This thread was to discuss the 2017 presentation by Hulsey, and has been superseded by the publication of the draft report, discussed here: https://www.metabunk.org/sept-3-2019-release-of-hulseys-wtc7-draft-report-analysis.t10890/
The Claim Being Debunked Here
In a Sept 8 2017 article shared by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the Daily Mail says:
There are numerous problems with the claim that the study shows that WTC7 could not have collapsed from fire:
new study shows it was impossible that the third tower collapsed from fire
This week a team of experts said that fire could not have caused the collapse of WTC7
This week, eminent Alaska University engineers dismissed [the NIST] explanation. Dr J. Leroy Hulsey, Chair of the university’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, said: ‘Fire did not and could not have caused the failure of this building.’
- The study is unfinished. Nothing has been published other than Dr. Hulsey giving a presentation on YouTube, and a pdf file of the slides for that presentation.
- The study is largely not new. While there is some new material, the bulk of the slides were used by Dr. Hulsey nearly a year ago, in October 2016. Most importantly the "UAF conclusions" slide is totally unchanged.
- The study only focuses on one connection. Dr. Hulsey focuses on the connection that NIST identified as a "probable initiation event" in some of its reports, but in fact NIST identified several potential connection failures. This particular connection was not the initiating one in NIST's global collapse models.
- The study makes incorrect displacement comparisons. In both 2016 and 2017 Dr. Hulsey made much of a difference in the displacement at column 79 (5.5" west vs. 2" east). But he appears to be comparing the wrong values — global instead of local displacements. https://www.metabunk.org/posts/210992/
- The study makes incorrect temperature related buckling comparisons. Dr. Hulsey claims (slide 82) his study shows col 79 did not buckle due to temperature. He lists this as a point of comparison with NIST. However NIST explicitly makes the exact same observation. https://www.metabunk.org/posts/211186/
- The study does not model fire progression. Dr. Hulsey only used one static temperature distribution, where the actual fires moved around heating unevenly.
- The study mischaracterizes NIST's modelling of the exterior. Dr. Hulsey claims the exterior columns were fixed when they were not. https://www.metabunk.org/posts/210990/
- The study mischaracterizes NIST connection modeling in the LS-DYNA model. Dr. Hulsey claims that volumes of the full-building LS-DYNA model did not have connections modeled, but his evidence for this is a misrepresentation of a different model, the ANSYS model. https://www.metabunk.org/posts/210990/
- The study was not open. At the start of the study we were told "WTC 7 Evaluation is a completely open and transparent investigation into the cause of World Trade Center Building 7's collapse. Every aspect of the scientific process will be posted here and on the university's website so that the public can follow its progress." The last such release was in 2015. Nothing has been released since then except videos of Dr. Hulsey giving versions of this slideshow.
- The study neglects unknowns. Impact damage from falling WTC1 debris, the actual fire spread and temperatures, the state of the insulation at every spot, and differences between drawings and constructions are all factors that are unknown, and make it impossible make a determination of the exact cause of the collapse.
While it is possible that Dr. Hulsey's study will eventually yield some interesting results, it is factually incorrect to say that it proves that fire could not have caused the collapse.
On 9/11/2001 the two World Trade Center towers (WTC1 and WTC2) fell within two hours of being hit. When WTC1 (the North Tower) fell at 10:28AM, it damaged a third building: World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC7). Multiple fires were ignited in WTC7, firefighters were hampered by a lack of water. After observing deformation of the building as early as 2:00PM, firefighters withdrew from the area around the building at 3:30PM, fearing collapse. WTC7 collapsed at 5:20PM, after varied burning for nearly seven hours, seemingly from an interior collapse, followed by exterior. The visual resemblance to some controlled demolitions led people to think it might have been brought down deliberately.
In November 2008, NIST released their final reports on the collapse of WTC7, totaling over a thousand pages.
- NCSTAR 1-9 Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, Volume 1 and 2
- NCSTAR 1-A Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7
- NCSTAR 1-9A Global Structural Analysis of the Response of World Trade Center Building 7 to Fires and Debris Impact Damage
Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth (a group that thinks that the World Trade Center was destroyed by explosives) approached Dr. Leroy Hulsey (a professor at University of Alaska, Fairbanks) in 2013 to:
Source: http://archive.is/ZR9S5 and https://web.archive.org/web/20150330080428/www.ae911truth.org/membership-2015Conduct sophisticated computer modeling of World Trade Center Building 7 to demonstrate, first, the impossibility of the collapse initiation mechanism put forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and, second, that a controlled demolition controlled more readily replicates the observed destruction.
The study took on more official status in 2015. AE911 was asking for over $200,000 to finance the project, and UAF put the project budget at $316,152. A web site was set up in October 2015, with the less loaded description:
Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20151126053055/http://www.wtc7evaluation.org/WTC 7 Evaluation is a study at the University of Alaska Fairbanks using finite element modeling to evaluate the possible causes of World Trade Center Building 7's collapse.
Note: This post is largely derived from this larger thread:
Where relevant I've added links to that thread to some point above. Please check the discussion there before posting here.