Disaster Mitigation – Research Areas

CSIR-SERC has been working on cyclone disaster mitigation since 1970s. It has also developed expertise in earthquake disaster mitigation and in developing blast- resistant structures. The testimony for this is the excellent, one-of-its kind in Asia, facilities in the Wind Engineering Laboratory, ASTaR Laboratory and the Tower Testing and Research Station. ASTaR Laboratory is conducting pioneering experiments to find solutions for the problems of the industrial- and strategic- sectors. Wind Engineering Laboratory has helped the Red Cross Society to prevent loss of life during super cyclones by designing suitable special shelters. The capability of defense installations has been strengthened with blast-resistant structural designs for safe storing of explosives. The designs have been verified by unique large-scale field tests. However, there is an urgent need to develop R&D expertise in the areas of natural- and man-made- hazard assessment, vibration control of structures and risk assessment. This area is truly trans-disciplinary since it provides enormous opportunity to integrate the research findings from social sciences, behavioral sciences, physical sciences, advanced methods of monitoring for prediction of hazards, etc.

Another challenging area of R&D in disaster mitigation is to evolve suitable structural schemes that would help in mitigating the damage to built environment. The emphasis should be on development of disaster resilient infrastructure for disaster risk reduction, as noted in The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. There is also a need to come out with comprehensive information about materials, vibration control schemes, sensor management and Graphic User Interface (GUI) based user-friendly evacuation schemes simulating different scenarios.

By undertaking translatory research, CSIR-SERC is working towards development of performance-based design codes. Attempts are also being made in this direction to specify seismic hazard of a chosen location (based on Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA) Maps of India).