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How Shaky Structures Become the Safest Structures in Taiwan

Faculty Leaders

Kenneth Loh

Ken Loh headshot with flagDr. Ken Loh is the TaylorMade Golf Chancellor’s Endowed Professor in the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego and previously served as the Department Vice Chair. He is the Director of the Active, Responsive, Multifunctional, and Ordered-materials Research (ARMOR) Lab and is the Director of the Jacobs School of Engineering, Center for Extreme Events Research (CEER). He is also an affiliate faculty member of the Materials Science & Engineering Program. His research interests are in multifunctional and stimuli-responsive materials, tomographic imaging techniques, wearable sensors, active metamaterials, and soft material actuators applied towards solving problems related to human performance, structural sustainment, and human-structure interactions. In addition to academic career, Dr. Loh is a Junior Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a co-founder of a start-up company called JAK Labs. Dr. Loh received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and graduate degrees at the University of Michigan. 

Chin Hsiung Loh

CH Loh headshotProf. Chin-Hsiung (C.H.) Loh was previously a Professor of Civil Engineering at National Central University and then Professor and later Distinguished Professor National Taiwan University. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of California San Diego, as well as an Adjunct Professor at the National Taiwan University. The course he offers in both universities is Spectral Analysis and Signal Processing. Professor Loh’s research is in Structural Health Monitoring and Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis. He is a fellow member of both Chinese Taiwan Society of Earthquake Engineering and Chinese (Taiwan) Society of Structural Engineering. Over the last 37 years, he has dedicated his career to creating new knowledge in the area of structural resilience with specific focus on earthquake hazard mitigation, particularly on Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). Prof. Chin-Hsiung (C.H.) Loh received his Ph.D. degree from National Taiwan university.


Why you should go

Extreme events – such as earthquakes, hurricanes, landslides, floods, and other natural and manmade hazards – can jeopardize the safety and performance of our built infrastructure, which directly impact societal well-being, prosperity, and security. One way to mitigate the effects of these hazards is by integrating structural health monitoring (SHM) technologies with our built infrastructure so that we can sense degradation and damage, diagnose its impact on structural performance, and determine the most optimal corrective actions needed. Students who join this program will gain significant technical knowledge about sensing technologies and signal processing methods.

This Global Seminar is held in Taiwan specifically because it regularly experiences a multitude of natural hazards including strong earthquakes, typhoons, floods, landslides, and debris flow. A direct consequence of being susceptible to these extreme natural events is its long history of research and commercial practices in SHM, hazard mitigation, and community resiliency. The Global Seminar will also include guest speakers that can speak about how different sensors and signal processing methods are being used in real-life to protect people, structures, and communities. Taiwan also offers rich culture, diverse foods, and nature excursions, which are all inexpensive and easily accessible through its dense public transit network, where students can safely explore in their own time.

Who should go

Sensor technologies and signal processing methods form the foundation of the field of structural health monitoring (SHM). SHM is intrinsically cross-cutting and multidisciplinary, where students gain knowledge in three broad technology areas: (1) sensing technology; (2) data interrogation; and (3) modeling and analysis. The cross-disciplinary nature of this field and these courses means that students in all areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will gain tremendously from these courses. The program is open to all STEM majors and students who are sophomores or higher. Experience in programming in Matlab will be helpful, especially during the SE 167GS Signal Processing and Spectral Analysis portion of this Global Seminar. Students will work in teams in SE 164GS to conduct research on specific sensing technologies, sensing mechanisms, and design SHM solutions for practical applications and problems. If you are interested in this topic and are interested in experiencing a rich culture, phenomenal food, and living in a lively city for five weeks, then this Global Seminar is perfect for you. Contact Professor Ken Loh for with questions about whether you have the appropriate academic preparation for the included courses.

Information Sessions

See the Info Session Calendar


Departure from U.S.: Sat., August 3, 2024
Arrival: Sun., August 4, 2024
Mandatory Orientation: Mon., August 5, 2024
First Day of Class: Mon., August 5, 2024
Last Day of Class: Fri., Sept. 6, 2024
Departure for the U.S.
(or personal travel):
Sat., Sept. 7, 2024

Flight Information

  • You will be responsible for purchasing your own airplane tickets, and your program coordinator will provide guidelines and resources during the pre-departure process to help you find an appropriate flight.
  • Do not purchase plane tickets until the program is confirmed. All approved applicants will be notified by e-mail when the program has reached minimum enrollment.

Global Seminar Fees

All fees subject to change. See for current tuition and campus-based fees.

  UCSD Other UC Non-UC
Program Cost:
(includes $500 administrative fee)
$4,487.84 $4,487.84 $4,487.84
Estimated Tuition and Campus-Based Fees:
$2,514.43 $2,564.43 $3,454.43
(not including airfare or personal expenses)
$7,002.27 $7,052.27 $7,942.27

Budget Sheet

Funding Options

See the funding options page to learn how financial aid and scholarships can help you pay for this program.

Technical Site Visits

Cultural and Nature Excursions

Excursions are subject to change without prior notice. No refunds are possible.


  •  On-campus dormitory housing at National Taiwan University
  • Housing arrangements are subject to change based on local circumstances without prior notice. No price adjustments are possible.

Included Meals

  • Welcome dinner upon arrival
  • Farewell dinner at end of program

Classroom and Computer Access

  • Classroom space at National Taiwan University or the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering
  • There is no computer lab available - plan to bring a laptop.
  • Wireless access may be intermittent due to local conditions. No refunds or price adjustments are possible.


  • Transportation by private bus to and from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to the student housing is included in the program.
  • Transportation for all out of town excursions


  • Information about how to obtain a local SIM card will be provided at the pre-departure orientation.
  • Students will be responsible to purchase their own calling time/minutes.

Insurance, Health, and Safety

  • An in-depth orientation will be given on the morning after arrival, including health and safety procedures.
  • Program partner staff will be available by telephone after hours.
  • All students will be registered for UC travel insurance This is free coverage, but registration is required prior to departure.