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Caroline Field

Inaugural Lecture: Professor Caroline Field

About this event

We are living in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world, as evidenced by the past 18 months of the Covid pandemic coupled with the effects of climate change sweeping across the globe. We are facing one of the largest transitions in our history as we decarbonise our planet. In addition to transition risk mitigation, we need to develop the adaptive capacity to deal with these changes. We need to ask ourselves whether our current design practices are fit for the future? It is likely that our structures will face loads larger than those designed for due to the effects of climate change and other stressors.

Limit state design is reliant on structural engineers recognising the loads that buildings will be subjected to, however, most structural failures occur because engineers failed to comprehend how their structure was behaving or because it was subjected to loads that were not expected by their designers. Some design codes offer guidance on “robustness” measures which are intended to allow buildings to develop alternative load paths but these are variable in their effectiveness due to inappropriate detailing and a lack of understanding of non-linear behaviour.

Caroline will outline an alternative approach to structural resilience including a resilience-based methodology that considers both risk mitigation and adaptive capacity. She will talk about the importance of thinking in systems, not silos as well as understanding what happens if our buildings exceed their design assumptions. She will discuss what can be done to ensure that our designs are fit for the future.

The event will take place both in-person and online (in-person bookings based on a first come first served basis). Those attending in person will have the opportunity to join us for refreshments before the lecture.

Contact and booking details

Jess East
Telephone number
01509 222252
Email address
Booking required?
Yes Book now