A team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley (Berkeley Lab) and Lawrence Livermore (LLNL) national laboratories, as well as from the University of California at Davis, have developed the first-ever end-to-end simulation code to precisely capture the geology and physics of regional earthquakes, and how the shaking impacts buildings. The code will take advantage of exascale supercomputers, the future supercomputers that will be 50 times faster than the US’s most powerful system today. Their work is part of the DOE’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP), a collaborative effort between the DOE’s Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Agency and was recently published in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society’s Computers in Science and Engineering.
Brown University engineers Haneesh Kesari and Michael Monn have been studying sea sponges in order to understand how these fairly simple creatures can maintain their shape at the bottom of the ocean, despite the fact that they are subject to the constant stress of underwater waves and tidal forces. The findings of their research, published in the journal Scientific Reports showed that tiny structural rods in the sponges’ bodies have evolved the optimal shape to avoid buckling under pressure. According to the researchers, this shape could provide a blueprint for increasing the buckling resistance in all kinds of slender human-made structures, from building columns to bicycle spokes to arterial stents, as buckling is the primary mode of failure for slender structures.