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GMS Attends International Conference on Natural Hazards and Infrastructure

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Ramon Gilsanz represented GMS at the first International Conference on Natural Hazards and Infrastructure (ICONHIC) on June 28-30 2016 in Chania, Greece.

This new Conference brought under one roof specialists from academia and industry on earthquake engineering, landslides, floods, tsunamis and hurricanes. As we have witnessed several times in recent years, our civil infrastructure is exposed to one or several of these threats and it is engineers, who mainly undertake the task of designing against them to minimize the risk and reduce fatalities. This conference gives us all the opportunity to not only state our case in our own specialty but also to watch and listen how our “scientific neighbors” are coping within their fields of expertise; this is the essence of cross-fertilization of knowledge.

Ramon delivered a keynote presentation entitled “Regions – Hazards – People,” and at a mini-symposium on the big-picture of infrastructure resilience, presented “Understanding Resilience through a Musical Analogy.” Ramon Gilsanz and Virginia Diaz (GMS) also collaborated on findings of the GEER-ATC Ecuador Reconnaissance: “Selected Aspects of Success and Failures in the Ecuador Earthquake of April 2016,” delivered by G. Diaz Fañas.

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Keynote

Regions – Hazards – People

The world’s population is growing, with increasing proportions locating to dense urban environments. This presentation compares population density and economies of the world’s largest cities with their exposure to natural disasters. We assess the relationship between vulnerability and urbanization, and make recommendations for strategic partnerships for greater investment in pre-disaster preventive measures as opposed to post-disaster recovery.

Mini Symposium

The big picture of infrastructure resilience

Seismologists, earthquake engineers and seismic code experts have a deep understanding of the subtle sciences surrounding moving earth and the structures that sit on top of it. Yet the underlying concepts behind the phenomena remain abstract to many architects, builders, and the public at large. This article presents an analogy that compares earthquakes to music in order to help explain the components of seismic design. The ground exerts seismic forces upon a building following particular spectral acceleration, not unlike a musician playing an instrument according to a given score. This article uses case studies of different construction techniques in California, Chile, and Japan to further explain the systems involved in this analogy.

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