IDEERS is a schools project aimed at raising awareness of the nature and value of earthquake engineering research and structural engineering as a profession. The project challenges students to design and build a model of an earthquake resistant building that can withstand simulated earthquakes on a shaking-table. It is supported by an educational website that explains how structures are affected by earthquakes and how they can be designed to be seismically resistant. This paper describes the technical development of the project, including the way the design brief for the models was developed and how the form of the simulated earthquake was created, so that students could learn from the observed failure models of their models. IDEERS had been successful as an educational project for students, which links topics learnt at school with the real world of structural engineering. It is hoped that structural engineers, in industry and academia, will be encouraged to develop similar activities to demonstrate to young people the value and challenge of engineering as a career.
A. J. Crewe, BEng, PhD, CEng, MIStructE, MICE
Lecturer, Earthquake Engineering Research Centre, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, UK
W. E. Daniell, BSc, PhD
Earthquake Engineering Research Centre, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, UK