Briefly state the strategic plan (or its absence) of the university vis-à-vis the entity regarding infra-structural, financial and intellectual capacities building for research in the proposed field(s). Also narrate the local, national and international priorities and potentials in the stated field of research. Narrate the SWOT analysis (including the participants) performed to figure out the present state of development and its expansion possibilities using the strength and opportunity and mitigating weakness and threats. (Please consult Annex1-B on SWOT Analysis.)
1.Experience of the research team:
:Department of Civil Engineering, BUET has a strong post-graduate program for structural engineering. The research team has extensive expertise in the field of earthquake engineering. The sub-project manager and the alternate sub-project manager have done their doctoral and post-doctoral research in the field of earthquake engineering. The sub-project manager has experience in using shaking tables and other earthquake engineering laboratory facilities during his doctoral research.
2.Practical importance of the system:
Protecting and maintaining civil infrastructure is a major priority at the national level and is also an integral part of the goal of the Bangladesh Government. Advancement in technology and knowledge have improved planning and management of civil infrastructure, however increasing urbanization, industrialization, natural hazards like earthquake are making it more challenging in the future. The proposed project will develop a user friendly practical tool based on state-of-the-art experimental and modeling techniques to facilitate stake holders to make risk-informed decisions for resource allocation, capital investment and policy making in the civil infrastructure rehabilitation sector.
3.Relevance with national priorities:
One of the development priorities of the perspective plan of the Bangladesh Government is building a sound infrastructure as mentioned in the “Outline Perspective Plan of Bangladesh 2010-2021: Making Vision 2021 a Reality” of the General Economics Division of the Planning Commission published in June 2010 (page 9). For building sound infrastructure attention towards probable risk from Earthquake hazard is very important for Bangladesh. The output of the proposed research can help Ministry of Public Works, Roads and Highway Department and Ministry of LGRD including the city development authorities to tackle the earthquake problems more rationally and reduce the probable loss and thereby enabling the nation to attain Vision 2021 by making infrastructures sound.
4.Alignment with the mission of the department and the university:
This proposal is in-line with the vision of the Department of Civil Engineering as well as of BUET since the university is committed to contribute to minimize the effect of earthquakes and other disasters. The strong interest of the Department of Civil Engineering on earthquake and related issues has been reflected by its organization of the International Symposium on Earthquakes together with Bangladesh Earthquake Society in 2005, 2008 and 2010. The strong alignment with the mission of the Department and BUET is expected to provide a congenial environment for fostering the project.
It will be challenging to develop cost effective retrofitting schemes for buildings and bridges in the given time frame, especially since procurement of the laboratory equipment will take up a major part of the project duration (can be more than a year). However, it is definitely possible to set up the proposed laboratory, initiate research for structural retrofitting and develop some suitable retrofitting schemes for the typical structures by the next three years.
2.Retention of student researchers:
Research in structural retrofit will involve high quality student researchers as well. Though BUET attracts the best undergraduate students of Bangladesh, unless a substantial salary is provided, it may be difficult to attract and retain the top pool of BUET students as graduate student researchers in this or any other research project (the top students currently tend to go abroad for their higher studies).
1.Scope of future enhancements:
The same laboratory may be used for many other different researches for example behavior of life-line structures, soil-structure interaction, dynamic analysis of foundations, machine vibration etc.
2.Potential of collaboration with international universities and research groups:
Already Department of Civil Engineering of BUET has research collaboration in the field of Earthquake Engineering with some of the leading international universities like The University of Tokyo, Virginia Tech, USA, Nanyang Tech, Singapore, IIT Kanpur, Imperial College London, University of Bergen, Norway, etc. The research team is already in contact with the faculty members at the University of British Columbia and University of Manitoba in Canada and Institute of Industrial Science at Tokyo University, Japan who are interested to develop a partnership in this research field.
3.Potential of industry collaborations:
Bangladesh is going to play a major role within the Asian economy. With the growth of its economy, the number of infrastructures within the country is increasing day by day. Following the need assessment from the industries, the proposed research is undertaken for a cost-effective infrastructure rehabilitation scheme against seismic hazards. Through this research BUET will develop strong relation with local polymer and glass industries for exploring opportunities for glass fiber reinforced polymer.
Due to lack of experimental facilities, many of our researches focus on numerical investigation and computer simulations. Many professionals tend to use these results for retrofitting purposes. However, without experimental validation these results may produce misleading information. Since numerical simulations, though unreliable, provide cheaper alternative and pose a threat to more expensive but reliable experimental investigation.