Advancing Earthquake Engineering Practice and Instruction
Developed university earthquake engineering curriculum and supported strengthening of graduate program; advanced structural analysis capacity and extensively mentored practicing engineers.
On October 8, 2005, just before 9:00 AM, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake occurred near the Pakistan town of Muzaffarabad. Violent shaking leveled entire villages and triggered landslides, cutting off access to remote areas in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province and in the Kashmir region. It was the deadliest earthquake in the recent history of the sub-continent, killing more than 73,000 people, injuring more than 128,000, and leaving millions homeless. Because the earthquake struck during school hours, fatalities among schoolchildren were particularly high. At least 17,000 children died in schools, and thousands more were seriously injured.
To prevent such devastating losses in future earthquakes, we launched a 3-year project to improve earthquake engineering instruction, research, and professions in Pakistan. We partnered with NED University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi (www.neduet.edu.pk) and other Pakistan institutions that train future engineers and architects. The project built capacity in Pakistan’s academic, public, and private sectors to improve seismic safety of existing and new buildings. The project paired American experts in earthquake engineering education and practice with Pakistani professors and building professionals.
The project team was comprised of Dr. Sarosh Lodi and Dr. Sahibzada Rafeeqi of NED, and from the U.S. Dr. Janise Rodgers, Mr. Thomas Tobin and Dr. Brian Tucker (all of GHI), Dr. Gregory Deierlein (Stanford University), Mr. David Mar (Tipping-Mar + associates), and Dr. Khalid Mosalam (University of California, Berkeley). The project involves numerous other participants in academia and industry from both Pakistan and the United States.
The fruits of the team's pioneering collaboration will mentor generations of Pakistani earthquake professionals with:
a) earthquake engineering curricula for the university
b) training materials
c) case studies, in actual buildings, that are typical of the local building stock
d) training workshops for Pakistani practicing engineers, architects, and other building professionals.
e) NED University engineering professors trained to teach assessment and retrofit methods, with instruction in theory as well as practice by using case studies.
The project also strengthened cooperative research and professional relationships between Pakistani and American colleagues. They consulted on research topics that directly impact seismic safety in Pakistan, and created an earthquake engineering research agenda for Pakistan. With funding from the National Science Foundation, project participants from GHI and NED met with colleagues in Kathmandu, Nepal to plan research that would make a very common type of concrete building safer during earthquakes.
This project was funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) through The National Academies, and by the Pakistan Higher Education Commission.