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History Channel explores world without humans

A two-hour TV program that speculates on a future world without human beings, and for which three Lehigh engineering professors were interviewed, debuted Jan. 21 and aired again on the History Channel at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2.

“Life After People” explores what would happen to the earth if all human beings disappeared from the planet.

Richard Sause, director of the ATLSS (Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems) Center; Alan Pense, former Lehigh provost and professor emeritus of materials science and engineering; and Stephen Pessiki, department chair of civil and environmental engineering; were interviewed for the program.

The program looks at the ruins of ancient civilizations as well as modern cities devastated by natural disasters. It asks a variety of questions, including the rate at which nature would reclaim cities and the rate at which unmaintained bridges, skyscrapers and other structures would fall apart.

Pense, for instance, appears in the program to discuss what would happen to the Brooklyn Bridge, if left unmaintained, 50 years after the last human walked the earth.

--Kurt Pfitzer

Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

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