Earthquake Risk and Engineering towards a Resilient World

9 - 10 July 2015, Homerton College, Cambridge, UK

Overview

SECED 2015 was a two-day conference on Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics that took place on 9-10th July 2015 at Homerton College, Cambridge.

This was the first major conference to be held in the UK on this topic since SECED hosted the 2002 European Conference on Earthquake Engineering in London.

The conference brought together experts from a broad range of disciplines, including structural engineering, nuclear engineering, seismology, geology, geotechnical engineering, urban development, social sciences, business and insurance; all focused on risk, mitigation and recovery.

Conference themes

  • Geotechnical earthquake engineering
  • Seismic design for nuclear facilities
  • Seismic hazard and engineering seismology
  • Masonry structures
  • Risk and catastrophe modelling
  • Vibrations, blast and civil engineering dynamics
  • Dams and hydropower
  • Seismic assessment and retrofit of engineered and non-engineered structures
  • Social impacts and community recovery

Keynote speakers

SECED 2015 featured the following keynote speakers (affiliations correct at the time of the conference):

  • Peter Ford and Tim Allmark, Office for Nuclear Regulation, UK
  • Don Anderson, CH2M HILL, Seattle, USA
  • Bernard Dost, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, The Netherlands
  • Anne Kiremidjian, Stanford University, USA
  • Rob May, Golder Associates, Australia
  • Tiziana Rossetto, University College London, UK
  • Andrew Whittaker, University at Buffalo, USA
  • Mike Willford, Arup, The Netherlands

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Review

For effective earthquake risk reduction, an accurate representation of seismic risk is needed. Thus, assessments of seismic vulnerability – an important component of seismic risk – need to be reliable. Central America is a highly seismically active region with a history of large physical and economic losses from earthquake events, however literature concerning the seismic vulnerability of buildings in the region is scarce. To address this gap we have completed an extensive search for and review of documentation reporting seismic vulnerability assessments in the region, collated it into a database, developed and applied a framework for appraising the document quality, and compared the different results. The study concludes that Central American seismic vulnerability assessments are few in number and are not easily available, and that the assessment methodologies used are poorly described, simplistic, and aged and produce vulnerability estimations that vary widely, impacting significantly on loss estimations. Ultimately, this paper highlights the need for an improved understanding of the seismic vulnerability of buildings in Central America.

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