Earthquake Risk and Engineering towards a Resilient World

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


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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This paper describes the seismic design of a contemporary stone vault supported by slender buttress walls. Initially, the potential for out-of-plane overturning collapse of the buttress walls was assessed using analytical dynamics and a suite of scaled earthquake time histories. Results informed design decisions related to wall slenderness. Subsequently, discrete element modelling and time history analysis were used to evaluate the seismic response of the entire structure. The structure is found to remain stable for a suite of design earthquake time histories, and the residual displacements after the earthquake are quantified. The effect of initial vault spreading, due to large lateral thrusts, on the dynamic response is also considered. The magnitude of residual displacements due to the earthquake is shown to increase with the presence of relatively small initial spreading prior to a potential earthquake event. The paper closes with a discussion of potential measures considered to resist seismic loading. The extent to which these measures were incorporated was largely based on construction methods and constraints. Construction of the vault was completed in 2015.

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