FRS Lunch Talk: Hurdles on the Road to Engineering Resilience
This presentation by Prof Michel Bruneau will review selected past efforts to contribute to the quantification and enhancement of resilience from an engineering perspective, and outline some of technical and non-technical issues that may help enhance resilience from that perspective.
The concept of seismic resilience formulated by MCEER and its affiliated researchers in 2003 has been progressively more broadly endorsed over the years. This has happened in parallel with an at-large shift towards resilience across a large number of disciplines, focused or not on disaster preparedness and response, to the extent that the word “resilience” has permeated into everyday conversation, sometimes only abstractly (when not outright misused).
Key to the original definition of resilience, to the extent applicable to the field of disaster mitigation, were the loss and recovery of functionality over time. In some engineering application, this information can be readily acquired. Not surprisingly, a dominant segment of all resilience studies have focused on such distribution networks.
However, when it comes to individual engineered structures, the achievement of a resilient design is less directly obvious, particularly given that considering resilience from its greater context can effectively void efforts invested in making more resilient a single structure that is part of the total urban landscape (as the Christchurch earthquake demonstrated well).
With some notable exceptions, such as lifeline bridges along major evacuation and supply routes or hospitals designed by strict state-enforced guidelines, community efforts at enhancing resilience at times are sometimes counter to the best intentions of structural engineers.