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Civil Engineering Resiliency in Response to Extreme Events: East Coast Lessons
Start Date: 1/22/2021
End Date: 1/22/2021

Event Description

Civil engineers often respond to the effects of extreme events, including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and fires, many of which are “natural” and some alleged to be exacerbated by climate change. Looking into the future, the need for rapid and effective response will increase, as recent history suggests that “extremes” may now be the “new norm.” Some of these (e.g., earthquakes) are thought to be “West Coast” problems, while some are attributed primarily to the East Coast (e.g., hurricanes). Rather than a reactive response, civil engineers should now consider a proactive position and develop designs for these new norms to minimize the devastating impacts on society.

This presentation will include two parts. The first presents a brief summary of several of the author’s primarily East Coast projects where extreme conditions drove the response and/or design. These include the impacts of recent hurricanes, construction over extremely soft sediments, and seismic response of dams and hazardous waste landfills. The second part will include a discussion regarding the evolution of design concepts from simple allowable stress and deterministic approaches to performance-based designs, risk-informed decision making, and resilient design considerations. Challenges to design and performance of civil engineering infrastructures may be the result of climate change and global warming, but also include the inevitability of strong seismic ground motions and construction over difficult ground conditions.

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Contact Information:
Name: Kim Spina
Phone: 856-404-1588
Email: smithkl@drexel.edu
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