What does true resilience mean for developing countries?


Resilient communities are defined by the UK Government as empowered businesses and individuals able to harness local resources and expertise to help themselves and others to prepare, respond and recover from disruptive challenges as well as planning and adapting to long term social and environmental changes. As one of nature’s most destructive forces, earthquakes pose a challenge to many nations, including some of the most developed. How then can we best prepare developing communities to ensure their future prosperity? As one of the Institution of Structural Engineers 2019 technical themes, EEFIT and the SECED Young Members join together to explore what true resilience means. The speakers will draw on their experiences from Africa, South America and Asia and give valuable insights into training communities using environmentally and financially sustainable methods.

About the speakers

Sebastian Kaminski (Arup) is a Chartered Structural Engineer based in Arup’s Specialist Technology & Research Team in London. He has experience in international development and engineering projects in developing countries, especially permanent low-cost housing in highly seismic areas, and is a specialist in using bamboo for construction, in which he runs training workshops internationally. He has provided technical support to the Shelter Cluster after various events, including the Nepal 2015 earthquake, the Ecuador 2016 earthquake and most recently the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh. In 2011, Seb won the IStructE Pai Lin Li Travel Award for research into low-cost modern bamboo housing in developing countries, the findings of which lead to the development of a new seismic-resistant bamboo housing system which won the IStructE’s Sustainability award in 2015. He is a member of the IStructE’s Humanitarian and International Development Panel.

Viviana Novelli (University of Bristol) is a structural/seismic engineer with a PhD in Earthquake Engineering from UCL. She has a robust track record in leading international projects, focusing on earthquake modelling to assess seismic building performance and practical experience in pre/post-earthquake assessment in Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America. Since February 2018, Viviana has been working for the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol as a research associate in earthquake impact for the project PREPARE (Enhancing PREParedness for East African Countries through Seismic Resilience Engineering), a 3-year EPSRC-Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project. In 2019, Viviana was elected to the EEFIT Management Committee.

Josh Macabuag (Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters) is a Chartered Civil Engineer with over 10 years experience in disaster risk-related fields. His background is in building design, catastrophe risk modelling and disaster response. He has had experience across all stages of the disaster management cycle: from response and recovery to risk transfer/insurance. His field experience includes disaster response, design or vulnerability assessment for earthquakes, tsunamis and storm surges. He is also an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Engineer for the NGO SARAID (Search & Rescue Assistance in Disasters), with several years’ experience of overseas exercises and deployments including to Nepal as a USAR engineer following the earthquake of April 2015 and to the Turks and Caicos Islands following Hurricane Irma (2017). He is a member of the IStructE’s Humanitarian and International Development Panel and Vice Chair of the EEFIT Management Committee.

Further information

This evening meeting is jointly organised by SECED Young Members and EEFIT. The meeting is chaired by Sarah Tallett-Williams (Jacobs). The SECED Young Members AGM will take place at 6.00pm, with the talks beginning at 6.15pm. All SECED and EEFIT members and all non members are welcome to attend. Attendance at this meeting is free. Seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served from 5.30pm - 6pm. For further information, please contact Shelly-Ann Russell (tel. 020 7665 2147, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

This event will be broadcast online.

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Event Details

Event Date 30/10/2019 6:00 pm
Institution of Civil Engineers
1 Great George Street Westminster, London SW1P 3AA United Kingdom
Institution of Civil Engineers

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