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Singaporean university trains Filipino engineers on new technology for free

- Ryan Christopher J. Sorote () - February 28, 2012 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Following the strong earthquake that hit Cebu and Negros Oriental recently, a Singaporean university has proposed a structural reinforcement of the school buildings in the country, especially in the affected areas to prevent possible collapse of the buildings should there be strong earthquakes in the future.

Nanyang Technological University (NIT), one of Singapore’s leading universities, in partnership with the University of the Philippines, has seen the need to strengthen school buildings in the country.

Pan Tso-Chien, NIT executive director for catastrophic risk management, said the lack of reinforcements is allegedly the leading cause of school building collapse in Negros Oriental. The Department of Education reported that there are at least 100 schools in the province that were badly damaged by the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit the province recently.

To address this problem, Chien said that reinforcement techniques, which they have been studying, can help structures to withstand stress caused by earthquakes.

“We need to protect children and schools as part of education,” he said.

Ling Bing, NIT natural hazard research center director, said they have discovered in their research reinforcement technology which can be used in the country. The technology is known as “reinforcement jacketing” where steal plates, fiber-reinforcement-concrete, or ordinary reinforced-concrete are used to limit earthquake damage. 

Bing said their research is aimed to look for low-cost budget solution for school building’s structural enhancement which they want to share to Filipinos.

In a presentation, Dr. Jaime Hernandez Jr. of the University of the Philippines showed pictures of damaged school buildings with “sub-standard” steal supports accidentally exposed after the quake.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has recommended condemning the structure and relocating the students for safety instead of putting “structural reinforcement” on partially damaged school buildings. (FREEMAN)

CEBU AND NEGROS ORIENTAL DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DR. JAIME HERNANDEZ JR. OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LING BING NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY NEGROS ORIENTAL PAN TSO-CHIEN PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE OF VOLCANOLOGY AND SEISMOLOGY REINFORCEMENT SCHOOL UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES
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