EPICENTRE - Earthquake and People Interaction Centre

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Civil Environmental and Geomatic Eng

Abstract

Earthquake risk is composed of three elements: Hazard, Vulnerability and Exposure. Good understanding, representation and modelling of all three elements are necessary in order to produce useful and reliable human and economic loss estimates. Governments require such estimates to make decisions as to if and how to intervene to mitigate potential earthquake induced losses, and where to locate critical facilities or emergency resources to ensure effective post-disaster relief and recovery. However, existing loss estimation methodologies limit their scope of hazard assessment to ground shaking effects, adopt unreliable models of building damage and vulnerability that are practically disregarded in the estimation of human losses for which only coarse estimation tools exist. Shortly after arriving at UCL the PI began to set up a new concept in earthquake engineering research in which the importance of vulnerability of people in such disasters was included in the engineering consideration of the problem. Through interactions with government, industry, NGOs and other academics this has become tangible in the form of the highly multidisciplinary Earthquake and People Interaction Centre (EPICENTRE). The Centre has developed its own specialised MSc course (due to start in September 2007) and this proposal is designed to provide the seed funding for a number of initiating studies to inspire the research side of the Centre's activities. The Challenging Engineering funding will enable the applicant to bring together a multidisciplinary group of researchers (earthquake engineers, social scientists, coastal engineers and statisticians) to address gaps in knowledge in each of the components of the 'normal' risk equation with the aim of extending the scope of its application of this equation and providing decision makers with better guidance for where and how to invest to mitigate earthquake losses. In particular three research topics will be addressed: violent flow (tsunami) loss prediction, human loss estimation in earthquakes and building seismic damage assessment. These initial studies will form the core of the early research development of the Centre and provide a starting focus to enable it to thrive through further funding initiatives. At the end of the Challenging Engineering funding the Centre will be a research-intensive actively-disseminating centre of excellence in the UK for twenty-first century earthquake engineering.
 
Description The Challenging Engineering grant has been used to set up EPICentre, a dynamic multidisciplinary research group that investigates risk to society and infrastructure from earthquakes and other natural hazards. EPICentre research projects adopt a range of methods from the physical sciences, engineering, remote sensing and social sciences. See also www.epicentreonline.com. EPICentre has attracted a range of studentships and funding since inception in 2007. The original funding has been used to fund research in four main areas, with key findings as summarised below:



1. Tsunami near-shore evolution and forces on structures: experimental study

a. Development and successful testing of of new tsunami generator that can generate long-waves beyond the capacity of other facilities and is the only generator world-wide to be able to produce trough-led waves

b. The runup results showed consistency with previous studies (i.e. runup scales as amplitude) for shorter waves, however differences exist for the longer waves (i.e. runup scales as the square root of the amplitude), which had never been pointed out

c. New run-up equations based on the experimental results, including parameters of wave energy.

d. The velocity measurements indicate that while the acceleration of the flow over the slope is essentially negative, the convective and local accelerations (particles) can be positive, explaining observed changes in flow velocity magnitude in field and laboratory studies

e. Initial results on wave pressures on structures give an indication (to be confirmed) that flow depth is a dominant parameter determining the load



2. Tools for seismic assessment of RC structures: Deformation-damage relationships for non-seismically designed RC columns and beam-column connections.

a. Large scale cyclic tests on 19 columns and 7 beam-column connections, and 50 bar pull-out tests

b. Insights into the effects of poor detailing of elements on their cyclic performance.

- Main parameters that can quantify damage are: deformation, strength and stiffness degradation, and energy.

- For building assessment, the inter-storey drift cannot be defined by the deformation of a column element, but should also incorporate the deformation of the joint panel.

- The loading history sequence has a large influence on the development of damage.



c. Empirical and semi-empirical equations relating damage states to deformation capacity of elements, where the latter is determined from the mechanical properties of the specimens



3. Risk perception in seismic areas

a. Insights into how different cultures represent earthquake risk and confirmation that few mitigation measures are taken despite intention.

b. In depth interviews with 48 respondents in Izmir (Turkey), Seattle (USA) and Osaka (Japan)

c. Advice on how to more effectively target mitigation strategies in different cultural contexts



4. Multi-disciplinary indicators for evaluating resilience using remotely sensed data

a. Comprehensive and structured review of resilience theory and practice

b. Multi-disciplinary set of indicators to measure and monitor earthquake resilience of urban areas.

c. Application to case study area (Northridge Earthquake)
Exploitation Route The work developed on tsunami runup and tsunami empiricalfragility curves has been applied in the reinsurance industry.

With HR Wallingford we aretrying to further developthe tsunami generation technology developed in the project and see if it is a viable product to sell to other testing flumes worldwide.

The Tools for seismic assessment of RC structures project, yields information that can be used to improve seismic assessment codes of practice. The importance of this work has been recognised through inclusion of Dr Rossetto on the UK BSI Committee for seismic standards.

As mentioned, the findings from the Human Loss project have major potential applications for communities facing serious earthquakes. They are also of use to risk managers seeking to understand and change preparedness in the face of earthquakes. The interest that this profession has in our findings is reflected in the American journal Risk Management's invitation to Helene Joffe to contribute a paper on the study (Joffe, 2012).



The preliminary findings of the stakeholder survey component of the Resilience Indicator project show that there is great interest towards a correct operationalization of the concept of resilience. The framework resulting for the literature review could be extremely useful to spur multi-disciplinary discussion on the theme of resilience bringing together actors from various backgrounds. Finally, analysis shows that data stored in different formats can actually be integrated easily for indicators extraction in a GIS platform for commercial used and potentially also for humanitarian use.
The impacts of the Violent Flows project are many.Firstly the generation of unique data for experimental tsunami runup can be used for the calibration of risk models and numerical inundation flow models. The data generated on forces on buildings are being compared to current standards to assess their adequacy.The tsunami generator built is being adopted in further tests in two EngD projects at UCL. The runup relationships developed in the project have been used in tsunami risk modelling by a reinsurer (Willis). The Willis Research Network has gone on to be the industrial partner on two KTS of EPCIentre researchers working on tsunami flooding and vulnerability. In particular, the latter project is novel in that it integrates advanced statistical methods to the field of tsunami engineering, resulting in a reduction in the uncertainty of the predictions of tsunami damage. The resulting fragility functions can take into account a number of demand parameters. Moreover, they can be applied not only in the context of tsunami damage but also financial loss, which make them and ideal tool to be used with enriched and complete databases in the future.



In the Tools for Seismic Asssessment of Reinforced Concrete Structures project, through data from specifically designed low-cycle fatigue experiments referring to structures designed according to non-seismic codes, it is hoped that the relationships in the seismic code EN 1998-Part 3 can be enhanced. An attempt is made to develop relationships for damage prediction of intermediate states of damage between yield and ultimate, and based not only on column or beam data, (as for current relationships), but also referring to beam-column connections incorporating effects of the node. In its development, reference is made to assessment procedures, design procedures, damage indices and damage scales so that the developed relations reflect the necessities of the latter in industrial applications. The experimental data will also be made available to other researchers. A collaboration was set up with Aveiro University which has allowed exchange od students and sharing of data which have resulted in an extension of the project remit to include reinforced concrete elements with smooth bars. This experimental programme has has highlighted gaps in understanding and built EPICentre experimental expertise, which have been crucial in obtaining further funding in the Challenging RISK project (EPSRC funded).



The Human Loss project informs us about the barriers to earthquake preparedness that exist in three cultures. Knowing what stops people in these places from preparing enables us to devise targeted interventions to increase preparedness. We plan to implement these interventions in our new EPSRC 'Challenging Risk' project and to measure whether the interventions that are based on the Human Loss findings change safety behaviours.



The Resilience Indicators project aims at providing end-users in emergency management with a set of indicators of seismic resilience that can be used to measure and monitor resilience spatially and over time. Given that many of the indicators have a strong spatial component and can be represented using spatial data, a WEB-GIS platform could be built to incorporate these indicators and their progress. By automatically inputting databases in a pre-defined format, macros could be written to repeat the calculation of the indicators in an automatic or semi-automatic mode and resilience profiles for a specific location could be provided to the end-users in emergency management at any point in time.



This could be an organised and time effective way to store information that are usually scattered amongst several users and make little sense in disaggregated format. Also, if the database is linked with databases storing information about potential replacing values and daily outcome of each business activity, the same platform could be used by the insurance industry to run scenarios of unexpected events and have indication about costs of damage and business interruption. We aim to work with a collaborator ImageCat to potentially develop such an application.
Sectors Construction,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy

URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/epicentre
 
Description The work developed on tsunami runup and tsunami empirical fragility curves has been applied in the reinsurance industry. With HR Wallingford we aretrying to further developthe tsunami generation technology developed in the project and see if it is a viable product to sell to other testing flumes worldwide. The Tools for seismic assessment of RC structures project, yields information that can be used to improve seismic assessment codes of practice. The importance of this work has been recognised through inclusion of Dr Rossetto on the UK BSI Committee for seismic standards. As mentioned, the findings from the Human Loss project have major potential applications for communities facing serious earthquakes. They are also of use to risk managers seeking to understand and change preparedness in the face of earthquakes. The interest that this profession has in our findings is reflected in the American journal Risk Management's invitation to Helene Joffe to contribute a paper on the study (Joffe, 2012). The preliminary findings of the stakeholder survey component of the Resilience Indicator project show that there is great interest towards a correct operationalization of the concept of resilience. The framework resulting for the literature review could be extremely useful to spur multi-disciplinary discussion on the theme of resilience bringing together actors from various backgrounds. Finally, analysis shows that data stored in different formats can actually be integrated easily for indicators extraction in a GIS platform for commercial used and potentially also for humanitarian use. Beneficiaries: Other academics,reinsurance indsry, construction sector Contribution Method: see above text
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Construction
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Challenging RISK: Achieving Resilience by Integrating Technical and Societal Knowledge
Amount £2,500,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K022377/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2013 
End 05/2018
 
Description Development of tsunami fragility curves and a global tsunami risk index for use in re-insurance
Amount £46,180 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2011 
End 01/2012
 
Description EngD studentship on Tsunami Vulnerability
Amount £128,000 (GBP)
Organisation Willis Re. 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2012 
End 08/2016
 
Description EngD studentship on Tsunami Vulnerability
Amount £128,000 (GBP)
Organisation Willis Re. 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 01/2017
 
Description Engineering Cities for Planetary and Societal Wellbeing
Amount £6,250,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/J017698/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2012 
End 01/2017
 
Description European Social Fund (STEPS - Malta 2007-2013)
Amount £41,251 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2008 
End 01/2012
 
Description Fostering Community Participation In Disaster Management Through A New Web-Gis Platform: The Virtual Disaster Viewer
Amount £500 (GBP)
Organisation Secure World Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 01/2010 
End 12/2010
 
Description Fostering Community Participation In Disaster Management Through A New Web-Gis Platform: The Virtual Disaster Viewer
Amount £500 (GBP)
Organisation Secure World Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 10/2010 
End 11/2010
 
Description Industrial Case Studentship "Vulnerability of coastal infrastructure to Tsunami"
Amount £80,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arup Group 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2008 
End 04/2012
 
Description Industrial Case Studentship "Vulnerability of coastal infrastructure to Tsunami"
Amount £80,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arup Group 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2008 
End 04/2012
 
Description Secondment of researcher from Indian National Institute of Disaster Management
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation World Bank Group 
Department World Bank Institute
Sector Learned Society
Country United States
Start 07/2009 
End 09/2009
 
Description Secondment of researcher from Indian National Institute of Disaster Management
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation World Bank Group 
Department World Bank Institute
Sector Learned Society
Country United States
Start 03/2009 
End 12/2009
 
Title Database of readings made in tsunami experiments 
Description A structured database of timehistories of readings made of wave profiles and velocities of the waves at different points along the flume and shoreline. Recordings of the time histories of pressure values on model structures subjected to the tsunami flows. Timehistories of water depths for flows impacting on the model structures. Recordings of velocities around model buildings and between buildings onshore. All these recordings are made for a series of long sine, solitary and trough-led waves, typefying tsunami. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None yet 
 
Description Collaboration with Arup 
Organisation Arup Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Zygmunt Lubkowski, the head of seismic skills and Director at Arup, was chair of the EPICentre advisory board. He monitored progression, gave ideas and feedback, He also instigated the talks that led to EPICentre obtaining an Aruo Industrial Case studentship to work on tsunami research.
Start Year 2007
 
Description Collaboration with HR Wallingford 
Organisation HR Wallingford Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution HR Wallingford, although a contractor under the grant, provided enormous support during the development of the new tsunami generator and the tsunami experiments.They contributed intellectually and share the IP on the tsunami generator with UCL. They contributed time to the project,student supervision, advice and significant in-kind support
Start Year 2007
 
Description Collaboration with ImageCat Ltd 
Organisation ImageCat
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution ImageCat Ltd is an international risk management innovation company, whose mission is to support the global risk and disaster management needs through the use of new technologies. ImageCat has supported the work of Enrica Verrucci, main researcher on the Resilience Indicator project, through advice, supervision, provision of databases, access to proprietary software and training. EPICentre has also collaborated with ImageCat for the creation of the Virtual Disaster Viewer www.virtualdisasterviewer.com
Start Year 2007
 
Description Collaboration with Joint Centre of Disaster Research, Massey University, New Zealand 
Organisation Massey University
Department Joint Centre for Disaster Research
Country New Zealand 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint symposia on risk representation. Co-supervision of an EngD student and a PhD student on projects funded outside of the Challenging Engineering grant, but the collaboration was established due to the grant and symposium series. An MoU has also been signed between JCDR and EPICentre. We have set up an MoU with JCDR, which has enabled the establishment of a series of International workshops. It has also led to secondment of one oftheir staff to UCL for three months and joint supervision of a PhD student on tsunami risk.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Collaboration with Middle East Technical University 
Organisation Middle East Technical University
Department Disaster Management Implementation and Research Center
Country Turkey 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution EPICentre has collaborated with the Middle East Technical University, Disaster Management Implementation and Research Center, in order to carry out the interviews in Izmir, Turkey. A student from METU was trained and employed to carry out the interviews. METU also advised us on the sensitivity of the interview to cultural issues
Start Year 2008
 
Description Collaboration with University of Kyoto 
Organisation University of Kyoto
Department Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI)
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Prof.Katsuya Yamori provided a researcher to conduct the interviews undertaken in Osaka, Japan. He also has provided advice on culturally sensitive issues in the design of the interview and questionnaire.He has also contributed to the book "Living with perils in the 21st century" Edited by Joffe, Rossetto and Adams, (2013)
Start Year 2008
 
Description EPICentre becomes a part of the Willis Research Network 
Organisation Willis Group
Department Willis Research Network
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution In recognition of the value of the research carried out in EPICentre for the reinsurance industry, EPICentre was invited to become a part of the Willis Research Network(http://www.willisresearchnetwork.com/), the world's largest collaboration between public science and the finance sector. This has led to two researchers from EPICentre undertaking a KTS with Willis, and their becoming the industrial partner on 3 EngD projects at UCL with Dr Rossetto. Joining the Willis Research Network has meant the addition of funds to research in EPICentreleading to the recruitment of EngD students.Also the WRN has partners in Universities and research institutes worldwide and has disseminated our research to them and set up meetings and networking events. This has le, for example, to a journal publication by researchers in EPICentre and at Tohoku University in Japan.
Start Year 2011
 
Description EPSRC IAAA Knowledge Secondment of Daniel Pohoryles to CARE International 
Organisation Care International UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Secondment of Daniel Pohoryles to CARE International from October 2016 to March 2017. Including a stay in Chile. £10000 obtained from EPSRC IAAA account held by UCL.
Collaborator Contribution Contribution of £7400 towards the costs of the secondment. Supervision of the secondment as well as linkages with charities in Chile.
Impact Still being achieved
Start Year 2016
 
Title New pneumatic tsunami and long-wave generator 
Description A new and unique wave generator for long waves and tsunami, that can be used to reproduce these in a 2D flume. The generator can generate waves with longer wavelengths than anywhere else in the world and also is unique in its generation of stable trough-led waves. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
 
Description BSI committee (B/525/08-Structures in Seismic Regions) for the implementation of Eurocode 8 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Rossetto is a member of the BSI committee (B/525/08-Structures in Seismic Regions) for the implementation of Eurocode 8. . Awarding Body - BSI, Name of Scheme - BSI
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Chair of the UK Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) is a group of earthquake engineers, architects and academics who collaborate with colleagues in earthquake prone countries to improve the seismic resistance of both traditional and engineered structures. Formed in 1982 as a joint venture between industry and universities, EEFIT's principle activity is conducting field investigations following major earthquakes and reporting their findings to the engineering community . Awarding Body - EEFIT, Name of Scheme - EEFIT
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012
 
Description Media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Numerous media and popular science articles (e.g. Risk Management, New Scientist), radio and TV programmes, (e.g. BBC2 "Volcano Live", BBC Radio 4 "Material World") have reportedresearch carried out by EPICentre.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011
 
Description Science in Parliament Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited talk to Science in Parliament by Tiziana Rossetto on "UK Earthquake Engineering: Reducing Worldwide Disasters ".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description TEDS Talk " Distancing the self from risk: AIDS, earthquakes and climate change" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TEDs talk at UCL:see http://tedxucl.org/speakers/helene-joffe/.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxUCL-Helene-Joffe-Distancing
 
Description TeDx Brussels - Tiziana Rossetto 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TEDx talk on "Engineering against Tsunami"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM4MbHL7eJA
 
Description Vice-chair of the Society of Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics (SECED) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact SECED is the UK learned society on earthquakes and civil engineering dynamics of the Institution of Civil Engineers . Awarding Body - SECED, Name of Scheme - SECED
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Virtual Disaster Viewer 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Developed by ImageCat, in conjunction with EPICentre, MCEER, EEFIT, EERI and Microsoft Virtual Earth, the Virtual Disaster Viewer (VDV) represents an exciting combination of new technologies all in a useable web platform.

These include satellite imagery-based damage and situation assessments by international teams of expert engineers, along with geo-referenced ground photographs and videos collected by field teams.

VDV represents a new way of remotely viewing a disaster area and generating preliminary estimates of earthquake damage, when access to the affected area is restricted.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008