CEIE Offers Seminar on Pentagon Structural Performance in 9/11 Attack

Posted: April 14, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering Department (CEIE) holds a seminar tonight featuring Paul Mlakar, who led the Pentagon engineering study team immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, attack. The seminar is held at 7:20 p.m. in Mason Hall, Rooms D-3A and B.

Mlakar, technical director of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, will discuss the results of the team’s study of the building’s performance. When the Boeing 757 crashed into the Pentagon, the impact area comprised both renovated and original sections of the building, inadvertently providing an unusual scientific opportunity for evaluating the structure’s performance during and immediately following the attack.

The Pentagon study team, commissioned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), included engineers from government, academia, and industry. Its findings were integrated into both the reconstruction of the damaged area and the overall Pentagon renovation project, which is ongoing.

Mlakar is an expert in protective construction to resist explosions, including the protection of embassies and other targets against terrorist bombings. He is past chair of the ASCE committee on shock and vibratory effects and led the task committee that produced the state of the practice report Structural Design for Physical Security in 1999. He was also a member of the ASCE forensics engineering team that assessed the performance of the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City. Mlakar is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering science from Purdue University.

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