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Introducing Earthquake Engineering Through Simultaneous In Class And Web Cast Lectures: An International Expedition To A Megapolis At Seismic Risk

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Integrating Computer-based Technology in the Civil Engineering Classroom

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.803.1 - 14.803.12



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Paper Authors


Ayhan Irfanoglu Purdue University

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Ayhan Irfanoglu is an assistant professor of civil engineering at Purdue University. He received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and master’s and doctoral degrees in civil/structural engineering from California Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University, Dr. Irfanoglu worked for five years at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, an engineering consulting company. His primary research interests are in earthquake engineering, engineering seismology, and dynamic response analysis and simulation. Dr. Irfanoglu joined Purdue University in 2005.

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Yating Chang Purdue University

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Yating Chang is the Assistant Director of Global Professional Practice (GPP) at Purdue University. Before joining GPP, she was the Assistant Director of the Global Engineering Program at Purdue University for two years. She holds master's degree is cross-cultural psychology and Ed.D. degree in higher education administration at the Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. During 2001-2006, she was the Study Abroad Coordinator at Western Kentucky University. Dr. Chang joined Purdue University in 2007.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Introducing Earthquake Engineering through Simultaneous In- Class and Webcast Lectures, and International Expedition to a Megapolis at Seismic Risk


As part of an effort to integrate international experience in the Civil Engineering curriculum at Purdue University, in Spring 2008 semester, an earthquake engineering course that incorporated a 10-day study-abroad experience to Istanbul, Turkey was offered. The program scope, while having structural engineering perspective at its core, included a range of earthquake related topics such as geology, seismology, and architecture. This approach not only fulfilled the overall objective of the program as stated in the description by IAESTE, the organization that co- managed the program along with Purdue University Global Engineering Program and the School of Civil Engineering, but also attracted students nationwide to attend the Earthquake Engineering Program (17 from Purdue University and four from four other universities) from a wide range of earthquake related fields including civil, mechanical, mining and mineral, and geophysical engineering. The group had three sophomore, ten junior, six senior, and two graduate (doctoral) level students.

Through distance virtual learning technology, students from all institutions were able to participate in real-time semester-long classroom meetings before and after the actual study- abroad experience in Turkey. Initial data suggests that students achieved high learning outcomes and enjoyed a very positive learning experience throughout the course. Data regarding student learning outcomes were collected and used to assess the efficiency of the distance-learning (virtual classroom lectures) and experiential learning (study-abroad program) pedagogical methods.

This paper describes these two pedagogical methods, and, in particular, explores the impact of experiential learning on students’ benefit from the program. It further discusses the program logistics in light of international institutional partnerships and cost-benefit analysis as relates to the expected student learning outcomes.

The course, titled “Earthquake Engineering/Istanbul at the Threshold”, has been deemed successful. It is hoped that it could be offered in a similar format in Spring 2010.


As highlighted in “The Engineer of 20202: Visions of Engineering in the New Century”1, natural disasters can still have serious impacts on society. Of these disasters, earthquakes provide a unique challenge due to the fact that there is limited ability to forecast the level of damage future events would deliver to built-environment. The low frequency but high consequence nature of major urban area earthquakes requires sharing of technical and societal experience at global level to understand the processes involved and to develop successful engineering designs as well as organizational understanding to minimize risk in urban areas. True to these facts, fundamental principles in earthquake engineering can be applied globally. Learning such principles is a very

Irfanoglu, A., & Chang, Y. (2009, June), Introducing Earthquake Engineering Through Simultaneous In Class And Web Cast Lectures: An International Expedition To A Megapolis At Seismic Risk Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5136

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