Public invited to expert talks on earthquakes, information theory, materials science and more
Leading experts in the fields of geotechnical engineering, information theory, and materials science are coming to the Okanagan in May and early June as the School of Engineering at UBC's Okanagan campus hosts three major conferences. Each of the conferences will feature presentations open to the public.
The 5th Canadian Conference on Geotechnique and Natural Hazards next week offers six public presentations in the main lecture theatre (FIP 204) in the Fipke Centre for Innovative Research.
- Monday, May 16, 8 to 8:30 a.m.
British Columbia earthquake hazard: new techniques bring new knowledge by Garry Rogers, senior research scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada and a professor at the University of Victoria.
- Monday, May 16, 1 to 1:30 a.m.
2010 Haiti earthquake implications for global natural disaster risk assessment (via Skype) by Steve Evans, professor of engineering geology and geohazards, and head of the Landslide Research Program at the University of Waterloo.
- Monday, May 16, 3 to 3:30 p.m.
New perspectives on hydrology of steep, unstable, forested hill slopes by Jeffrey J. McDonnell, Richardson Chair in Watershed Science and University Distinguished Professor of Hydrology at Oregon State University. McDonnell will also be giving a free public talk from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 17, in the Science building room SCI333 on the topic of "Where does water go when it rains?"
- Tuesday, May 17, 8 to 8:30 a.m.
Early warning systems for landslides: new monitoring and characterization technologies by Farrokh Nadim, director of the Centre of Excellence, International Centre for Geohazards at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute.
- Tuesday, May 17, 1 to 1:30 p.m.
Attabad landslide crisis in Hunza, Pakistan – lessons for the management of valley-blocking landslides by David Petley, Wilson Professor of Hazard and Risk and executive director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience at Durham University.
- Tuesday, May 17, 3 to 3:30 p.m.
Evolution of geohazard risk management in North Vancouver, British Columbia by Mike Porter, vice president and senior geotechnical engineer with BGC Engineering Inc.
"Geohazards are more relevant every day as population growth and exploitation of natural resources increases interactions between the earth and human activities," says engineering Professor Dwayne Tannant, conference Chair, noting that the GeoHazards conference is the premiere forum in Canada for the sharing and dissemination of scientific and engineering knowledge related to geohazards.
Also next week, from May 17 to 20, the Okanagan campus hosts the 2011 Canadian Workshop on Information Theory. For the first time, the Canadian Society of Information Theory (CSIT) will sponsor a School of Information Theory in conjunction with this conference.
Professors Mung Chiang from Princeton University and Syed Ali Jafar from the University of California Irvine will be the inaugural instructors for this first Canadian School of Information Theory. Conference organizer Asst. Prof. Julian Cheng says three public talks will be open to the public:
- May 18: Vahid Tarokh, professor and senior fellow of electrical engineering at Harvard University
- May 19: Frank Kschischang, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Toronto
- May 20: David Tse, professor at the University of California at Berkeley
The third major conference is the 23rd Canadian Materials Science Conference from June 22 to 24. This conference is co-chaired by Prof. Spiro Yannacopoulos, director of the School of Engineering, and Asst. Prof. Lukas Bichler.
Bichler notes that this conference brings together students, faculty and industry representatives from across Canada to share research in materials science, materials processing, development, characterization and application. The June 23 keynote address by C. Ravi Ravindran, past-president of the Canadian Academy of Engineers, will be open to the public. Watch the conference website (2011cmsc.ok.ubc.ca/) for time and location.
"Being selected to host such an extraordinary group of national conferences reflects the excellence of our faculty and our programs in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering," says Yannacopoulos. "It is an indication of the high regard Canada's engineering profession has for our young but vibrant school. We look forward to sharing with a national audience the School of Engineering and our beautiful Okanagan setting."
Information about the conferences – including any pre-registration requirements to attend the public talks -- will be available on the respective conference websites:
5th Canadian Conference on Geotechnique and Natural Hazards
May 15 to 17, 2011
2011 Canadian Workshop on Information Theory
May 17 to 20, 2011
23rd Canadian Materials Science Conference
June 22 to 24, 2011
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