Workshop Review

Sixth Japan-U.S. Workshop on Earthquake Resistant Design of Lifeline Facilities and Countermeasures Against Soil Liquefaction

The Sixth Japan-U.S. Workshop on Earthquake Resistant Design of Lifeline Facilities and Countermeasures Against Soil Liquefaction was held June 11-13, 1996 at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan less than 17 months after the tragic Hyogoken Nanbu earthquake that devastated Kobe, Japan. The Hyogoken Nanbu earthquake was the most severe earthquake to strike Japan since the 1923 Kanto earthquake, which destroyed large portions of Tokyo and Yokohama. Both earthquakes were accompanied by extensive liquefaction, widespread disruption of underground utilities, loss of water supply, severe fires, substantial urban infrastructure damage, and loss of life. They are a sobering reminder of the importance of the workshop topics and the need to transfer lessons learned from earthquake experience into engineering practice.

The Sixth Japan-U.S. Workshop provided a forum for more than 100 Japanese and U.S. colleagues to share their ideas about earthquake damage to lifelines and explore advanced technologies for characterizing liquefaction, stabilizing hazardous sites, and improving post earthquake response and recovery. It is hoped that research results reported during the workshop and recorded in the proceedings will be applied in engineering decisions, and that the workshop will act as a catalyst in promoting the transfer of technology from theory to practice.

The workshop was divided into six technical sessions: lifeline performance during past earthquakes; ground motion, ground displacement and strain; mechanism of liquefaction and large ground displacement, and prediction of their potential; earthquake resistant design and countermeasures against liquefaction; performance of foundations, quaywalls and underground structures; and mitigation of earthquake hazard. Over 50 papers were presented in these sessions.

In addition, three working groups addressed special topics in greater depth. Working Group 1, chaired by R. Dobry, S. Yasuda and N. Yoshida and attended by 15 participants, investigated case studies and modeling of soil liquefaction. Working Group 2, chaired by C. Scawthorn and F. Miura and attended by 11 participants, addressed lifeline damage assessment techniques. Working Group 3, chaired by G.R. Martin and I. Towhata and attended by 11 participants, discussed countermeasures and earthquake-resistant design. Reports from all three working groups are included in the proceedings.

Professor M. Hamada presents a lapel pin to
Professor Les Youd at the Sixth Japan-U.S.
Workshop. Shown from left to right are Professors
Youd, Hamada, Miura and T. O'Rourke.

During the workshop, a special ceremony was held during which silver lapel pins were presented to researchers who have attended all six U.S.-Japan workshops that have been held from 1988-1996. The recipients of these pins were: Masanori Hamada, Waseda University; Michael O'Rourke, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Tom O'Rourke, Cornell University; Charlie Scawthorn, EQE International; Kazue Watamatsu, Waseda University; Susumu Yasuda, Tokyo Denki University; Nozomu Yoshida, Sato Kogyo Corp.; and Les Youd, Brigham Young University.

The workshop was organized by Professor Masanori Hamada of Waseda University and Professor Thomas O'Rourke of Cornell University. The proceedings will be available from NCEER in late 1996.

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