UW News

October 3, 2016

Engineering lecture series focuses on building safe, resilient communities

Image of Seattle skylineAs the fourth-fastest growing city in the United States, Seattle faces important questions in its quest to remain a resilient and sustainable community.

Can we build to withstand natural disasters, reduce environmental toxins as consumption rises, meet urban transportation challenges so food, supplies and consumer products can get where they need to go?

Over the next month, College of Engineering’s annual fall lecture series will feature faculty focusing on these questions and developing technologies to build more resilient urban communities. The three lectures – on earthquake resiliency, sustainable transport of goods and emerging technologies for safe, clean water — are free and open to the public, but seating is limited and registration is required.

Engineering Solutions for a Seismically Resilient Seattle

The series kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 12, in Kane Hall 130 with a discussion by civil and environmental engineering associate professor Jeff Berman on the Pacific Northwest’s readiness to withstand and recover from a major earthquake. Berman will detail seismic risks that are unique to the region; the innovation, research and planning necessary to prepare for “the big one”; and structural engineering technologies that can enable faster and stronger post-event repair.

Delivering Sustainability: Transporting Goods in Urban Spaces

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Kane Hall 120, Anne Goodchild, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, will explore a question with answers that may surprise you: How does the rise of online shopping impact efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and create sustainable communities? As the popularity of online shopping and grocery delivery rises, consumers do have an opportunity to make more sustainable choices when it comes to transporting goods in urban spaces. But more delivery trucks also create competition for limited road and curb space with cars, buses, bikes and urban residents.

Understanding Our Chemical Fingerprints: Safer Water for Our Cities

The lecture series closes on Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Kane Hall 120 with civil and environmental engineering associate professor Edward Kolodziej, an expert in the distinctive chemical fingerprints on water that our daily human activities leave, impacting salmon populations and other fish, animals and plants, as well as people’s health and safety. Although more than 80,000 chemicals are in circulation and thousands are introduced each year, only a handful are comprehensively evaluated for safety by the Environmental Protection Agency. Kolodziej will discuss the pathways that these chemicals take from homes, factories and offices into the waters around us, as well as emerging systems to remove toxic chemicals.

All lectures are free and start at 7:30 p.m. Advance registration, either online or by calling 206-543-0540, is required. All lectures will be broadcast at a later date on UWTV.