Gannon Engineering Professor Wins PITA Grant
Posted: February 20, 2015
A Gannon University engineering professor has received a $10,000
grant from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance
(PITA) to study liquid silicon rubber (LSR) dampers, which are used
in buildings to protect from earthquakes and high winds.
Robert Michael, Ph.D., P.E., assistant professor of mechanical
engineering, received the grant, which will fund development of
real-time hybrid simulation methods to study the performance of
structural systems with passive dampers.
LSR dampers are a newer version of a
second-generation material that was developed by Gannon University,
Lehigh University and Corry Rubber Corporation in a previous
PITA-sponsored study. The current grant, according to Michael, is a
continuation of that collaboration.
The grant will partially support a graduate research assistant
and an undergraduate student to become trained in performance-based
design, conducting nonlinear time history analysis, real-time
testing and the application of passive dampers.
The grant will also fund the purchase of updated hardware for
the University's SATEC materials testing machine, which will allow Michael and
the students to test various elastomeric building dampers and
"Over the years, I've had students tell me that working on
research and industrial projects was the most important part of
their education," Michael said. "This grant will allow me to
provide that opportunity to several Gannon students."