Nigel Priestley Seminar 2018


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The Fourth International Nigel Priestley Seminar took place on May 24 and 25 within the premises of the CAR College Auditorium in Pavia. The Seminar is named in honour of Prof. Nigel Priestley, co-founder of the ROSE School in 2001. The Seminar is an occasion for Master and PhD students of the Understanding and Managing Extremes (UME) Graduate School of the IUSS (Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori) to present and discuss their research work to an audience of international experts in the field of Earthquake Engineering, Engineering Seismology and Hydrological, Weather, Geological, Chemical and Environmental Risks.


On May 25 Alejandro Calderón, Physical Risk Engineer at GEM, delivered a presentation titled “Towards a Unified Earthquake Loss Assessment Model for Central America and the Caribbean”, which he also presented in Greece in June at the 16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering. As part of his doctoral research, Alejandro is interested in the state of physical earthquake risk in the region of Central America and the Caribbean.


Within the framework of the GEM CCARA project, Alejandro contributed in the risk assessment for the region by deriving exposure models for these countries combining census datasets and satellite imagery. The results presented in the seminar included the country earthquake risk profiles for the region that are part of the Global Risk Model currently in development by the GEM Foundation. Each profile contains valuable information about the exposed human and economic capital, the level of earthquake hazard and the expected average annual losses for each country.


Alejandro also presented preliminary results on the assessment of possible future risk scenarios for which the spatial distribution of buildings, their structural typologies and earthquake vulnerability were inferred from the construction evolutive process observed in Central America and other regions of the world.


In addition to standard presentations on research work carried out within the Programmes of the School, the annual Seminar features also the tradition of inviting a prominent scientist to deliver a keynote lecture on a given contemporary and highly relevant topic in the field of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology.


At this year’s event, the keynote lecture entitled “Twenty-three years from Kobe - Japanese research and practice on collapse, performance, functionality, and resilience” was delivered by Professor Masayoshi Nakashima, Professor at the University of Kyoto. As it is customary at each end of the event, the Seminar concluded with the awarding of a prize to one of the most prominent scientists studying in the field of earthquake engineering. This year, the sixth edition of the ROSE School Prize has been awarded to Professor Anil K. Chopra.


Below, an excerpt of the motivation:


“Anil K. Chopra, Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, is a renowned leader in structural dynamics and earthquake engineering. His work has had a profound influence on the direction of structural engineering research and practice. […] Chopra’s research activities have included studies of structural dynamics, various problems in earthquake analysis and design of buildings, dynamic soil structure interaction, dynamic fluid structure interaction, and earthquake analysis and design of concrete dams. His textbook, Dynamics of Structures: Theory and Applications to Earthquake Engineering, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2012, and 2017 is the most highly regarded and internationally translated textbook in the field of structural dynamics and earthquake engineering. It is considered a must-read book for everybody working in seismic analysis.”


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