2024 Chapter Meetings


Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction: Lessons from Pakistan, New Zealand, Nepal, Albania and Syria

By Jitendra Bothara, Director, Resipro International Engineering Limited

EERI, New England Chapter, Lecture Series

Wednesday, July 18, 2024, 5:00 – 6:30 PM (Eastern Time)

The Zoom Seminar is FREE!

For registration, please visit: HERE

Abstract: Disasters—both natural and man-made—pose profound challenges to communities worldwide, significantly disrupting socio-economic structures and daily lives. Every disaster recovery presents specific challenges, yet common elements exist in rebuilding infrastructure and restoring daily life. For example, the M7.8 earthquake in Nepal in 2015 left 3.3 million people without homes, requiring a large effort to rebuild, often in hard-to-reach places with few resources. Similarly, the floods in Pakistan in 2022 meant that recovery plans had to be made for about two million homes spread across a wide area. These events underscore the multifaceted nature of disaster recovery, which extends beyond mere structural rebuilding to encompass socio-political, financial, and technical challenges within culturally specific contexts. Effective disaster recovery programs require a nuanced understanding of affected communities’ unique needs alongside the implementation of customized solutions that facilitate a swift and sustainable return to normalcy. This presentation delves into the recovery initiatives in Pakistan, New Zealand, Nepal, Albania, and Syria, focusing on how local capabilities, international support, governance, and community engagement contribute to resilient outcomes.

Biography: Jitendra Bothara is a Fellow of Engineering from New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering and Nepal Engineers’ Association. He is a Director of Resipro International Engineering Limited, a New Zealand based company. With three decades of experience in seismic engineering and disaster risk mitigation, he has led teams for pre and post-earthquake assessment, as well as post-earthquake reconstruction in many countries. Jitendra has co-authored and published many publications in earthquake engineering, including various building standards, guidelines and manuals, and has helped develop earthquake engineering research facilities. Jitendra has served as advisor to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Government of Nepal and the United Nations Development Programme on DRR, earthquake recovery and reconstruction in Nepal and other countries. He is an ardent believer in identifying linkages between socio-economy and seismic engineering and linking traditional practice and knowledge with modern knowledge and engineering for seismic safety. His interests include translating research and complex engineering concepts into implementation tools and disseminating technology, vernacular and heritage construction, and socio-cultural and economic issues.

Lecture Flyer (PDF)


Multi-Disciplinary Seismic Resilience Modeling and Community Engagement for Developing Mitigation Policies

By Milad Roohi, Ph.D. , Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

EERI, New England Chapter, Lecture Series

Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 2:00 – 3:00 PM (Eastern Time)

The Zoom Seminar is FREE!

For registration, please visit: HERE

Abstract: Earthquake disasters, as observed in recent events in Turkey, Japan, and Taiwan, have underscored the pressing need for a comprehensive resilience assessment and planning for infrastructure and community systems. This necessitates advanced data-driven and computational modeling techniques and a shift towards multi-disciplinary seismic resilience modeling, which is instrumental for formulating effective mitigation policies. The backbone of this modeling approach is multi-disciplinary data collected at the community level, which enables and informs decisions for mitigation and recovery planning. This presentation introduces a framework that links engineering models with socio-economic models to assess the seismic vulnerability and resilience of built environment and social and economic systems, thereby providing invaluable insights and metrics for decision-makers. These metrics are pivotal in developing effective mitigation policies and enhancing the resilience of communities. The approach is illustrated using real-world case studies of US communities, including Salt Lake County (SLC), Utah, developed through extensive collaborative engagement with SLC officials.

Biography: Dr. Milad Roohi is an Assistant Professor at the Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). He is also the director of the Smart Resilient Infrastructure and Urban Systems (SiRIUS) lab. The lab’s research aims to enhance infrastructure and community resilience through multi-disciplinary data, computational models, and emerging technologies. Before joining UNL, Dr. Roohi served as a Senior Scientist at Aon in the Impact Forecasting R&D Center of Excellence, specializing in seismic catastrophe risk modeling for the US and Caribbean region. Dr. Roohi completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship at the NIST Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning, headquartered at Colorado State University. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Vermont, with a focus on seismic structural health monitoring of instrumented buildings. His research has been published in leading civil and structural engineering journals and conferences, and he is actively serving several national and international technical committees.

Lecture Flyer (PDF)


Liquefaction Mitigation of Loose Coral Sand Beneath Tank Foundations in the Marshall Islands

John Thornley, PhD, PE, D.GE, Vice President, Technical Principal, Geotechnical, Permafrost, and Earthquake Engineering, WSP, Anchorage, Alaska

Co-hosted by EERI, New England Chapter and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University

Friday, January 26, 2024, 3:00 – 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Free to attend in-person or virtual
Location: 208 Anderson Hall, 200 College Avenue, Medford, MA 02155

Zoom Meeting Link: HERE

Abstract: The results of initial CPT work indicated, based on typical liquefaction screening methods, significant potential for seismically induced settlement. However, coral sand differs substantially from quartz and silica sand, which are the majority of case histories used to develop liquefaction screening methods. Bulk samples of the coral sands were collected and a series of CPT cone calibrations, triaxial and cyclic direct simple shear tests were performed to develop a constitutive framework that was used to understand the liquefaction triggering of coral sand. Findings from the study indicate that the Kwajalein coral sand is less susceptible to liquefaction.

Biography: John Thornley, PhD, PE, D.GE is a Vice President and Technical Principal at WSP in Anchorage, Alaska. He has 18 years of geotechnical and earthquake engineering experience. Recently John was a co-lead for the EERI Learning from Earthquakes Reconnaissance effort for the November 30, 2018, M7.1 Anchorage, Alaska Earthquake. John is currently the chair of the Municipality of Anchorage Geotechnical Advisory Commission and is active in several organizations including ASCE, EERI, and SSA. He has served as field manager of geotechnical studies and prepared recommendations for a variety of infrastructure projects including buildings, roads and airports, large liquefied natural gas and water storage tanks, pipelines, wind and cellular towers, and utilities. As part of John’s work, he has been involved in seismic hazard studies, seismic site response analyses, studies for large infrastructure buildouts, and cold regions and permafrost engineering. His design work includes ground improvement in liquefiable soils, deep and shallow foundations, slope stabilization, retaining structures, and embankments.

Lecture Flyer (PDF)


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