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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The low carbon footprint and high structural efficiency of engineered wood materials make tall-timber buildings an attractive option for high-rise construction. However, due to the relatively low mass and stiffness characteristics of timber structures, some concerns have been raised regarding their dynamic response. This paper examines the dynamic behaviour of tall timber buildings under tornado and downburst wind loads. It summarizes the results of extensive response history analyses over a suite of FE structural models subjected to different wind actions and compares them with the ISO10137 comfort criteria. In general, large levels of floor accelerations are observed in particular for stiffer medium-rise structures with significant density of walls. It is shown that downburst loading governs the peak acceleration response of medium-rise buildings whilst tornado loading becomes more critical for taller buildings. The effectiveness of TMDs in reducing peak acceleration values is explored. This study emphasizes the need for further studies on the dynamic behaviour of tall timber buildings.

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