Learning from Earthquakes: Building Resilient Communities Through Earthquake Reconnaissance, Response and Recovery

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

Earthquake reconnaissance plays an invaluable role in earthquake engineering, as it enables the collection of perishable data on building performance that are otherwise unobtainable. Such data can be used to prepare damage statistics, calibrate and validate engineering models and crucially, to decide what design and/or construction deficiencies lead to inadequate structural performance. This research goes beyond the immediate needs of engineers as it can provide the evidence base for the development of new disaster risk reduction policies and mitigation practices worldwide.
In the UK, earthquake field investigations have been conducted by EEFIT since 1982, reporting on the damage observed and inspiring research into building standards for earthquake resistant design and assessment. This research will use the experience gained in EP/I01778X/1 to continue and expand important work in reducing and eventually eradicating the risk of significant death, damage to the economy, and social upheaval resulting from earthquakes. This grant will enable UK based academics to continue to participate in earthquake field investigations conducted by EEFIT and to improve coordination with international equivalents in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and Europe. grow UK earthquake risk reduction activities, improve the dissemination of EEFIT Mission findings and further increase their impact. Not only will this research continue to collect valuable information in the aftermath of a disaster, but it will also develop new methods of collecting and interpreting this data as well and further develop standard international disaster data collection protocols. This data will be housed in a unique future proof repository that will allow researchers and other stakeholders to easily access and use the information This is important as not only will it enable the UK to stay at the forefront of earthquake engineering research, but it will assist donor countries and other organizations to more accurately access the severity of the disaster and therefore to better target the correct amount of resource for relief and rebuilding efforts.

Planned Impact

The ultimate long-term impact that this grant aims to achieve is the reduction of deaths, economic damage and social upheaval resulting from earthquakes. The field missions and research proposed will provide an invaluable contribution to the understanding of earthquake impacts, disaster response and different approaches to earthquake recovery, which form the foundations to the development of new research, technologies, building codes and policies for disaster risk reduction. Hence, communities and industry at risk from earthquakes are the main long-term beneficiaries of this proposal and all the work that it underpins. However, the findings of this research are also of interest to governmental institutions, non-governmental agencies, and donors in the field of international development. In the short to mid-term however, the proposal provides a platform for UK engineers to learn about practical aspects of earthquake engineering design, how these affect the damage susceptibility of a community and learn of the efficacy of different recovery strategies In the UK, there is an excellent and active earthquake engineering community, predominantly with roles in academia, civil engineering consultancies, the nuclear and insurance industries. However, it can be difficult for young researchers and engineers to gain practical experience in this important discipline. If funded, this proposal will provide opportunities for these engineers to further their knowledge of infrastructure damage assessment, structural strengthening, geotechnical assessments, remedial works and other aspects of earthquake engineering and disaster recovery. This will benefit this engineering community and maintain the UK's strong international reputation for earthquake engineering expertise. The importance of EEFIT missions is recognised across UK industry and academia, as demonstrated by their strong support of this proposal (see letters of support) and participation in EEFIT missions over the last 5 years (i.e. 6 UK academic institutions and 8 companies).

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description EEFIT Management Committee Meeting B 
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 Steering Committee Meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description EEFIT management commitee meeting A 
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 Steering group meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Earthquake Reconnaissance planning mission Mexico A 
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 A meeting to discuss sending an Earthquake Reconnaissance mission to Mexico
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Earthquake Reconnaissance planning mission Mexico B 
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 second Earthquake Reconnaissance planning mission Mexico
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017