NZSEE 2022 WEBINAR SERIES | 1 – Professor Juan Carlos de la Llera


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Resilience, Innovation, and Implementation: A Chilean perspective on challenges and opportunities implementing seismic protection systems

At the time of the Mw8.8 2010 Chile earthquake, 13 structures of the close to 9000 buildings exposed to strong ground shaking were designed with seismic protection devices, mainly elastomeric isolation, tuned mass dampers, and metallic dampers. The very successful earthquake performance observed on these systems, as opposed to some of the conventional buildings, awakened significant interest in the profession to expand their use in the country, which led in the last decade to an important penetration of the technology in the construction industry. However, the advent of these technologies has also brought new short- and long-term engineering challenges, and a whole process of cultural change and adaptation of the local architectural concepts and construction methods in the country. This talk will cover a combination of technical and practical issues associated with the use of the different seismic protection technologies and will emphasize the innovation process that runs from the basic research behind each development to the development of the final structural solutions in practice of new office buildings, hospitals, ports, bridges, historical structures, and mining buildings. It also addresses some of the critical seismic code and construction aspects that nowadays play against the widespread adoption of these technologies despite their unquestionable contribution to improved seismic performance. Several ideas are also presented and discussed to overcome some of these difficulties while always keeping a cost-efficient perspective. Possible future trends in terms of modern seismic protection are also discussed in order to achieve more sustainable designs in the whole life cycle of a project.

The webinar will be presented by Juan Carlos de la Llera. Carlos was the dean of Engineering at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC) from 2010-2022. He is a PUC Civil Engineer (’85) and obtained his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley (’94). His research covers the fields of seismic protection of structures, seismic risk analysis of complex systems, and nonlinear structural dynamics. Currently, he is one of the PIs of CIGIDEN, and president of the Public Technological Resilience Institute, Itrend. He has numerous publications and patents in the field, commanded the creation of a national strategy for Disaster Resilience, and was part of the National Innovation Council for 12 years. He participated in the creation of a new Ministry of Science and Technology. Besides his academic awards, he obtained the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Award for the performance of his seismic protection technology during the 2010, Chile earthquake, and the National Innovation Trajectory Award in 2017.  Professionally, he has led the development and use of seismic protection technologies in Chile and South America in more than 100 large structures.

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As this topic has far broader relevance than just engineering professionals, we do encourage members to further distribute this registration invitation to others in the industry who may have an interest in attending this webinar. Preference will be given to NZSEE members if places are oversubscribed