ERES 2017

11th International Conference on Earthquake Resistant Engineering Structures


5 - 7 July, 2017
Alicante, Spain


The 11th International Conference on Earthquake Resistant Engineering Structures (ERES) 2017 took place in Alicante, Spain, organised by Wessex Institute, represented by Prof Carlos A Brebbia, and the University of Alicante, represented by Prof Salvador Ivorra Chorro.

The meeting was sponsored by those organisations, the International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, the International Journal of Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements, and WIT Transactions on the Built Environment.

The ERES series of conferences provide a unique forum for the discussion of basic and applied research in the various fields of earthquake engineering relevant to the design of structures. The conference follows the success of previous meetings which began in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1997, followed by Catania, Italy (1999); Malaga, Spain (2001); Ancona, Italy (2003); Skiathos, Greece (2005); Bologna, Italy (2007); Cyprus (2009); Tuscany, Italy (2011); A Coruña, Spain (2013); and Opatija, Croatia (2015).

Major earthquakes and associated effects, such as tsunamis, continue to stress the need to carry out more research on those topics. The problems will intensify as population pressure results in buildings in regions of high seismic vulnerability. A better understanding of these phenomena is required to design earthquake resistant structures and to carry out a risk assessment and vulnerability studies.

The problem of protecting the built environment in earthquake-prone regions involves not only the optimal design and construction of new facilities, but also the upgrading and rehabilitation of existing structures, including heritage buildings.

Opening the Conference

Giorgio Passerini, Professor and member of the Board of Directors of the Wessex Institute, opened the meeting on behalf of Prof Carlos A Brebbia, who was unable to attend, by welcoming the delegates to ERES 2017. He then referred to the objectives of WIT, ie the transfer of knowledge at an international level. This is reflected in its activities, such as the conference series which brings together colleagues from many different backgrounds and regions around the world. This creates networks and the setting up of new transnational research projects. The role of WIT in this regard has been a source of great pride to the Institute.

Giorgio explained that other knowledge transfer activities take place at the Institute’s campus, which is located in the New Forest, a National Park of outstanding beauty south of London. WIT Press, the publishing arm of the Institute produces the WIT Transaction series as well as the International Journals, in which conference papers appear. It also publishes a substantial number of monographs and state of the art books.

Papers presented at WIT conferences are archived in Open Access format in the e-library of the Institute ( where they are easily accessible to the international community.

Another important activity at the Institute is the research and development of better computer simulation programmes for the solution of engineering problems. The programmes are now widely employed for problems as diverse as the design of cathodic protection systems and offshore platforms, or crack propagation in engine components.

Keynote Address

Prof Salvador Ivorra Chorro then gave a keynote address entitled “Seismic behaviour of a masonry chimney retrofitted with composite materials: a preliminary approach”.

Salvador’s address discussed the structural analysis of a masonry chimney in Alicante, which is being catalogued as local interest heritage. It is severely damaged with several longitudinal cracks and mortar loss between bricks. In order to guarantee the structural safety under seismic forces the chimney was retrofitted with composite materials. This reinforcement comprised an internal textile reinforced mortar (TRM) layer and local reinforcement with longitudinal carbon fibre bands. Firstly, numerical and experimental analyses of the original chimney were done, after which an internal reinforcement scheme was designed. The experimental text included acceleration measures under ambient vibration for an operational modal analysis. A laboratory test was carried out on bricks and mortar to study the mineralogical composition and mechanical properties. The numerical analysis included preliminary pushover analysis before and after the reinforcement was done, followed by linear response spectrum analysis to evaluate the structural stability of the seismic demand.

Conference Topics

The papers presented at ERES17 were classified under the following topics:

• Numerical analysis
• Vulnerability
• Case studies
• Building performance during earthquakes
• Performance based design

Invited Speakers

There was a series of invited lectures by well-known colleagues, which helped to enhance the meeting, ie:

• “A direct procedure for the seismic design of frame structures with added viscous dampers”, by Stefano Silvestri, University of Bologna, Italy.
• “Dynamic collapse mechanism and ultimate strength of steel piles in liquefied soil based on centrifuge tests”, by Yoshihiro Kimura, Tohoku University, Japan.
• “Code inadequacies discouraging the earthquake-based seismic analysis of buildings”, by Maria Cristina Porcu, University of Cagliari, Italy.


During the conference, a technical excursion was arranged to the newly built Civil Engineering Research Laboratory at the University of Alicante.

The Civil Engineering Research building contains the following laboratories: Transport Engineering, Construction Materials, Durability and Structural and Soil Engineering. They have access to common facilities such as wet chambers with computer controlled environments and a furnace room with 1m3 capacity and up to 1000ºC able to simulate programmed heating curves. The central laboratory is 300m2 with a 50 kN crane bridge and a 100m2 reaction slab. On this strong floor, it is possible to anchor specimens to be tested with high versatility due to the anchor point’s matrix of 1x1m with a capacity of 500 kN per anchor point in tension and/or compression.

In this Central Laboratory, there are two high capacity porticos with hydraulic servo actuators of 700 kN and 2500 kN. The 2500 kN structure allows testing specimens up to 5m in height against vertical tensile and compression loads, while the 700 kN has the possibility to introduce vertical or horizontal loads with a height of between 1m and 5m, with a free light of 5m. Hydraulic actuators control this equipment so that their positioning in height from height 0.5m up to 5m in height is fully automated.

Closing the Conference

The conference was closed by Stavros Syngellakis, Professor and member of the Board of Directors of the Wessex Institute. Stavros thanked the delegates in the name of the Wessex Institute for coming to Alicante.

The success of the meeting will lead to it being reconvened in 2019.

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