Thanks for visiting!

This project is now in update mode. Check back regularly to see how things are progressing.

Cornell Seismic Design: Advancing Earthquake Resilience

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
92 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 07, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Cornell Seismic Design: Advancing Earthquake Resilience


We are a student-run project team under the Cornell University College of Engineering. Our team designs and constructs a 5-ft-tall balsa wood structure to compete in the annual Seismic Design Competition hosted by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. Our team offers a unique opportunity for students interested in all engineering disciplines, especially those focused in construction, structures, architecture, and seismology, to experience the process of bringing a project from an abstract thought to a tangible product. Through our work, not only do we aim to create innovative structural solutions to challenging design scenarios, but we also encourage team members to build leadership and communication skills! 


We are passionate about designing safer structures for regions impacted by seismic activity. During the school year, we explore creative ways to improve earthquake resilience, whether it's researching dampers, developing a variety of structural designs, or simply testing our balsa wood models. At the competition, the tower is scored on a number of categories including architecture, model predictions, building revenue and costs, team presentations, and most importantly whether the structure survives all three ground motions. In 2017, our team ranked 1st out of 33 teams at the competition in Portland, Oregon and we need your help to continue our success! 


Among the expenses that we need your help to cover are balsa wood and glue to construct our tower, new construction tools to boost the quality of our builds, and licenses for advanced software such as Revit and Rhino to bring our architectural rendering to a new level. Additionally, your support will enable us to make the necessary software upgrades on our current outdated shake table in order to provide a more precise seismic analysis. In the past, the number of teammates attending the competition was limited based on funding restrictions so your support will help us reach our goal of bringing all team members to our competition in Salt Lake City this year! 

Choose a giving level



Provide the tools necessary for constructing our balsa tower. This includes hand saws, glue tools, and other woodworking tools necessary for wood construction.


Poster Printing

Allow the team to print our 20x30-inch poster used at our competition.


Competition Registration

The team can register an additional member for the competition.



Allow the team to fund an additional night's stay in Salt Lake City, UT (where our competition will be held).


Competition Travel

Allow the team to fund an additional member's travel cost to Salt Lake City, UT (where our competition will be held).


Model Shipping

Allow the team to cover the full cost of shipping our competition structure safely to the competition.