Earthquake Day

Thursday, October 29, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin

UBC partnered with the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) and the City of Vancouver to bring Earthquake Day to downtown Vancouver on October 15. Held as part of the University’s Centennial celebrations, Earthquake Day was conceived as a free public event to coincide with ShakeOut BC Day, with the aim of increasing earthquake awareness and resilience in the community and showcasing UBC’s research in the area of earthquake engineering. A series of informative mainstage events and interactive outreach activities attracted members of the public to the VPL Promenade, where they could also visit booths hosted by over twenty organizations, including industry associations and engineering companies, each with a message to share about earthquake preparedness and mitigation. The program kicked off with a series of guest speakers, including Gregor Roberston, Mayor of Vancouver; followed by the “Great British Columbia ShakeOut” drop, cover and hold on drill at 10:15am sharp. Other program highlights included a public lecture given by Professor Perry Adebar, Head of UBC Civil Engineering, and Professor Carlos Ventura’s overview of the BC Schools Earthquake Early Warning Network. Children from the community enjoyed the opportunity to build model structures as part of the EERI UBC Chapter’s Interactive Outreach activity, and viewers enjoyed the premiere screening of Earthquake Engineering at UBC (link), a new documentary on earthquake engineering research at UBC Civil Engineering. The program concluded with the ShakeDown Design Competition, a friendly contest between teams of engineers from industry who were challenged to build a cost-effective, earthquake resistant structure in a limited time frame. Structure designs were judged on shake table-simulated earthquake performance vs. construction cost, as well as on innovation. Dorian Tung, Civil Engineering PhD Candidate and founder of Earthquake Day, called the event a great success, noting that “there has been no event of this kind in the past. We have created a platform to tell the public what UBC has achieved. We look forward to continue the conversation in order to achieve the ultimate earthquake resilience. ”