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GEM's Success at WCEE2024: Sharing Knowledge, Expertise, and Strengthening Collaboration in Earthquake Resilience


Jul 8, 2024

Jul 8, 2024

The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation solidified its position as a key partner in earthquake hazard and risk assessment at the prestigious 18th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (WCEE2024) held in Milan, Italy, from June 30th to July 5th, 2024. This premier event provided GEM with a valuable platform to showcase its ongoing projects, collaborate with international peers, and contribute to advancing global earthquake resilience.

"Participating in WCEE2024 was a great opportunity for us to share our research on the future of seismic hazard and risk modelling, and to learn from our global community. I extend my sincere gratitude to the organisers for this stimulating event and commend our dedicated GEM staff whose expertise, passion and contributions made our WCEE2024 participation a big success." - Helen Crowley, GEM Secretary General.

GEM actively participated in various sessions throughout the week, delivering presentations on a wide range of topics critical to earthquake risk assessment, reduction, and mitigation. Here's a glimpse into GEM's successful week:

Day 1 focused on core earthquake science. Through GEM-led technical sessions, experts discussed advances in hazard analysis, characterising ground motion, and how to build a systemic approach to risk assessment.

Day 2 offered in-depth exploration. Presentations explored how earthquakes affect access to healthcare, the resilience of masonry buildings, and the estimation of tsunami flow depths using data and machine learning. The day was capped by the well-attended panel session co-hosted by GEM and Aon, titled “From Academia to Insurance Industry: What's in it for Earthquake Engineers?" This session brought together over 100 industry experts and academics to explore, amongst other topics, the career opportunities available for earthquake engineering researchers within the insurance sector.

Day 3 showcased a number of GEM's projects. Talks covered diverse areas such as nuclear power plant safety, global earthquake loss assessment, and advancements in the OpenQuake software. Other notable sessions explored topics ranging from using artificial intelligence for exposure models to the impact of recovery efforts on future earthquake risk. The day concluded with a stakeholder needs assessment session run by the Global Tsunami Model (GTM) community, providing a valuable opportunity to connect with colleagues in tsunami hazard and risk assessment.

Day 4 wrapped up with prestigious talks. GEM presented on how we evaluate our models after damaging earthquakes, along with advancements in global environmental impact models. The day concluded with the prestigious Joyner Memorial Lecture by GEM Secretary General, Helen Crowley, which looked at the history of seismic zonation in Italy, the criticisms often (unjustly) targeted at seismic hazard models and the ways in which seismic risk modelling can be used to define seismic actions for design.

Day 5 offered some final insights. Presentations explored a global vulnerability function database and a multi-criteria approach for optimal building retrofitting, leaving attendees with valuable knowledge on products and methods for earthquake risk mitigation.


A Hub of Knowledge Exchange and Collaboration

The GEM booth (B12) served as a vibrant hub for attendees and offered opportunities to engage with GEM’s earthquake engineering and hazard experts including GEM’s Product Manager, Andres Abarca. Discussions centred on GEM's latest tools and methodologies for earthquake hazard and risk assessment, promoting a collaborative environment for knowledge exchange and capacity building. Many attendees also stopped by and filled out our survey to contribute to GEM's Global Seismic Regulation Database and Mapping Initiative.


WCEE2024: A Stepping Stone for Future Collaboration

GEM's active participation at WCEE2024 served as a springboard for continued collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the earthquake engineering community. By presenting its latest advancements, engaging in discussions, and strengthening partnerships, GEM has solidified its role as a global partner in building global seismic resilience.

"As we reflect on WCEE2024, it's clear that GEM's contributions are important in shaping seismic hazard and risk assessment globally. It was incredible to see the depth and breadth of GEM's influence and impact throughout the conference. This conference has underlined the importance of collaborative efforts in advancing earthquake engineering, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share insights that drive our field forward." - John Schneider, GEM Senior Advisor.

Stay Connected!

Visit the dedicated GEM WCEE2024 event page or contact us at for further information, presentations, and other resources from the conference.

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