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Presented By: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Engineering Disaster-Resilient Systems in an Uncertain Future with Jack Baker

Building the Future: A Distinguished Lecture Series for Academics and Professionals

Jack Baker Jack Baker
Jack Baker
There are several radical changes underway in the design of the built environment to resist disasters. First, the traditional practice of designing only for occupant safety is being questioned. Societal stakeholders are increasingly also demanding that our facilities and infrastructure recover rapidly and for reasonable costs. Achieving these demands requires a deeper understanding of the recovery process, and of the interaction between the built environment and human systems. Second, climate change, rapid urbanization, and other drivers mean that our past experience with disasters is no longer a direct guide for what we will experience in the future. Achieving future performance targets thus requires new predictive techniques and tools to design for performance objectives. In this seminar, Dr. Baker will discuss these changes, and describe some research underway to advance our ability to create a disaster-resilient built environment.

Jack Baker’s work focuses on the development and use of probabilistic and statistical tools for managing risk due to extreme loads on the built environment. He studies risk to spatially distributed systems, characterization of earthquake ground motions, and probabilistic risk assessments for a number of types of structures. Professor Baker joined Stanford in 2006 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), where he was a visiting researcher in the Department of Structural Engineering. He has degrees in Structural Engineering (Stanford, M.S. 2002, Ph.D. 2005), Statistics (Stanford, M.S. 2004) and Mathematics/Physics (Whitman College, B.A. 2000). His awards include the Shah Family Innovation Prize from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the Early Achievement Research Award from the International Association for Structural Safety and Reliability, the Walter L. Huber Prize from ASCE, the Helmut Krawinkler Award from the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, and the Eugene L. Grant Award for excellence in teaching from Stanford.


Sherif El-Tawil, Antoine E. Naaman Collegiate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan
Chris Poland, Consulting Engineer
Jack Baker Jack Baker
Jack Baker
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