This piece was originally published in the September 2018 issue of electroindustry.
Philip Caldwell, Edison Expert, External Affairs, Schneider Electric
Earthquakes nearly ran me over in 1998.
That was when Square D Company / Schneider Electric asked me to review seismic qualifications for building code applications. My initial goal was to get a colleague to take the lead. Despite our best efforts, however, we kept getting hit by a very big bus driven by earthquake provisions in building codes.
In the 1970s, advances in earthquake engineering practice were developed to meet the needs of the commercial nuclear power industry. In the latter part of the 20th century, however, earthquakes in urban areas around the world emphasized the need to improve seismic design provisions of building codes. These were necessary to save lives and to improve the chances of post-event functionality of the critical facilities.
By the time the 2000 International Building Code (IBC) was published, I had learned to ride the bus. My ticket was to form relationships with key people in the global earthquake engineering community.
I am a member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the Seismological Society of America, the Applied Technology Council, the National Science Foundation–sponsored George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, and the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. I am also a committee member of IEEE P693, ASCE 7, and ISO TC98 SC3.
Currently, as an Edison Expert with Schneider Electric, I serve as the company’s codes and standards representative for numerous committees and activities related to earthquake mitigation of nonstructural components. I am the electroindustry because I look at seismic activity from the electroindustry’s perspective.