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Structural Engineers Association of New York

Mitigating Disasters in the 21st Century

  • 17 Mar 2015
  • 6:15 PM
  • Center for Architecture


Registration is closed
Mitigating Disasters in the 21st Century
This lecture is presented by SEAoNY and EERI.

Speaker:Shalva Marjanishvili, DSc, PE, SE

Common engineering practice in multi-hazard design is to consider each natural hazard independently. The underlying assumption is that it is highly unlikely that one disaster will be closely followed by another. This approach dominated large part of the 20th century. Today we have a good understanding of material constitutive modeling and efficient algorithms enabling large computer programs to run analysis on powerful computers. The engineering community has made large strides in designing structures to withstand known hazards, leading to improved reliability and safety of infrastructure. This in turn has supported population growth and increased prosperity. As witness to our success, it is common in developed nations to consider it unacceptable for a disaster to cause large scale devastation. However, the nature of the disasters has proved otherwise.

It is unlikely that one extreme event will have catastrophic consequences on communities, because we know how to prepare for a single event. Instead, as experience shows, disasters are more typically comprised by one event followed by one or more other events, exposing the vulnerability of our design assumptions. The examples of multiple disasters are Indonesia (i.e., earthquake followed by tsunami followed by volcano), Haiti (i.e., earthquake followed by cholera outbreak) and Japan (i.e., earthquake followed by tsunami followed by nuclear meltdown). Current methodologies for disaster preparedness and mitigation heavily rely on known methods of statistics and reliability theories to predict the outcome to a given series of events. This approach has a number of difficulties, such as: computers are not fast enough and answers are rarely definitive enough to make an informed and timely decision.

This presentation is focused on discussing the research needs to create efficient, simple and reliable computational methodologies to mitigate the effects of multiple sequential disasters on infrastructure systems.

This event is sponsored by Porter & Yee Associates and will take place at the Center for Architecture 536 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

Registration opens at 5:45pm. Seminar begins promptly at 6:15pm

For SEAoNY members, registration is $25 in advance or $35 at the door.
For non-members, registration is $40 in advance or $50 at the door.
For student members, registration is $5.
For EERI members, click here to receive the SEAoNY member rate.

1.5 PDH Credits



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