The Opus College of Engineering will host Dr. Alexandros Taflanidis, associate professor and Frank M. Freimann collegiate chair in structural engineering at the University of Notre Dame, and Dr. Dimitrios Vamvatsikos, assistant professor in the Institute of Steel Structures at the National Technical University of Athens in Athens, Greece, as a part of the “Connecting with the World Seminar Series.”
Taflanidis will present “Mitigating seismic risk in the developing world: lessons learned in Haiti and promotion of alternative housing solutions,” and Vamvatsikos will present “Hazard, ageing, probability and why infrastructure needs to be designed for performance,” on Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Olin Engineering Hall 202.
Taflanidis has a strong interest in engineering problems for the developing world and is the co-founder of Engineering2Empower, an organization training the next generation of global citizens to empower community resilience for vulnerable populations in developing nations. He believes a civil engineering project is a difficult battle with nature. Vamvatsikos’ research interests are focused on integrating structural modeling, computational techniques, probabilistic concepts and experimental results into a coherent framework for the performance evaluation of structures and infrastructure under man-made and natural hazards.
Both presentations will address the devastating earthquake that struck the Republic of Haiti on January 12, 2010. This earthquake is considered one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in recent history, exposing the vulnerabilities of established construction practices in a country plagued by poverty and political unrest. Over seven years after the earthquake, despite the millions of dollars pledged and the (initial) interest from the global structural engineering community, the sad reality is that most families displaced due to the earthquake do not have a clear road map toward permanent, earthquake resistant housing.
More information can be found online