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Dr. Kit Miyamoto Lessons from the Earthquake Zone

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Dr. Kit Miyamoto- Lessons From the Earthquake Zone

Duration:60 minutes


How do countries reduce earthquake disaster risk to achieve maximum resiliency? In the aftermath of major earthquakes, how have different nations overcome the incredible challenges of disaster reconstruction?  Are we doing enough are we doing enough to be prepared? Listen in as Dr. Kit Miyamoto, S.E., CEO of Miyamoto International and a California Seismic Safety Commissioner, shares lessons learned from his personal experience on the ground in the immediate aftermath of major seismic events, as chronicled in the New York Times Dot Earth Blog.  Hear his firsthand accounts from his experiences responding to earthquakes including Gorkha - Nepal 2015, Tohoku - Japan 2011, Christ Church – New Zealand 2011 and Leogane - Haiti 2010.  Learn how government policies can impact the Nation’s resiliency.

Participants will learn about:

  • Government/personal policies for preparedness
  • First responder processes
  • Emergency Engineering
  • Comparisons in each nation’s resiliency results

Who should attend:

Architects, Civil and Structural Engineers, Developers, Project Managers, Design Professionals, Detailers, Contractors, Public Asset Managers, Building Owners and Public Officials


Dr. H. Kit Miyamoto, Ph.D., S.E.

CEO Miyamoto International   H. Kit Miyamoto, Ph.D., S.E., is the CEO of Miyamoto International, a global earthquake structural engineering company, and the nonprofit organization, Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief; he also is a California Seismic Safety Commissioner. Known for innovative engineering, Dr. Miyamoto has garnered significant industry recognition, including a Global Best Project award by ENR magazine. Dr. Miyamoto specializes in disaster risk reduction and reconstruction.   Under his leadership, more than 15,000 projects have been successfully completed worldwide. Among these, Dr. Miyamoto was an expert consultant to the World Bank on the disaster risk reduction projects for 1,500 schools in Turkey and 3,800 schools in Philippines. He worked with the government of Haiti, the United Nations and the USAID to conduct seismic assessments of more than 430,000 earthquake-damaged structures in that country. Dr. Miyamoto also implemented a program to repair and strengthen more than 120,000 damaged Haitian buildings and also was involved with disaster reconstruction and disaster risk reduction programs in New Zealand and Philippines.  He is currently in Nepal helping that country recover from the April 2015 7.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated the country.   A past director for the Structural Engineers Association of California, Dr. Miyamoto also is an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Fellow. Dr. Miyamoto holds graduate degrees from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and California State University, where he has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumni and is a former adjunct professor.   Dr. Miyamoto has published more than 100 technical papers and is a frequent speaker on disaster issues. He has been featured by several media organizations, including CNN, NBC, the Discovery Channel, the New York Times and Rolling Stone.

Amir S. J. Gilani, Ph.D, S.E.

Manager Earthquake Engineering   As a Structural Specialist, Amir Gilani possesses an unique expertise in field testing and analysis of at-risk structures. His project experience focuses on the analysis and design of steel and concrete buildings and bridges utilizing traditional and computer-based methods. This experience includes conducting code-based and performance-based design of structures using linear and nonlinear procedures. Dr. Gilani is a member of the ASCE7 and ASCE41 committees for the American Society of Civil Engineers, which develops building standards, codes and criteria. His recognized expertise and credibility has made him a sought-out entity for various educational forums including lectures and publications. These include work with the University of California, Berkeley to perform shake table testing and presentations at the International Disaster and Risk Conference, such as “Integrative Risk Management in a Changing World—Pathways to a Resilient Society” in Davos, Switzerland. Dr. Gilani’s published papers include assessments of earthquake reconnaissance in Haiti, Romania and China, such as “Urban Earthquake Damage Assessment and Reconstruction: 2010 Haiti Earthquake,” which was presented at the 15th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering.

Lawrence Novak, SE, SECB, F.ACI, F.SEI, LEED AP

Director of Structural Engineering Portland Cement Association Moderator   Mr. Novak is the Director of Structural Engineering for the Portland Cement Association. He and his staff consult with engineers, architects, contractors, and owners on the design and construction of reinforced concrete buildings, including sustainable design. Novak is highly active in the Codes and Standards arena and he administers research projects, publishes guides to aid engineers in the design of concrete structures, and conducts technical seminars for engineers.   Novak has more than 30 years of experience as a lead structural engineer on sustainable high-rise, mid-rise and special use structures throughout the world, including seismic regions. Most recently as an Associate Partner with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, he served as the senior project engineer responsible for the structural design of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, Tower, the world’s tallest structure. Novak also was involved in the design of the 92 story Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and the renowned Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.   He has co-authored numerous papers on structural engineering and is a recipient of SEAOI’s “Meritorious Publication Award” for 2009, 2008 and 2001, the NCSEA’s “Outstanding Structural Engineering Publication Award” for 2001 and the United Kingdom’s “Oscar Faber Award” for 2002.   Novak was selected as the ACI Educational “Speaker of the Year” and he was chosen as the “Centennial Lecturer” in engineering for 2010. He is the recipient of the 2010 Illinois ASCE “Citizen Engineer of the Year” Award, recognizing his extensive volunteering endeavors to inspire young minds to study math, science and engineering.   Novak serves on several technical structural committees, including the ACI 318 Concrete Code Committee and ACI 130 on Sustainability of Concrete, and is an active member of the American Concrete Institute (Fellow), the American Society of Civil Engineers (Fellow of SEI and member of the ASCE/SEI 7 Standards committee on “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures”), and the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois and he has served on the Board of Directors for engineering organizations including SEAOI, TCA and the Illinois Engineering Hall of Fame. In addition to being a Licensed and Board Certified Structural Engineer, Mr. Novak is a LEED® Accredited Professional, Certified Scaffolding Operator/Erector, a Certified Structural Peer Reviewer and a qualified Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member.   Work Experience: Prior to joining PCA in 2008, he worked for over 20 years with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill located in Chicago where he achieved the position of Associate Partner. At SOM, Mr. Novak was in responsible charge for the structural design of projects throughout the world.   Education: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Master of Science in Civil Engineering, 1986 BS in Civil Engineering w/High Honors, 1985 Professional Registrations: Licensed Structural Engineer in Illinois (SE) Board Certified Structural Engineer (SECB) LEED® Accredited Professional Certified Peer Reviewer – Chicago, IL Certified Suspended Scaffolding Operator/Erector Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member   Honors: Selected as a Fellow of the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute, 2014 Named “Distinguished Speaker” by the United States Military Academy at West Point, ‘14 Keynote Speaker at the ASCE Great Lakes Student Conference, ‘14 ACI Educational “Speaker of the Year” Award, 2011 Elected to the ACI Nominations Committee, 2011 ASCE “Citizen Engineer of the Year” Award (IL), 2010 Selected as the “Centennial Lecturer” for 2010 SEAOI “Most Innovative Structure Award” for Burj Khalifa, 2010 Named a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute, 2009 Order of the Engineer / Obligation of the Engineer, 2009 H.T. Person Lecturer for 2009 and 2002, University of Wyoming  (including the honor of being the first person ever to be selected twice) Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI) “Meritorious Publication Award”, 2009, 2008 and 2001 (three time recipient) Keynote Speaker-University of Illinois Graduate Student Retreat, ‘09 SEAOI Award of Merit for Newark Int’l Airport Expansion, 2003 UK’s Institution of Structural Engineers’ Oscar Faber Award, 2002 NCSEA “Outstanding Structural Eng. Publication Award”, 2001 Selected as the Landis Lecturer for 2001, for “His Contribution to the Art and Practice of Structural Engineering” University of Illinois Fellowship/Scholarship Award, 1985 William John Mackay Award for “High Scholarship, Ethical Standards and Participation in Professional, University, Student & Civic Activities”, ‘85 Thomas Award for “Most Impressive Junior” in Civil Engineering, 1984 Tau Beta Pi (Life Member) / Chi Epsilon (Life Member)

Raoul Karp

VP Structural, Pipestress and Bridge Bentley Systems, Inc.   Raoul earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Rice University in 1990 and his MS in Structural Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992. He was a design engineer in San Francisco, CA for 4 years, specializing in seismic analysis, design and information modeling. He has been an active participant in both AISC and ATC technical committees. Raoul has been published in various journals and made presentations at various conferences such as the World Earthquake Conference. Today Raoul Karp is the VP of Structural & BRIm products, leading development and strategy for these key Bentley product lines.
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