Aligarh : The unpredictability of earthquakes and how the tremors jolt and why we need to revisit the safety of our buildings and structures came in for a detailed debate in the inaugural function of the week-long, online AICTE Training And Learning (ATAL) Academy Faculty Development Program (FDP) on ‘Seismic Safety of Structures’ of the Department of Civil Engineering, Z H College of Engineering and Technology (ZHCET), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
In the presidential address, the Chief Guest, Prof Pervez Mustajab (Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology) spoke on the importance of Seismic safety of structures.
He said: “Ground vibrations during earthquakes cause forces and deformations in structures. Therefore, structures need to be designed to withstand such forces and deformations. Seismic codes help to improve the behaviour of structures so that they may withstand the earthquake effects without significant loss of life and property”.
Discussing various earthquake resistant technologies, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi Professor, T K Datta, who is internationally known for work in structural dynamics said: “Earthquake resistant technologies make buildings and properties much safer. Technologies such as shock absorbers reduce the magnitude of the shock waves—pendulums for skyscrapers sway to stabilise buildings and seismic invisibility cloaks provide safety from getting squished”.
He discussed various steps taken by the Indian Standards Institutions since 1962, gave assessment on the condition of built-infrastructures and appealed to the academia to come up with suitable advances in the civil engineering discipline.
In the welcome address, Prof Abdul Baqi (Chairperson, Department of Civil Engineering) shed light on why Seismic safety of structures is the need of the hour.
He stressed: “At a time when the instances of earthquakes are on a rise, it is imperative for buildings to be earthquake resistant. For that, developers need to abide by building codes and construction norms”.
Prof Baqi also pointed out that the Department of Civil Engineering at AMU is providing solutions and consultancy in the area of earthquake resistance design and testing of the structures.
Prof Rizwan Ahmad Khan (FDP Coordinator) emphasised the importance of FDPs in fostering knowledge and professional skills and the need to have safe constructions with a system for code enforcement and building inspection.
He further spoke on the requirement for competence-based licensing of civil and structural engineers, the need for building a research and development culture for seismic safety; focusing on new construction as opposed to retrofitting existing buildings and to frame the problem in the broader context of overall building safety rather than the specific context of earthquakes.
Prof Mohammed Arif delivered the introductory address—and gave the gist of the programme theme.
He spoke on the need of advanced seismic effect reduction measures and building earthquake resistant structures for a disaster resilient society.
Prof Rehan Ahmad Khan extended the vote of thanks.
Dr M Moinul Haq and Dr Zaid Mohammad conducted the program.