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Research

The Tsunami Research Center (TRC) is actively involved with all aspects of tsunami research; inundation field surveys, numerical and analytical modeling, and hazard assessment, mitigation and planning. TRC has developed the tsunami inundation maps for California and the tsunami code MOST, now used by NOAA. MOST is the only validated code used in the US for tsunami hazard mapping with detailed inundation predictions. TRC has surveyed most  "modern" tsunamis since 1992. 


 

 
 
The Aerosol Laboratory was founded in 1998. The laboratory has become one of the leading centers of small particle research in the U.S.  The Laboratory has published over 100 papers and 3 US Patents, just over the past 8 years. Major facilities of the Laboratory include 500 square feet of general laboratory space, equipped with instrumentation for filter testing, instruments for particle generation and measurement, sampling and analysis in the 0.002 to 100 m m diameter range; microscopes, electron microbalance, gas analyzers, and instruments for conducting state-of-the-art toxicology studies to real-life air pollutants. 

 

 

Earthquake Engineering - Strong Motion Group focuses on: (i) earthquake strong ground motion for engineering applications, and (ii) earthquake response of man made structures, aiming to improvement of the seismic design procedures and earthquake risks reduction. Its research covers a wide range of topics, such as:  earthquake source mechanism, seismic wave propagation, site and propagation path effects on strong ground motion, prediction of strong ground motion for design, probabilistic seismic hazard assessment, strong motion recording and data processing, soil-structure interaction, structural identification and health monitoring using ambient noise and forced vibrations, effects of various realistic representations of strong ground motion on structures. 


 
 


 
Structural Control research studies the potential and practicality of various active/passive methods of control, including effectiveness, cost, and reliability. The usual procedure is to design structures and facilities to have adequate strength to resist the actions. An alternate approach is to modify the structure so as to reduce the motions and stresses. Some buildings in seismic regions of the U.S. have been supported on flexible foundation elements (base isolation) that will reduce the seismic forces transmitted to the structure; on the east coast some high-rise buildings that had objectionable sway during breezy weather are controlled by installing dynamic vibration absorbers on the top floor. It is also possible to control motions by providing counteracting forces.

 
 
  
 

The Structural Research Laboratory, located in the basement of Kaprielian Hall, is where Astani Department structural engineering faculty, lab management staff, graduate and undergraduate students conduct their structural engineering research activities.


 

 

 
The Water Quality Engineering Science and Technology Research Laboratories are actively involved in research associated with advanced technologies for water treatment, water reclamation/reuse, and removal of endocrine disrupting chemicals. The group’s research efforts are directed at development of sustainable technologies, experiment-based mathematical modeling, and environmental nanotechnology. These technologies include integrated membrane processes, biological and biofilm processes, adsorption processes and advanced oxidation processes. The research apparatus include membrane process setups, biochemical reactors, and advanced oxidation reactors. The laboratories are equipped with gas and liquid chromatographs, GC/MS, ICP/MS, UV-visible spectroscopes, and TOC analyzers. Engaged in collaborative multi-disciplinary research, the laboratories have direct access to GC/MS-MS, LC/MS-MS, FTIR, NMR spectroscope, Raman spectroscope, CLS microscope, AF microscope, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopes,  and various bio-molecular tools.


  

Foundation for Cross-Connection
Control and Hydraulic Research
In 1944, USC Board of Trustees established the Foundation to develop and test countermeasures and devices for preventing contaminants and pollutants from flowing backwards into potable drinking water supplies. Over the years the Foundation has developed a number of products and services designed to help water utilities, health agencies, plumbing inspectors, private contractors and the general public in their cross-connection control efforts.