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MCEER Workshop: Lessons from the World Trade Center Terrorist Attack

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Management of Complex Civil Emergencies and Terrorism-Resistant Civil Engineering Design

New York City, June 24-25, 2002

Workshop proceedings will soon be available

Elebash Recital Hall
The Graduate Center
City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue

Background Objectives Format Organizing Committee Agenda Registration Information


Portions of the perimeter tubes of World Trade Center 
Towers 1 and 2 that remained standing in the debris 
pile (as of 9/21/01)
 

 

MCEER, in collaboration with the National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS) is organizing a workshop, Lessons from the World Trade Center Terrorist Attack: Management of Complex Civil Emergencies and Terrorism-Resistant Civil Engineering Design. The two-day workshop is scheduled for June 24-25, 2002 in New York City. The objective is to review whether knowledge developed during the past decades to enhance seismic resilience can be used to help achieve terrorism-resistant communities, and at the same time, investigate whether lessons can be learned from blast-resistant engineering to enhance earthquake engineering practice. The organizers gratefully acknowledge support from the Earthquake Engineering Research Centers Program of the National Science Foundation for this workshop.

Background

Damage to a building at 30 West Broadway due to impact from the collapse of World Trade Center 7
Damage to a building at 30 West Broadway due to impact from the collapse of World Trade Center 7

The tragic terrorist attack that took place on September 11, 2001 in New York resulted in many casualties, numerous injuries, the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center as well as adjacent buildings, and extensive disruption of business, professional, economic, and social activities within the city and the surrounding area. When the final accounting takes place, this attack will almost certainly constitute one of the most deadly and costly disaster events in U. S. history.

The types of damage that occurred and the demands that were placed on organizational and governmental emergency response systems in many ways parallel those that can be expected in the event of a major earthquake in any U. S. urban center. Like an earthquake, the terrorist attack occurred with virtually no warning, creating the immediate demand for lifesaving and emergency health care provisions. As would be expected in an earthquake, fires broke out and multiple structural collapses occurred. As has been observed in major urban earthquakes and in other disasters (e.g., Hurricane Andrew), structures housing facilities that perform critical emergency functions were destroyed, heavily damaged, or evacuated for life-safety reasons.

In a very real sense, the September 11 tragedy, the nature of the damage that occurred, the challenges that the city's emergency response systems faced, and the actions that were undertaken to meet those demands can be seen as a "proxy"-albeit a geographically concentrated one-for what a major earthquake can do in a complex, densely-populated modern urban environment. However, by reversing the perspective, the view has been expressed that maybe the knowledge generated by earthquake engineering researchers over the past decades could today provide some of the tools needed to enhance the resilience of the existing infrastructure against terrorist attacks.

Given the special mission of MCEER as an earthquake engineering research center that is responsible to the citizens of New York State and this country, MCEER has taken the initiative to organize a workshop (in collaboration with the National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS)) to review lessons from the World Trade Center terrorist attack in the perspective of management of complex civil emergencies and terrorism-resistant civil engineering design. This workshop will bring various experts together who can provide the multidisciplinary perspectives required to address this complex problem.

Objectives

Damage to the Winter Garden

Damage to the Winter Garden

The objective of this workshop is to review whether knowledge developed during the past decades to enhance seismic resilience can be used to help achieve terrorism-resistant communities, and at the same time, investigate whether lessons can be learned from blast-resistant engineering to enhance earthquake engineering practice.

More specifically, the workshop aims to answer three questions using the expert opinion of the participants:

  1. Can some of the mitigation and emergency response procedures and tools in place to enhance resilience of the infrastructure against a terrorist attack be used to enhance its earthquake resilience?

  2. Can some of the mitigation and emergency response procedures and tools in place to enhance earthquake resilience of the infrastructure be used to enhance its resilience against a terrorist attack?

  3. What common procedures and tools are needed to provide enhanced resilience to both hazards?

The answers will make it possible to identify:

  1. What is the current state-of-practice in each discipline?

  2. What knowledge can be transferred from one field to the other?

  3. How can the state-of-the-art and state-of-practice be further developed to enhance the existing state of resilience?

  4. What foreseeable future developments are required to achieve such multiple hazards protection

Format

Damage to 3 World Financial Center

The two-day workshop will be held June 24-25, 2002. Social and engineering issues will be addressed in an integrated multidisciplinary fashion, with alternating sessions on management of complex civil emergencies and engineering issues to achieve terrorism-resistant civil engineering design.

Each day will consist of plenary sessions followed by discussion sessions to allow the participants to exchange views on the topic at hand. The plenary sessions will feature invited speakers and consist of general presentations to provide an overview of events related to the WTC attack, within the scope of the workshop, and sessions on how the knowledge from previous studies and from various fields could merge to address the new challenges.

The 90 West Street Building was hit by burning debris from the collapse of World Trade Center 2

Organizing Committee

  • George Lee, Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research

  • Michel Bruneau, Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research

  • Richard Little, National Research Council

  • Kathleen Tierney, Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, and Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware

  • Rae Zimmerman, The Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems located at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service


 

Tentative Agenda 

    Day 1     Day 2

Day 1

8:30 - 9:00  Registration

9:00 - 9:15  Welcome/Introduction, Presentation of Workshop Objectives, and General Comments
Co-chairs of Workshop

9:15 - 10:45   How Did 9/11 Help NYC Cope with the Next Disaster?

Management of Complex Emergencies Perspective 
Cruz Russell (New York-New Jersey Port Authority)

Engineering Preparedness Perspective 
Gene Corley (CTL Group)

Engineering Response Perspective
Daniel Cuoco (LZA Technologies / Thornton Tomasetti Group)

Break

11:00 - 12:00  Workshop Discussion Session #1
Achieving Resilience in the Face of Complex Civil Emergencies
Moderator: Kathleen Tierney

Overview of Issues  
Richard Little (NRC)

Local Government Issues; NYS Perspective
Theodore Fisch (New York State Emergency Management Office)

Local Government Issues; A FEMA Perspective
Joseph Picciano (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Owners' Perspective (large management complex) 
Joseph Donovan (Carr America)

12:00 - 13:00  Lunch
The conference venue is conveniently located near 5th Avenue and 34th Street. Lunch will be provided to those who have pre-registered for the conference. 

13:00  - 14:15  Session 1 (Continued)

Security in the Post 9/11 Environment 
Randy Nason (C.H. Guernsey & Company)

The Trade-offs of Handling Risk and Resilience 
David Hadden (ARUP)

How NYC Adopted Earthquake-resistant Design Codes
Richard Tomasetti (Thornton Tomasetti Group)

Discussion and Resolution of Issues from Session #1 

14:15 - 17:00  Workshop Discussion Session #2 
The Tools to Achieve Resilience - State-of-the-Art 
Moderator: Michel Bruneau

Overview of Issues  
Robert Smilowitz (Weidlinger Associates)

Strategies and Tools in Blast Engineering
Joseph Smith (ARA)

Strategies and Tools in Earthquake Engineering 
Andrew Whittaker (University at Buffalo)

Easiest and Most Difficult Buildings to Implode
James Redyke (Dykon Blasting)

Break

Anti-terrorism / Force Protection 
Harold Sprague (B&V Special Projects)

Advanced Technologies to Achieve Seismic Resilience
Michael Constantinou (University at Buffalo)

Fire-related Issues 
Paul Senseny (Factory Mutual Global)

Discussion and Resolution of Issues from Session #2

Day 2

8:30 - 8:45  Registration

8:45 -12:00  Workshop Discussion Session #3
The Tools to Achieve Resilience - The Future
Moderator: Thomas O'Rourke

Overview of Issues  
John Crawford (Kazagozian and Case)

Performance Based Design for Fire 
Brian Meacham (ARUP)

Performance Based Design in Earthquake Engineering 
Ronald Hamburger (EQE)

Blast-mitigation Program at DOD 
Frank Tyboroski (DOD)

 Structural Control 
Andrei Reinhorn (University at Buffalo)

Design of Mission-critical Facilities
Robert Bachman (Consultant)

Break

Retrofit for Blast Mitigation Effects 
Reed Mosher (USACE/ERDC)

Resilient Design using a Complex Adaptive Systems Approach 
Gary Dargush, University at Buffalo

Comparison of Building Responses under Blast and Earthquake Loadings--A Case Study
George Lee (MCEER/University at Buffalo)

Discussion and Resolution of Issues from Session #3

12:00 - 13:00  Lunch 
The conference venue is conveniently located near 5th Avenue and 34th Street. Lunch will be provided to those who have pre-registered for the conference. 

13:00 - 16:30  Workshop Discussion Session #4 
The Political, Economic, and Engineering Fusion of Resilience-Enhancing Design
Moderator: Richard Little

Overview of Issues
Kathleen Tierney (MCEER/Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware)

Enhancing Resilience of Integrated Civil Infrastructure Systems 
Rae Zimmerman (ICIS)

Response and Recovery Issues 
Brent Woodworth (IBM)

How to Prepare for Anything but a Repeat of the Past 
William Wallace (RPI)

MCEER Research to Integrate Multidisciplinary Aspects of Resilience 
Michel Bruneau (MCEER/University at Buffalo)

Break

Implementation of Resilience 
Daniel Alesch (University of Wisconsin)

Implementation of an Innovative Design Solution for Blast-effects Mitigation Through Aggressive Multi-lateral Dissemination
David Houghton (Myers Houghton & Partners)

TBD
Richard Rotanz (Nassau County Emergency Management)

Strengthening Resilience through Remote Sensing Data Fusion: The World Trade Center Example
Charles Huyck (ImageCat, Inc.)

Issues Related to the Adoption of New Design Approaches to Produce More Disaster-resilient Structures
James Malley (Degenkolb Engineers)

Discussion and Resolution of Issues from Session #4

16:30 - 17:00 Closure: Summary of Outcomes 
Co-chairs of the Workshop

  

Registration Information

This workshop is intended for professionals from all relevant disciplines. However, space is limited. Participants will be selected based on their potential to contribute to the workshop objectives. To express interest in attending, click here to complete the application form. Submitting this form does not guarantee admittance.

Applicants will be notified of the status of their application within 48 hours of submittal.

Registration Fee
There is a $100.00 registration fee for all participants. Registration includes: lunch on both days, and a complimentary copy of each of the following reports:

  1. "Engineering and Organizational Issues Related to the World Trade Center Terrorist Attack, Volume I," published by the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research; and
  2. "Protecting People and Buildings From Terrorism: Technology Transfer for Blast-effects Mitigation," from the National Research Council.

Lunch can only be provided to those who pre-register for the workshop.

The conference venue is conveniently located near 5th Avenue and 34th Street, with numerous hotels nearby. Hotel arrangements can be made through a travel agent, or by using the Internet.

Helpful links:

New York City Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Official New York City Website


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