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February Joint Luncheon with ASCE – Resilience: An Engineering Challenge


Risk modeling has focused on the “3Ds: Deaths, Dollars and Downtime” as metrics for estimating building and infrastructure performance as well as for decision-making in design and in policy development. What can these metrics tell us about performance and resilience in recent disasters? What other measures of performance are suggested by the recovery experience in both developed and developing countries? What are the engineering challenges and research opportunities coming out of recent earthquakes in China, Haiti, Chile, New Zealand and Japan, and how are they applicable to the U.S. context? Are there better engineering metrics for resilience?

Engineering performance metrics typically are designed for individual components (e.g. for a building or bridge), not for a city. Resilience requires metrics that look at the performance of community components such as housing, education, civic and cultural infrastructure. Evaluating recovery experience in recent earthquakes, it is clear that funding, political will, creative planning, and good technical implementation drive the speed and quality of recovery.

To improve resilience, our professions need to participate in land use and policy planning; and we need to re-think performance measures and building codes in order to develop methods of setting performance guidelines for cities. Improving overall performance and resilience in developed countries with good codes and land use practices, as well as in developing countries, are challenges for the 21st Century.

Mary C. Comerio, Professor in the Graduate School (Architecture), University of California, Berkeley

Mary Comerio is an internationally recognized expert on disaster recovery. She joined the faculty in the Department of Architecture at U. C. Berkeley in 1978 and served as Chair of the Department from 2006-2009.  As an architect, she has designed numerous public and private facilities including market rate and affordable housing.  Her research focuses on the costs and benefits of seismic rehabilitation (particularly housing), post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, and loss modeling.  She is the author of Disaster Hits Home: New Policy for Urban Housing Recovery. In 2011, she received the Green Star Award from the United Nations for her work in post-disaster reconstruction in China and Haiti. In 2013, she received the U. C. Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Public Service for Research in the Public Interest, and the EERI Distinguished Lecturer Award.

Comerio led the FEMA sponsored Disaster Resistant University Program. Her research together with the UC Berkeley campus seismic rehabilitation program was recognized by Engineering News Record as one of the ten best seismic planning projects in the United States in 2006, and by the EERI Northern California Chapter in 2012. Comerio also led the Building Systems Research in the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, during the ten years when PEER was one of three NSF funded national earthquake centers. Comerio is currently completing work on a NSF Grand Challenge project focused on the mitigation of collapse risk in nonductile concrete buildings. She recently led the PEER/EERI reconnaissance teams to both earthquakes in New Zealand and conducted a review of the housing recovery in Chile for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and the United Nations Development Program.

TIME: Registration: 11:30 am / Lunch: 12:00 pm / Program: 12:30-1:15 pm

PRICE:  ASCE Section Members: $25.00 / Non-Members:$40.00 / Students:$15.00 / Public Agencies: $15.00

PAYMENT: Cash, check or credit card ( to pay in advance by credit card by2/20, (a $3 fee will be added for credit card processing).  Parking will be validated. Checks made payable to ASCE.  You may mail your check in advance to PO Box 1028, El Cajon, CA  92022.

MENU: Chicken Florentine – Chicken with Spinach, Pinenuts, and Goat Cheese served with Orange Basil Rice and Market Vegetables, house salad, dessert, tea and coffee service. (vegetarian plate is available but must be requested by February 20th)

PLACE: The Handlery Hotel & Resort, 950 Hotel Circle N., San Diego, 92108

RESERVATIONS: MUST be received by Thursday, February 20th, Noon.   If you choose to walk-in the day of the luncheon, please be advised that your meal is not guaranteed and an additional charge of $10 will be added to the cost of the lunch.  If you make a lunch reservation and fail to attend you will be invoiced.  By Phone: 619-588-0641, or by responding to the Constant Contact email invitation.

CANCELLATION: Please CANCEL your reservation(s) at least 24 hours in advance if you are UNABLE to attend.

Register Here