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

Principal Investigator: Dr Sean Wilkinson, Newcastle University, Professor Tiziana Rossetto, UCL and Dr Emily So

Sponsor: EPSRC

Duration: April 2017 to April 2022

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 a previous EPSRC project, 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. In this project, UK based academics will 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.