Keynote Lecture– Engineering Design of Communities for Disaster Resilience

06 Jul 2022
9:00 - 9:45
Banquet Hall

Keynote Lecture– Engineering Design of Communities for Disaster Resilience

B. Stojadinovic, Professor, Chair of Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Institute of Structural Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Increased emphasis on resilience, specifically disaster resilience of communities, challenges engineers to actively take part in the public discourse and to design and implement actions to improve the current state of communities. An engineer’s approach is one of a design cycle: assess the current state of the community disaster resilience for acceptability, and iteratively improve the design of actions to change the current community disaster resilience state for the better. Making the conventional design cycle work for community disaster resilience poses challenges. In this talk, I argue that it is possible to extend the conventional design cycle to community disaster resilience, and focus on the design acceptance criteria and their evaluation, as well as on an engineering specification of a community.

Given a community, understood as a system-of-systems that provide for safety and support the social and economic activities of the inhabitants, engineers’ goal is to assess how resilient this community is to disruptions, small and large, common and rare. Huge strides in this direction have been made in the past two decades. Engineers have at their disposal diverse families of models that reproduce the evolution of a community from the disruption to its functions, throughout its functional recovery process, all the way up to its new state, thus scribing the community function “swoosh” curve. What are the numbers on the swoosh curve axes? Turns out they are quite different, depending on the disaster resilience evaluation objectives, community specification, modeling approach, model assumptions, even on modelers knowhow.

Uniform quantification of community resilience for assessment and design is an urgent priority. I will present my view of the state-of-the-art in this field, and propose how to move forward. My goal is to examine what is needed to enable using (and thrusting!) different methods to evaluate the disaster resilience of a community and to, thus, support engineering design for community disaster resilience.