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Shaping a Resilient Future: GEM's Innovations at WCEE2024


Jun 24, 2024

Jun 24, 2024

The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation is gearing up for the 18th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (WCEE2024) in Milan, Italy, from July 1st to 5th, 2024. This premier earthquake engineering conference brings together researchers, industry professionals, and policymakers to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of earthquake preparedness and mitigation strategies. GEM will be at the forefront, presenting a wide range of technical sessions and presentations by its leading scientists.

From Hazard Assessment to Risk Management: A Spectrum of Knowledge and Application

GEM's week-long participation examines various aspects of earthquake risk assessment and management. John Schneider, Senior Advisor at GEM, emphasises the critical role of multi-lateral partnerships saying, "While earthquakes are responsible for massive loss of life, it's clearly not enough to just do good research on earthquake risk; we need to work together, including building public-private partnerships, to translate the science into practical solutions and bridge the gap between global expertise and local needs that can save lives."

One of the opening sessions, titled "SHR3 - Managing earthquake risk through multi-lateral partnerships” (July 1st and 2nd), led by John and Goran Trendafiloski (Aon Impact Forecasting), will address this theme. It promises a thought-provoking discussion on the impact of national and regional collaborative work on global earthquake preparedness.

Seismic Hazard Analysis: Pushing the Boundaries

Understanding earthquake hazards is fundamental to building resilient communities. Marco Pagani, Head of Seismic Hazards at GEM, highlights this importance in seismic hazard modelling: “Seismic hazard analysis is crucial for enhancing the resilience of our built environment. At the WCEE2024 session, we will learn how hazard is modelled in various parts of the world and explore ground-breaking methodologies that push the boundaries of traditional approaches. From fault source to advanced ground-motion modelling techniques, we will discover the latest scientific advancements and applications safeguarding communities worldwide.”

Marco, Mark Petersen, Supervisory Research Geophysicist, USGS; and Matt Gerstenberger, Seismologist, GNS Science NZ will be leading a session titled "SHR2 - Advances in Seismic Hazard Analysis"(July 1st to 3rd). This session will discuss the specifics of hazard modelling, exploring advancements that can safeguard communities worldwide.

National Risk Models: The Bedrock of Resilience

National seismic risk models are crucial for crafting effective disaster risk reduction policies. Vitor Silva, Head of Risk Engineering at GEM, underscores their significance: "National seismic risk models are the bedrock for creating resilient communities – they guide us in crafting effective disaster risk reduction policies such as retrofitting campaigns or the enforcement of building regulations. WCEE2024's SHR9 session convenes leading researchers and practitioners to demonstrate how recent scientific advances are being used to develop state-of-the-art national seismic risk models."

Vitor will be leading the session "SHR9 - National Seismic Risk Modelling Efforts: Challenges, Achievements and Future Goals" (July 2nd) along with Helen Crowley, GEM Secretary General and Ana Beatriz Acevedo, Professor of Civil Engineering, EAFIT University, Colombia. This session will illustrate how cutting-edge science is being translated into practical applications for real-world scenarios.

A Diverse Program for Engineers and Enthusiasts Alike

GEM's program at the WCEE2024 caters not only to earthquake engineers, but also to a broader audience interested in earthquake preparedness. The "From Academia to Insurance Industry Panel Session and Aperitivo" (July 2nd) offers a unique opportunity to explore the intersection of earthquake science and the insurance sector. This session, hosted by Aon and GEM, promises valuable insights for both sectors.

Beyond Technical Sessions: A Look at Future Horizons

GEM's commitment to strengthening knowledge exchange extends beyond technical presentations. The "Global Tsunami Model (GTM) community" session (July 3rd) provides a platform for stakeholders to discuss advancements in tsunami modelling. Similarly, the "Joyner Memorial Lecture: Why seismic hazard modelling has become a risky business" by Helen Crowley promises a provocative exploration of the challenges and opportunities in this critical field.

A Week of Engagement and Collaboration

WCEE2024 presents a unique opportunity for the earthquake engineering community to come together, share knowledge, and chart a path towards a more resilient future. 

Helen Crowley, GEM Secretary General, underscores this view: "WCEE2024 provides an invaluable platform for showcasing the research that lies at the core of seismic risk mitigation. GEM's significant participation at this event is a testament to our commitment to bridging the gap between scientific research and real-world applications, which is crucial for developing effective earthquake preparedness and mitigation strategies." 

GEM's program promises a week of engaging presentations, discussions, and networking opportunities. Whether you are a seasoned earthquake engineer or simply interested in learning more about earthquake preparedness, GEM's sessions offer valuable insights and a glimpse into the future of earthquake risk reduction.

Join GEM at WCEE2024 and be part of the solution! Explore open seismic risk resources and chat with our earthquake experts! Visit us at booth B12.

Full details and the complete GEM schedule: 

Download the GEM WCEE2024 agenda:

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