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Not So Glamorous Buffalo Days

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

  1. August 2014

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So when I’m not outside wandering around, jet-setting taking cool pictures and eating as much good food as I possibly can since Ramadan ended- Im “in the lab.” In the Lab could me 1 of 2 places:

  1.  The Dungeon

  2.  The Work room

The Dungeon refers to the place where I spend 96% of my day, it big, brick walled with like 3 rows of “grad school” desks. The room is eternally freezing and there’s a cricket that dies and comes back to life daily. yup, pretty uneventful. This is where we thank God for headphones, lunch time and frequent field trips to the bathroom. (On the plus side, I’ve made friends with on of the graduate students here at Buffalo, shes the only nice one that talks to me.)

The work room refers to the lab where all the testing is done. There are two huge shake tables( literally huge tables that when connected to a computer with ground motion inputted, simulates movements of an earthquake). In order to enter you MUST have steel toed shoes && a bright yellow hardhat hence;

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Usually the only time I’m in here is to install the instrumentation and to watch the tests being done. Its pretty cool in here && its also eternally freezing.


For like the past week I’ve been stuck

So basically my project is numerically model this system (below) on a computer program called SAP2000. Its supposed to represent a large piece of equipment, placed on the isolation system that’s being affected by an earthquake. What it really is- 60,000lbs of a concrete brick undergoing the motions of an earthquake. So…Before this project I used this software maybe like once or twice to model  and analyze bridges during the semester so that means I definitely have like NO experience with the ins and outs of the software.

So where im stuck?:

1. My mini notebook laptop is apparently not built for modeling and analysis so that means i have grown very patient waiting for things to process and load and everything. But I’ve gotten over that.!

2. I got the model drawn to scale, uploaded all the needed motions, calculated the stiffness and everything else needed BUT when I try to run the analysis( the important part to get the results), it doesn’t do what its supposed to. I cant make the right things move and cant reduce the period of the system.

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In other words, I’ve been staring and tweaking this screen for pretty much a week(how exciting)… and still no solutions. The grad student I work with laughs everytime I get excited about my almost non existent progress. I show it to him and he’s still like “no, thats not it.”… okay then. He draws me pictures of how it should look, enjoys my growing hatred of the software and just says “don’t give up.” lol

But as the countdown begins to my presentation in Reno on August 13th, I kinda need it to work so I can get my results, finish my poster, finish my paper and go home.

In a lighter note..RENO in 8 days; HOME in 11 days ! 😀

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

– Live, Laugh, Love

          Sajeeda, Future Engineer

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