BERKELEY - Nearly one year after the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks, students at UC Berkeley will begin a detailed look
at how the landmark World Trade Center towers were designed
and built in a new Freshman Seminar, "World Trade Center:
Design, Construction and September 11 Events." Freshman
Seminars, taught by some of the campus’s most distinguished
scholars, are special courses for no more than 15 freshmen.
This seminar will be taught by Abolhassan Astaneh, professor
of civil engineering at UC Berkeley and one of only two engineers
awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to study
first-hand the collapse of the towers. It will touch upon various
designs and techniques that can improve a building’s seismic
safety and bomb-resistance.
"The World Trade Center towers were remarkably resilient
for having been hit by Boeing 767s, but the intense, jet-fueled
fires ultimately led to the collapse," said Astaneh. "We’ll
look at how changes in fire-proofing codes at the time affected
the towers’ ability to withstand the flames that ensued
after the planes hit."
Discussion also will include the role legislation and politics
play in the construction of monumental buildings.
Class guests may include speakers from the Safe Skyscraper
Coalition, a group formed by the families of the World Trade
Center victims; a person who escaped from the towers; and engineers
from the firm that designed the structure of the towers.