Multi-Hazard Engineering Symposium to be Held in New York City

Blast, earthquake, wind and flood surge to be addressed

Release Date: May 29, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A symposium on "Emerging Developments in Multi-Hazard Engineering" organized jointly by MCEER, headquartered at the University at Buffalo, and the Architectural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers(ASCE) will be held Sept. 18 at the McGraw-Hill Conference Center in New York City.

Multi-hazard engineering is a new field that aims to provide an integrated and cost-effective approach to addressing the numerous potential threats that can impact the built environment.

The goal is to develop ways to protect communities from a variety of hazards at one cost, instead of using different solutions for each hazard, according to Michel Bruneau, Ph.D., MCEER director and symposium co-chair with Amar A. Chaker, Ph.D., director of ASCE's Architectural Engineering Institute.

Recent events such as the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Asian tsunami in December 2004 and Hurricane Katrina have highlighted the need for solutions when two or more hazards simultaneously threaten communities and their infrastructure, said Bruneau, who also is a professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Since 9/11, MCEER has been instrumental in advocating a multi-hazards engineering approach to enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure. The UB-based center has more than 20 years of experience developing solutions to protect infrastructure from the hazards of earthquakes and seeks to leverage this knowledge to advance cost-effective protective solutions for multiple hazards.

To address the complications that arise from events where multiple hazards occur, the symposium will consider multi-hazard engineering from the perspectives of risk, reliability, design, analysis, cost-benefit, life-cycle costs and structural health monitoring.

Blast, earthquake, wind, flood and wave surge will be among the specific hazards discussed.

Topics to be explored include lessons learned from 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, fundamental measures to improve disaster resilience, multi-hazard engineering in Los Angeles and New York City, Federal Emergency Management Agency multi-hazard risk assessments and improving resilience of transportation infrastructure.

Nationally recognized researchers and practitioners from industry, academia and government will discuss a variety of solutions and applications, including adapting technologies developed for specific hazards to multi-hazard problems and developing new technologies to mitigate a variety of threats.

The goal of the symposium is to establish an integrated risk assessment framework for multi-hazard environments while addressing how to assess and mitigate risk from competing low-probability, high-consequence hazards.

The early registration deadline is Sept. 4. For more information and to register, please go to

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 27,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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