Taiwan Earthquake Reconnaissance: Po-Chien Hsiao

Posted by Kevin Moore on February 21, 2016

Every reconnaissance team has a catalyst for success; Po-Chien Hsiao is the catalyst for the SGH Tainan EQ Reconnaissance Team.

Po-Chien was born in Taipei, Taiwan and earned both undergraduate and graduate civil/structural engineering degrees from the National Taiwan University (he was ranked #1 in his graduate structural engineering program). After graduating from NTU, Po-Chien served at NCREE for one year under director, Professor K.C. Tsai. His penultimate research project was a three-story, three-bay braced frame experiment, the largest of its type in the history of NCREE. This experience provided the eventual opportunity for Po-Chien to develop his own company (more on that later).

After serving with NCREE, Po-Chien attended the University of Washington to complete his Ph.D. research on SCBF Brace Frames (Tomorrow’s Concentrically Braced Frames, NEES Project). Po-Chien finished his studies and testing in 2012, then pursued post-doctorate work in Japan. He worked for the Disaster Prevention Research Instituted in Kyoto. During his time in Kyoto, Po-Chien developed a new type of seismic structural system that relies upon a buckling brace, named Naturally Buckling Braces. This type of system was first developed and designed by Po-Chien along with Prof. Nakashima, and is currently being marketed in Japan. Po-Chien performed extensive research during his tenure at the University of Washington and NCREE, parlaying that into the development of this new type of steel brace. Po-Chien and Dr. Nakashima now hold a patent on the brace in Japan and Taiwan.

After completing his post-doctoral work, Po-Chien returned to his native Taipei in 2014 to start the Broad Hand Enterprise Co., Ltd., a company focused on the promotion of seismic design and analysis and to encourage domestic use of BRB in both steel and RC frame design. The Broad Hand Enterprise is strategically aligned with Star Seismic and Grayson Engineering. Po-Chien continues to pursue engineering work and product development. He occasionally oversees fabrication for projects in Taiwan, the Philippines, New Zealand, Korea, and other Pacific Rim countries as necessitated by limitations related to shipping/logistics.

While Po-Chien drove our team around Tainan for hours over the span of three days, we all enjoyed the pleasant comfort of his well-used Toyota Camry. Appropriate compensation for his commitment to our efforts in Tainan would be the unlimited use of a 5-Series BMW, his favorite car.

The SGH Team is eternally grateful for Po-Chien’s generosity and hospitality. His knowledge of the area and his willingness to engage local residents provided our team unique insight into events and conditions that shape people’s perception of the 6 February 2016 earthquake. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and relationship with Po-Chien.

Related Links:

Day 1

National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering

National Cheng Kung University

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute

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