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Architectural Engineering Professors Peter Laursen and Cole McDaniel perform Ultra-low Vibration Testing on the Piedras Blancas Light Station.

Architectural Engineering Professors Peter Laursen and Cole McDaniel were invited by James Harris of the Piedras Blancas Light Station Association to perform Ultra-low Forced Vibration Testing (UL-FVT) on the Piedras Blancas Light House located about an hour north of Cal Poly, along highway one, near Hearst Castle.

The goal of the testing was to confirm the accuracy of the finite element models created by local engineering firm, Shoreline Engineering, hired to study renovation options including restoring the top 30 feet of the light house that was removed after damage occurred in a 1948 earthquake. 

Cal Poly Architectural Engineering student and Shoreline Engineering intern Shannon Abeling was also present to observe the testing.   Close correlation was found between the experimental shaking results and the analytical models. 

Professors Laursen and McDaniel plan to perform UL-FVT experiments on the light house after rehabilitation occurs to quantify changes in the dynamic response of the structure.

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