(URL to independent Japanese site)
Purpose of Research
In recent years, the frequency of large typhoons, major earthquakes, and heavy rains and storms have increased causing both human casualties and serious damage to infrastructure. In Japan, vigorous disaster prevention research and countermeasures have been taken in response to natural disasters. As a result, although human damage has greatly decreased, the level of disaster damage has increased owing to the concentration of assets in cities, and there is a need for new measures against disasters.
Furthermore, it became obvious during the Great East Japan Earthquake that the infrastructure of cities, which is based on complicated systems, is seriously affected by spillover (secondary damage). This led to the recognition of the importance of not only disaster prevention technology but also disaster alleviation, functional retention and early recovery as a system, after the disaster. We also raised questions about the idea of safety, which infrastructure should preserve．
At this research center, we continue to discuss disaster prevention and the safety of infrastructures established on complex and sophisticated systems, taking into consideration the natural external force characteristics and regional characteristics, and we aim to contribute to the maintenance and sustained operation of a social infrastructure system that is resilient to natural disasters in terms of both hardware and software.
Research content / methods
Based on the efforts of the Civil Engineering Group, to which the research group members belong, we will develop the research in terms of both hardware and software by studying the natural disasters that can impact infrastructures based on well-defined categories (strong wind, heavy rains/flood, tsunami/high tide, sediment and ground disasters, etc.), structural forms (bridges, banks, river dike, dams, retaining wall, embankment and tunnels etc.), materials (steel, concrete, earth, etc.). These will also include the location of the facility and the spatial composition of the area, routine and non-routine transportation systems, as well as the various viewpoints and aspects such as the operation system of various infrastructures.
In addition to laboratory experiments, analysis and simulation, we will consider countermeasures based on regional characteristics through field surveys of affected areas.
Furthermore, by freely using the network formed with graduates of the Special Program for International Infrastructure Engineering operated by the research group, we will develop research results, with a view to collaborating with research centers in Southeast Asian countries.