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Engineering Safety in Japan

In one of Japan's worst earthquakes, the quake of March 11, 2011, engineering, building engineering, saved lives, possibly thousands of lives.  While the devastation is still being accounted for, its clear that newer buildings in the earthquake zone performed better than their older counter-parts; buildings made prior to 1981.  It's becoming clear that the tsunami was more devastating than the quake.

Engineering Safety in the buildings and structures in Japan is not a new concept.  The US played a large role in the innovative architectural found in post war Japan.  1981 instituted newer, more stringent building codes but the building codes in Japan became much more strict following the Kobe quake of 1995.  Kobe killed over 6500 people.  At that time many buildings that were supposed to be models of modern safety in engineering crumpled like cards.  Unlike this recent earthquake, the Kobe quake killed most of its victims quickly within moments of the quake. These victims died in buildings that lacked the technology to withstand the forces unleashed in a powerful earthquake.  The engineering that protects against modern earthquakes was not only instituted in the buildings and skyscrapers of Japan but coastal communitity defenses were also improved with more substantial seawalls, raised platforms, and better alarm systems.

Remarkable footage has made it to youtube showing how modern skyscrapers in Japan swayed during the earthquake but remain intact.  This is no accident.  This is the work of modern engineers.  Architectural engineers.  Building engineers as well as Environmental engineers have designed structures that have minimized the damage of earthquakes and tsunami's.

Our goal is to show how, in real world examples, engineering makes a difference for all of us.  A huge difference.  We promote engineering as an important career for the improvement of society.  That engineers also make more money than most college degrees is another reason to consider getting a degree in engineering.  That there are so many great online engineering programs is another reason to think about getting a degree in engineering.  Its that much easier and more convenient than ever before.

When you think about what you want to do, remember the earthquake that took place in Japan on March 11, 2011. As horribly devastating as it was, its simply amazing that there wasn't more death and destruction.  Haiti's recent quake, though not as powerful reeked much more havoc and loss of life.

Japan, invested in the engineering required to protect its buildings and people.  Bravo to Japan.  Bravo to its engineers!