Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering to Schools

Workshop goal:

To demonstrate ways in which the fundamental scientific principles underpinning earthquake engineering can be explained to young people through simple hands-on, exploratory activities.  The workshop will draw on educational resources developed for the IDEERS web site (

Target audience:

Primary and secondary school educators

Topics approached in the workshop:

Basic response of buildings in earthquakes, vibrations, natural frequencies, damping, why good buildings stand up and poor buildings collapse, the social and community setting of good earthquake engineering. Design and creativity.

Workshop Description:  

The IDEERS project was developed with teachers and science education specialists to provide a stimulating resource for setting fundamental science, environmental, design and social science principles within a visceral context, namely the impact of earthquakes on citizens and their communities. It is based around design activities in which learners design, build and test simple earthquake resistant buildings.  Although focused on the UK National Curriculum for 12-14 year old pupils, IDEERS has been used successfully from early primary through to university age groups in the UK, Taiwan and other international locations.  The workshop will enable participants to explore the IDEERS resources.


Prof Colin Taylor, Dr Luiza Dihoru,  University of Bristol, Department of Civil Engineering, Bristol, UK.

Time allocated: 1h30min


Type of certification of attendance awarded Certificate of participation stating course title, location, dates, summary of content, number of hours (delivered before participants’ departure)

Follow-­‐up activities

  • Distance learning activities
  • Email contacts with trainers

It is hoped that participants:

  • Keep in touch each other and keep developing contacts with other participants of the course
  • Create materials to use them in their classrooms.

Other resources:

Registration: On-line on the conference site. The selection will be made according to the options and the order of entries.

Prof. Colin Taylor

Prof. Colin Taylor

Prof. Colin Taylor is Professor of Earthquake Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, UK. His primary research interest is the resilient performance of infrastructure subject to earthquakes and other natural hazards.
He is an expert in earthquake engineering and the dynamic design of civil engineering systems, especially dams, long span bridges, buildings and nuclear facilities, with particular expertise in large scale laboratory experiments, and prototype monitoring. He is leading a £14m project that is creating a new national laboratory for soil-foundation-structure interaction research. He is currently developing holistic, learning focused, systems thinking and systems practice approaches for managing the performance of complex built environment systems over their life-cycle (design to decommissioning) and applying these ideas to assessing the impact of multiple hazards, particularly earthquakes and climate change. His recent research on nuclear reactor safety, using these approaches, has won three innovation prizes.

Dr. Luiza Dihoru

Dr. Luiza Dihoru is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol, UK. She obtained an Eng Dipl. in mechanical engineering from the Politechnica University of Bucharest and a PhD in material science and material engineering from the University of Cluj. Between 1998-2000, she conducted PhD research in the field of granular media and soil mechanics at Stanford University and at the Pennsylvania State University, under a Fulbright scholarship. Between 2000-2001, she carried out research at the University of Leicester, in the field of soil mechanics with particular interests in granular flow, powder compaction and constitutive modelling. Since 2001, she has been involved in geotechnical and earthquake engineering projects at the University of Bristol. Her research work covered the following specialist areas: behaviour of soils in true triaxial conditions and constitutive modelling, methods for increasing the seismic resilience of civil engineering structures, soil-structure interaction, seismic behaviour of civil engineering structures, actuation technologies for the earthquake laboratories, physical modelling and shaking table testing for the nuclear industry, advanced data processing, machine vision and neural network modelling.