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FAMU Professor to travel to Japan, learn about structures withstanding typhoons

Posted at 6:41 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 18:41:54-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Inside a peaceful and calm Walter Smith facility at Florida A&M University is where you'll find Olivier Chamel.

An associate professor with the School of Architecture & Engineering Technology, he's already thinking about the fall semester.

"Coordinating with faculty, all the courses, working with students who will be admitted during the fall," said Chamel.

When he's not in his office, Olivier is roaming the building, showing off student projects and designs.

"Being in architecture is such a great career, it's always different," said Chamel. "You're always designing something different. You meet all kinds of people."

It's a passion he's about to pack with him and take 7,000 miles from Tallahassee to Japan.

"We are going to exchange information and understand how Florida deals with hurricanes and compare it to how they deal with typhoons in their region," said Chamel.

Olivier will work with professors and officials at a university in Kyushu. This is all in part of the Fulbright Program, a United States Cultural Exchange program that allows students with at least an undergraduate degree or a professor to study abroad and focus on a subject.

"I'm really hoping to learn how they build architecture there to resist strong typhoons," said Chamel.

Including aerodynamics, the structure, and the foundation of buildings in Japan. Bringing some of those ideas back to the US.

"So that then we can maybe learn about how we can improve things here in Florida," said Chamel.

Ideas that could help prevent a catastrophic disaster the next time a hurricane blows through.