10.28.02 -- Research on new technologies for homeland security and the fight against terrorism is the lead focus of a program that is now airing on UCSD-TV. The hour-long "UCSD Conversations" showcases an interview with Frieder Seible, interim dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering and co-chair of Calit²'s Governing Board, about homeland-security research at the school. "We have revisited our ongoing research and identified over 40 active research projects that are directly relevant to homeland security," said Seible. "On 9/11, I was personally involved in blast testing for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Those blast tests were part of a program to retrofit our embassies worldwide against terrorist attack. But 9/11 brought these projects closer to home, because structural facilities here in this country also need to be protected."
Seible took over as the Jacobs School's interim dean in the summer of 2002. He is the Eric and Johanna Reissner Professor of Applied Mechanics and Structural Engineering, and is a world-renowned expert in seismic design and retrofit of bridges to make them less vulnerable in the event of an earthquake. Seible is also a former chair of the Structural Engineering department, and an innovator in large-scale structural testing as the founding director of the Charles Lee Powell Structural Research Laboratories at UCSD. He is also a pioneer in the use of composite materials in civil infrastructure renewal. "The Jacobs School is uniquely positioned because of the synergy we have from cross disciplinary research among departments within the school," says Seible. "We have sensors under development in electrical engineering, and software in computer engineering, so we are in a position to take structural protection to the next level."
"UCSD Conversations" will air a dozen times in late October and November; for dates and times, click here. For viewers outside of southern California, the program will begin airing in late November to more than 7 million homes over UC-TV (on the EchoStar DISH satellite network).