got to watch the BYU game together, went to the comedy club and he watched me take a shower...I mean shake a tower. It was great to see him PLUS he fed me twice so that was really nice of him. I was way excited when I found out we would both be there at the same time. Great timing Mark!

On a side note...

Natali made some Banana Bread for the first time the other day and it turned out really good.
We have also been looking for some good French cheese ever since we got back from France and we finaly found some Camembert at Harmon's. Natali was REALLY excited.