Alumnus Joins Team to Assess Damage from Napa Quake
Researchers from UC San Diego's structural engineering department and CISA3 are using drones to capture unique views of the earthquake damage to Napa's historic landmarks. The team is using the images to generate 3D models of the sites. "As tragic as this seismic event this earthquake was, it is also a very powerful learning tool which allows us to study how buildings have responded to the ground shaking -- how they've been damaged," said CISA3 director Falko Kuester, a structural engineering professor at UC San Diego. The Trifethen Family Vineyard's tasting room was one of Napa's historic buildings that took a big hit during the Aug. 24 quake. The Trifethen family said the images the drone capture will help them figure out the best approach to take as they rebuild and retrofit. The UC San Diego team included recent computer science graduate Eric Lo (B.S. '14), who joined Calit2's Qualcomm Institute after being involved with its Engineers for Exploration program (which began as a partnership between the Qualcomm Institute and the National Geographic Society). Lo and another E4E expert in the use of drones for aerial imaging (Physics undergraduate Dominique Meyer) joined the survey expedition led by Kuester and Tara Hutchinson.