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Building Pakistan’s Capacity for Instruction, Research, and Practice in Earthquake Engineering and Retrofit
Members of the research team visit to the earthquake-affected area, July 2007 (photo courtesy of team member Gregory Deierlein).
Brian E. Tucker, GeoHazards International, Palo Alto
Sahibzada Rafeeqi, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi
Pakistani Funding (HEC): $220,000
US Funding: $241,595
Project Dates on US Side: February 1, 2007 - October 31, 2011
This project aimed to improve Pakistan’s ability to reduce earthquake risk by building the capacity of its universities to teach and conduct research in earthquake engineering and transfer the knowledge needed to seismically retrofit essential structures to both new graduates and practitioners. The approach integrated formal instruction in theory with practice by using case studies of existing buildings typical of the local building stock. It recognized that earthquake engineering exists in a broader societal context that balances safety with competing demands and values by employing multidisciplinary earthquake risk management decision-making processes. The project promoted sustainable academic interest in earthquake engineering research by encouraging cooperative research and professional relationships with American researchers through academic exchange, consultation on research topics that directly impact seismic safety in Pakistan, and creation of a Pakistan Earthquake Engineering Research Agenda. Throughout the project, participants applied concepts learned through case studies of existing buildings, which then, along with theory, formed the basis for courses in seismic assessment and retrofit, comprising both practical training courses for practitioners and academic courses for students. American faculty members and practicing professionals worked with the Pakistani participants to develop, teach, evaluate, and revise these courses, which were piloted in workshops for practicing professionals and as regular courses at NED University and other participating universities. After assessment and revision, courses for practitioners were presented. Several workshops were held to build the capacity of additional faculty and students from participating institutions.
Participants tour a retrofit construction site with Holmes Culley Engineers during their October 2008 visit to San Francisco.
- Applied advanced earthquake engineering techniques to existing buildings for a core group of Pakistani faculty members, and provided training on existing building vulnerability and solutions for more than 500 people from the engineering community, including academia, industry, and government
- Enhanced understanding of building seismic behavior within the Pakistani engineering community, especially with respect to the role of masonry infill walls, which will lead to a significant reduction in configuration vulnerabilities for new buildings
- Significantly strengthened relationships between academia and professional engineers in Karachi and between researchers in Pakistan and the United States
- Innovatively applied cutting-edge retrofit methods to common urban buildings in Pakistan
- Formed an international research-practice collaborative network—the Framed Infill Network—to make concrete buildings with masonry infills safer through innovative designs that make beneficial use of infill walls
From January 1 through October 31, 2011, the project team completed the remaining case studies and documentation activities, including dissemination products such as short modules for inclusion in academic courses, a training manual, and guidelines and resources for course instructors. They also developed the Framed Infill Network, which involves additional participants from around the world. The Network will be the primary mechanism for project participants to continue their collaboration on research and application now that the project has ended. On May 28, 2011, NED University conducted a training course for 35 participants, which was entitled “Strengthening & Seismic Retrofitting of Building Structures.” Another training course, "Vulnerability Assessment of Buildings Subjected to Earthquake," was held July 6 – 8 in Muzzaffarabad. The final report and several interim reports on this project are available through the links below.
Progress Report Summaries
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2011 Download final report
2010 Show summary || Hide summary || Download full report
During 2010, project participants focused on understanding the seismic behavior of one of the predominant types of buildings in Pakistan’s urban areas, the concrete frame with masonry infill walls. Many of these buildings are seismically vulnerable. Project participants focused intensive efforts on modeling and analyzing such buildings, and developing and detailing seismic retrofit measures. These efforts included focused capacity building sessions on selecting seismic retrofit schemes through nonlinear analysis, held in Kathmandu, Nepal in July 10-11, 2010 due to continuing security concerns that prevent American project team members from traveling to Pakistan. While in Kathmandu, articipants also held a meeting July 12-14 to plan research on non-ductile concrete buildings with masonry infill walls, with supplemental funding obtained from the U.S. National Science Foundation. A major outcome of the research planning meeting was the idea for the Framed Infill Network, and international collaborative framework for conducting research and applying its products to improve the safety of concrete frames with masonry infill. The Framed Infill Network, which has, since the Kathmandu meeting, received funding from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, will link the project’s researchers with colleagues throughout the world, and will provide the primary means for continued collaboration beyond the project’s end.
Concrete Building Research Planning Workshop participants visit a framed infill building under construction in suburban Kathmandu
Four groups consisting of twenty two undergraduate students did their senior projects related to the project theme.Two graduate students from Stanford University assisted with the preparation of a computer model for one of the case study buildings. At NED University, a masters’ student completed a research project (extended from last year) to develop a tool for the vulnerability assessment of buildings subjected to earthquakes. One post-doctoral researcher from the University of California, Berkeley and one junior engineer from Tipping Mar participated in the project. The post-doctoral researcher provided important guidance on structural analysis and participated in most project e-meetings and discussions. The engineer provided structural analysis guidance, though to a lesser extent. In Pakistan, a drafter assisted with the preparation of engineering drawings for the case studies.There were no changes to existing courses or curricula during 2010, though project participants anticipated that several such changes will occur in 2011.
2009 Show summary || Hide summary || Download full report
In 2009 plans for several US participants to travel to Pakistan were again postponed due to security concerns, but regular e-mail, phone, and videoconferencing contacts continued. The number of building case studies was doubled, and by the end of the year 7 of 10 had been finished, with the rest to be completed in 2010. With regard to curriculum development, consensus recommendations have been drafted for national minimum standards for earthquake engineering education in Pakistan. The recommendations, which consist of the minimum basic earthquake engineering topics to be included in the civil engineering and architecture curricula, have been submitted to the National Curriculum Revision Committee (NCRC) at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for adoption.
Taking into account what they had learned over the course of the project, the NED team presented two training workshops for practicing engineers in 2009. The first was held at NED August 12-13, 2009, to serve participants from southern Pakistan, and the second was held at the Hotel Green Retreat in Nathiagali for engineers from the north. Both workshops included both technical presentations and hands-on practice in evaluating actual buildings. Throughout the year, undergraduate and graduate students at NED also had the opportunity to become involved in work on the case studies being carried out for the project. As a measure of the interest of the Pakistani authorities in the results of the project, the Sindh Provincial Disaster Management Authority has asked the NED team to participate in capacity building exercises related to assessing the seismic vulnerabilities of schools and hospitals in the province. In addition, four Pakistani members of the project team are serving on a Pakistan Engineering Council committee that is designing the methodology for training stakeholders on application of the country's 2007 seismic code.
2008 Show summary || Hide summary || Download full report
In 2008 progress on the project was slower than anticipated due to visa delays as well as funding delays on the Pakistani side. However, the case study teams made good progress on the initial group of six buildings, gathering information and drawings, developing computer models, and performing initial elastic analyses. In late October 2008, a 15-member team from Pakistan made a study visit to California. During the week-long visit, which was originally planned for July but rescheduled due to visa delays, the participants presented the results of their case study investigations to date, visited seismically retrofitted buildings, received instruction in nonlinear structural analysis, met with local practicing engineers and building officials, and toured laboratory facilities. The project team also met several times during the visit to complete the draft curriculum revisions and plan future project activities. The study visit was the only international travel during Year 2, however, as the American members of the project team were unable to travel due to the deteriorated security situation in Pakistan. Project participants continued meeting via videoconference, and investigated additional virtual collaboration tools to try to compensate for the lack of travel. Meanwhile, the project also had to deal with other challenges in 2008. NED University did not receive its Year 2 funds until well into the year, which hindered the Pakistani partners’ ability to work effectively. Despite these challenges, the NED project team made significant progress toward broadening the project’s participant base throughout the country.
During the October 2008 visit, US team member Bill Holmes points out seismic retrofit measures to Pakistani colleagues in San Francisco.
2007 Show summary || Hide summary || Download full report
The project began when five US participants (Dr. Gregory Deierlein of Stanford University, Mr. David Mar of Tipping-Mar+Associates, Dr. Khalid Mosalam of the University of California Berkeley, Dr. Janise Rodgers of GHI, and Mr. L. Thomas Tobin of GHI) traveled to Pakistan July 21-28, 2007, to meet with their counterparts and visit several sites in Karachi, Islamabad, and the earthquake-affected areas in Rawalakot, Bagh, Chakothi, and Muzaffarabad. The purpose of the visit was threefold: beginning to develop the case studies, improving the existing curriculum, and meeting with project partners throughout the country. The case study development began with defining characteristic building types and training a selected group of graduate students and junior faculty to screen buildings rapidly. Curriculum improvement efforts began with determining how the project can help build on existing capacity in earthquake engineering in Pakistan's universities and benefit from the experiences of US universities such as the University of California Berkeley and Stanford. During the visit, the US research team met with Pakistani project partners in academia, private practice, and government. On July 21, 2007, the Pakistan Chapter of the American Concrete Institute organized and sponsored a seminar given by the U.S. research team members entitled "Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering and Applications to the Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings." The seminar was well-attended, attracting approximately 100 students, faculty, and practicing engineers.
The research team conducted similar activities when the participants from Pakistan visited the San Francisco Bay area in late October 2007 to interact with interested faculty and practicing engineers. Project leaders Prof. S. Rafeeqi and Prof. S. Lodi visited California for first-hand observation of seismic retrofit techniques, plus academic exchange with American researchers with the intent of encouraging future research collaboration and student exchange.
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