We’re updating our site, and we want your thoughts.

Take a 4-minute survey for a chance to receive a $100 Amazon gift card.


No Thank You

rubble in Italy from the earthquake
Photo courtesy Kevin Franke

An August 2016 earthquake in the Apennine Mountain region of Central Italy “took everything from [residents]—everything they had,” says BYU civil engineering professor Kevin W. Franke (PhD ’11).

Soon after rescue efforts for the lethal 6.2-magnitude temblor were completed, Franke spent a week in the region as one of four U.S. professors invited to a special geotechnical engineering reconnaissance mission. The goal? Learn how the earthquake impacted infrastructure. With the help of BYU student and drone pilot Brandon I. Reimschiissel (’18), Franke recorded more than 50 gigs of high-resolution visual data, which is being used to create 3-D computer models of the aftermath that will be accessible to researchers around the world.

“Looking at the imagery we took, it gave me resolution and purpose, realizing what we’re doing is important so that hopefully . . . this [level of devastation] doesn’t happen again,” says Franke, who returned to the region in December to assess further damage caused by an October quake.

More From This Issue

At the Y

3-D Printing 3-D Printers

Two mechanical engineering students have made a self-replicating machine. Make that machines.

Browse the complete Winter 2017 Issue »

More Articles

Out of the Blue

All Eyes Are on These Beetles

BYU researchers have discovered what the Emerald ash borer can’t see—and it may be the key to saving ash trees.

Out of the Blue

New-Light Special

With 183 LED lights embedded into Y Mountain, the Y is now lit with the flip of a switch on campus.

Out of the Blue

Remembering LaVell Edwards

Three former players—Young, Holmoe, and Matich—offer tributes to the coaching legend.