Universities and academic institutions play a crucial role in the education of the young, equipping them with knowledge and skills that would enable them to contribute to the development of the society. It is important, therefore, to ensure the safety of school buildings, particularly from natural disasters like earthquakes to prevent the loss of infrastructures and human life.

Four of the top universities in Asia have collaborated to work together on a project focusing on seismic strengthening of school buildings in Northern Thailand funded by the Temasek Foundation (TF) of Singapore. Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore is the main coordinator of the project together with the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Thailand as the local coordinator and King Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) and Chiang Mai University (CMU) are partner institutions.

The project aims to address the earthquake risks by promoting the use of strengthening methods and to transfer the technology to the professionals, engineers, and local builders in order to enhance their capacity. The project will address the earthquake risks by applying the strengthening methods to selected school buildings in order to mitigate the disruption to the education development of the young within a community.

On 1-4 October 2015 the Training and Capacity Building Programme on Seismic Strengthening for Master Trainers and Local Builders in Thailand, focusing on promoting good construction practices and imparting earthquake strengthening techniques to faculty members, postgraduate students, government officials/ engineers, and sector professionals as ‘master trainers’ was held at the Mercure Hotel in Chiang Mai.

Participants and Speakers of the Training and Capacity Building Programme on Seismic Strengthening for Master Trainers and Local Builders in Thailand
Participants and Speakers of the Training and Capacity Building Programme on Seismic Strengthening for Master Trainers and Local Builders in Thailand

Expert speakers included Assoc. Prof. Li Bing, Nanyang Technological University (NTU); Prof. Dr. Amorn Pimanmas, Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT); Assoc. Prof. Dr.  Sutat Leelataviwat, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT); Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phaiboon Panyakapo Sripatum University (SPU); Asst. Prof. Dr.  Chayanon Hansapinyo Chiang Mai University (CMU); Prof. Dr.  Pennung Warnitchai Asian Institute of Technology (AIT); Dr.  Pramin Norachan, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT); and Gerald YEO Director, Temasek Foundation.

The video and photo documentation compiled during the program can serve as a medium for further dissemination of information related to better construction practices and seismic resistant building technology.

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