UNESCO Chair Webinar titled 'SMARTnet – Non-Engineered Seismic Design 2.0'

23 January 2023

In this webinar organized by the UNESCO Chair in DRR&RE at UCL, Martijn Schildkamp, Founder of the SMARTnet, presents about improving the seismic design of non-engineered masonry buildings.


Event Information

16 February, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

This event is free and open to all.

Where: online (register using the link below)

 Eventbrite registration link

‘Non-Engineered’ refers to traditional, vernacular and informal construction practices, which generally do not behave well in earthquakes as underlined by widespread disasters in Pakistan, India, Haiti, Turkey, Iran and Nepal. However, due to insufficient knowledge and resources, combined with non-availability and/or enforcement of clear technical guidelines and up-to-date codes, these practices remain to be the standard in many regions worldwide. An important question is how we can progress beyond the existing (and often-outdated) empirical design rules-of-thumb, and significantly strengthen the seismic performance of these techniques? How can we improve the quality of local construction practices and effectively implement national standards? These key questions have not been adequately addressed to date.

In this presentation, recommendations for solutions and improvements are proposed under the name SMARTnet, which stands for “Seismic Methodologies for Applied Research and Testing of non-engineered techniques”. The solution lies in a full assessment, validation, optimization and complementation of the existing knowledge, by means of the current state-of-the-art for calculating, testing and modeling. The key lies in the determination of reliable material properties that reflect local materials and workmanship. The strategy of SMARTnet envisions a joint approach of global collaboration, to cope with the massive number of material variables, as well as to generate cross-checked data that can be used for calculations and computer modeling of non-engineered techniques. To achieve “Non-Engineered 2.0” renewed environmental philosophies and technological strategies are necessary. SMARTnet is therefore issuing an international Call to Action, inviting experts, professionals, academics and final-year students from all relevant fields to share their knowledge and to support the project with their time and expertise.

About the Speaker

Martijn Schildkamp


Martijn Schildkamp is an architect with over 10 years of on-site design and building experience on various pre- and post-disaster projects in Sri Lanka, Nepal, India and Indonesia. He holds a PhD in Engineering on the topic of “seismic behavior of nominally reinforced rubble stone masonry buildings”, for which he did most of his research in Italy and Portugal; and defended at Nagoya University in Japan in 2021. As a follow-up project, currently 25 masonry experts from all over the globe (including UCL) are fully assessing two case study buildings in rubble stone masonry for the Himalayan context.