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Cornell Seismic Design: Advancing Earthquake Resilience FY23

Raised toward our $7,000 Goal
51 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 06, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Cornell Seismic Design: Advancing Earthquake Resilience


We are a student-led project team of 26 undergraduates 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. Thanks to our donors' support, last summer we placed 2nd overall out of 37 teams in the Salt Lake City Seismic Design Competition! Our team offers a unique opportunity for students interested in all engineering disciplines - especially those focused on construction, structural design, 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 problems, but we also encourage team members to develop strong leadership and communication skills! 

check us out at:

follow us on Instagram: @cornellseismicdesign


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, such as damping technology and new construction techniques. At the competition, the tower is scored on a number of categories including architecture, accuracy of predicted tower movement, building revenue and costs, presentation quality, and most importantly: if the structure survives the quake! 


We have a number of expenses, chiefly:

  • Funding members to attend the Seismic Design Competition. The number of members that can attend is limited to the amount of funding we receive. Your support will help us reach our goal of bringing 10 team members to our competition in March 2023! 
  • Our construction materials: balsa wood and glue
  • Construction tools: hand saws, glue applicators, 3D printing materials, and acrylic guides
  • Advanced engineering and architectural software: Revit, Rhino, SAP2000

Additionally, your support will enable us to push the limits of our design allowing us to experiment and test small-scale damper designs as well as new and more efficient construction techniques. 

Choose a giving level


Fund Our Equipment Costs

Our tower doesn't build itself! We need hand saws, glue, application tools, box cutters, rulers and more.


Print Our Competition Poster

Our 20x30-inch poster needs to be specially printed to impress the competition judges!


Extra Member to Competition

You can fund the registration of one additional team member to get them to the competition.


Lodging Costs

Allow the team to stay one additional night at the conference.


Competition Travel

Fund an additional member's travel cost to the competition.


Ship Our Model

It's neither easy nor cheap to ship a fragile 5 ft. tall model structure across the country! Help us get our model to competition safely.