Keynote speakers

Dr. Gianmario Benzoni

Department of Structural Engineering

University of California, San Diego


Dr. Gianmario Benzoni graduated from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, in 1981. He was a professor in the Department of Structural Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano and visiting scholar at the California Institute of Technology. He joined the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California San Diego in 1994. He is currently Full Research Scientist.

He serves as Director of the Caltrans SRMD Testing Facility at UCSD, a unique testing facility for performance characterization of  full scale seismic isolators and energy dissipators.

Dr. Benzoni is responsible for research activity in the field of seismic protection of existing and new building and infrastructures. He was Principal Investigator of the experimental characterization of dissipation devices for the California Toll Bridge Project of the Department of Transportation.

He is Editor-In-Chief of the oldest European International Journal on Earthquake Engineering (Ingegneria Sismica) and is co-Founder and current President of the Anti-Seismic Systems International Society (ASSISi).

Dr. Benzoni is author of more than 200 scientific publications on Earthquake Engineering research topics like seismic behavior of masonry buildings, structural health monitoring, seismic vulnerability and risk evaluation, experimental tests on R.C. bridge components and dynamic behavior of seismic isolators and energy dissipators.


Rene Lagos

University of Chile


RENE LAGOS C. – Civil Engineer University of Chile (1978).

He is Chairman and C.E.O. of René Lagos Engineers, and leads the firm’s High-rise Buildings and Seismic Design Group. He has been responsible for the structural design of more than 1,500 projects, representing over 12,000,000 m2, ranging from multi-story buildings up to 64 stories, to complexes of affordable housing. Hundreds of these buildings have 20 stories or more, with developments up to 700,000 m² (8 million ft²).

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES: Among the most prominent projects, in the area of high rise buildings are:

The Tallest Building in South America: Costanera Center Complex, in Santiago Chile, with 4 Towers and 700,000 m2. The Main Building with 64-story and 300 meters high, plus two 42 story and one 30 story towers

The Tallest Residential Building with Seismic Base Isolation in the Americas: Ñuñoa Capital, in Santiago Chile, Two towers with 32 stories above the isolation level.

Telefónica Building, in Santiago Chile, a 33 story building, 140m high.

Swissotel Tower, in Guayaquil Ecuador, a 45 story building, 180 meters high.

Atacama 1 Thermo-Solar Tower, 250 meters high in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

Capital Fort Tower 3, in Sofia, Bulgaria. Peer Review of a 48-story tower, 202 meters high.


At the School of Engineering, University of Chile in Santiago has been External Expert Professor, teaching structural analysis and seismic design of concrete buildings courses, also has been Guiding Professor of several Theses in Structural Engineering for undergraduates in Civil (Structural) Engineering.


President of the Chilean Association of Civil-Structural Engineers, AICE. (2011-2015)

Co-Author, “Seismic Performance of High-rise Concrete Buildings in Chile”, co-authored with Marianne Kupfer, Jorge Lindenberg, Patricio Bonelli, Rodolfo Saragoni, Tomas Guendelman, Leonardo Massone, Ruben Boroschek, and Fernando Yañez for the International Journal of High-Rise Buildings CTBUH, September 2012, Vol 1, No 3.

Co-Author, “RC Building Damage and Implications for U.S. Codes” co-authored with John W. Wallace, Leonardo M. Massone, Patricio Bonelli, Jeff Dragovich, Carl Lüder, and Jack Moehle, EERI, Earthquake Spectra – Chile Special Issue, 2012

American Concrete Institute Convention – Chicago USA, March 2010: Guest Speaker: “Tall Concrete Buildings in Chile and Their Seismic Performance During the February 2010 Chilean Earthquake” and “Structural Design of a 300 meters Tower in a High Seismic Zone”

Fourth SEWC (Structural Engineering World Congress) Como, Italy, April 2011

Keynote speaker: “Performance of High Rise Buildings Under the 2010 Chilean Earthquake”.

Structural Concrete in the Americas and Beyond – 7th International Workshop, March 16-17, 2012, Dallas TX U.S.A. Guest Speaker: “Successful Performance of Concrete Buildings during the Chilean Earthquake of February 27, 2010”.


Akira Wada, Dr. Engineering

Professor Emeritus

Expert Earthquake Engineering Specialist

Tokyo Institute of technology


Dr. Akira Wada, recipient of the 2011 Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal and Professor Emeritus of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, is considered to be a Japan’s leading expert  in structural engineering with a specific focus on seismic structural design, base isolation and damping. Dr. Wada’s contributions to the field of science and technology and connections in Japanese academic and government circles make him uniquely qualified to lead and consult on a wide variety of projects.

Since becoming Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1989, Dr. Wada has held a number of important positions, including serving as President of ANCER and chairing the CTBUH Japan Chapter since its formation in 2010. In 2014, he was elected President of the Japan Seismic Isolation Association. He also has served as President of the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ, 2011.6-2013.5).

Filed of Expertise

(Years / Institution / Activities)

Structural Engineer at Nikken Sekkei LTD.

(Tokyo, 1970.4-1981.12, structural design of tall buildings and space structures)

Associate Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology

(Tokyo, 1982.1- 1989.10, structural design of architectures and buildings)

Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology

(Tokyo, 1989.11-2011.3, structural design of architectures and buildings and earthquake engineering

Research experience

Buckling Restrained Bracing System (1978- now, Tokyo Institute of Technology and Nippon Steel Cooperation, basic concept, structural design and tests)

Damage Controlled Structures for Earthquake Prone Countries (1990-now, Tokyo Institute of Technology and MIT, basic concept and actual structural applications to many buildings)

Seismic Isolation Technology (1982-now, Nikken Sekkei Ltd., Tokyo Institute of Technology and Architectural Institute of Japan, basic concept and structural Design)


Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal of CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) (2011.11)

Special Award of Japanese Society of Steel Construction (2006.11)

The Prize of Architectural Institute of Japan for Engineering (2003.5)

The Prize of Architectural Institute of Japan for Research Thesis (1995.5)


Andreas J. Kappos

Secretary General of the European Association of Earthquake Engineering (EAEE)
Assoc. Editor of the Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Director of the Research Centre for Civil Engineering Structures, City, University of London

Andreas Kappos currently holds a dual appointment at City, University of London and at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Prior to joining City University (in March 2013) he was a Professor at Department of Civil Engineering, of the Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki since 2002, and Head of the Structures Section from 2008 to 2010. He has first joined the Department as a lecturer in 1988, after having completed his PhD studies in 1986. In 1983-1984 he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Univ. of California, Berkeley. From 1995 to 1999 he worked at the Dept. of Civil Engineering, Imperial College London (UK), first as a lecturer and later as a Reader of Earthquake Structural Engineering.

He has long been working in the field of Earthquake Structural Engineering, in particular analysis procedures for structures (reinforced concrete and masonry buildings, and bridges)  subjected to earthquake loading, and developed several methods and models for seismic assessment (both deterministic and probabilistic) of these structures, as well as design procedures based on the use of modern analysis tools. He was also involved in experimental work on the behaviour of reinforced concrete members subjected to cyclic loading, with emphasis on structural walls with special types of reinforcement and/or retrofitted using fibre-reinforced polymers (FRPs) and, more recently steel-reinforced polymers (SRPs). He developed new approaches for the assessment of the seismic vulnerability of existing structures and the associated losses and was involved in several projects on seismic risk assessment and earthquake scenarios for European cities.

He is the author or co-author of three books in English, and another two in Greek, edited three collective work volumes, and has contributed several chapters to books edited by others. He has published extensively in the field of Earthquake Structural Engineering (over 300 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings), and his work was recognised internationally (over 2000 citations in Scopus h-index=30, over 5000 citations in Google Scholar, h-index 40).

In addition to his academic activities, he has been involved in several consultancies on topics like the seismic design of bridges and buildings, the assessment and retrofit of damaged structures, and various aspects of use of concrete in bridges, tunnels, and other civil engineering works.

Andreas Kappos is the Secretary of the European Association of Earthquake Engineering (EAEE) since 2010 and the Coordinator of the EAEE Working Group on Bridges since 2004. He has also served as a member of a number of scientific committees dealing with seismic design and assessment (he recently led the Project Team that drafted Eurocode 8 Part 3).


Atilla Ansal

Vice-President of the European Association for Earthquake Engineering​

Chairman of GeoIst, Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Consultancy Inc.​

Chairman of Civil Engineering Department of Özyeğin University, 

He received his Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from Northwestern University, USA in 1977.  He was promoted to full Professorship in 1988 in Istanbul Technical University.  He moved to Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute of Bogaziçi University in 2002.  Since March 2012, he is professor in the Engineering School of Ozyegin University and Chairman of Civil Engineering Department. 

He has been the Secretary General of European Association for Earthquake Engineering during 1994-2014 and President during 2014-2018.  He is the Editor in Chief of the Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering and the book series on “Geotechnical, Geological and Earthquake Engineering” by Springer since 2002.

His main areas of interest are microzonation methodologies, earthquake scenarios, effects of geotechnical factors on earthquake damage, cyclic behaviour of clays and sands, liquefaction, variability of strong ground motion characteristics.  He published about 250 articles in conference proceedings, journals, books and as technical reports in English and Turkish.  He was the recipient of the Third Ord.Prof.Dr. Hamdi Peynircioglu Lecture Award in 1988, given by the Turkish National Committee on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, the Third Prof.Dr.Rıfat Yarar Lecture award in 2015, given by Chamber of Turkish Civil Engineers and Earthquake Engineering Committee of Turkish Earthquake Foundation and he was the 15th Prof. Nonveiller Lecturer elected by the Croatian Geotechnical Society

Alessandro Martelli

Dr. Alessandro Martelli got his master degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Bologna (Italy) in 1973 (summa cum laude) and his PhD in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Karlsruhe (Germany) in 1977 (full marks).

At the Karlsruhe Nuclear Centre (Germany), initially with an Euratom grant, then as consultant, from 1974 to 1977. At General Atomic Company in San Diego (California, USA), delegated by General Atomic Europe (Zürich, Switzerland), from 1977 to 1978. At the Saclay Research Center of the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA) from 1978 to 1979. At the Italian National Committee for Nuclear Energy (CNEN), now Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), from 1979 to November 19, 2012 (date of retirement).

Before retiring, Assistant of the ENEA Director General for the development of anti-seismic technologies (from September 20, 2012) and previously Director of the Bologna Research Centre of ENEA and ENEA coordinator of the promotion, development and technology transfer activities in Northern Italy (from April 2010 to September 19, 2012); former Head of the ENEA Section on “Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Risks”.

Engineer in charge of the structural safety certification (until 2012 mostly on behalf of ENEA) of several important, new or retrofitted, Italian buildings protected by seismic isolation or energy dissipation systems. Consultancy and technical judgment on the seismic safety of buildings (in particular of schools). Expertise for ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) on the “Seismic qualification of ITER emergency chillers”.

Professor of Seismic Engineering at the PhD school of the Polytechnic of Bari (from 2011 to 2016) and, previously (from 1998 to 2011), at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Ferrara; various further courses on seismic engineering in Italian and Chinese Universities; Vice-Chairman of the International Academic Advisory Committee of the Western China Foundation for New Technology and New Researchers of Disaster Mitigation in Civil Engineering since 2009.

Member of the Italian IPPC (“Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control”) Commission, appointed by the Italian Minister of Environment; collaborator of other Italian Ministries (e.g. Scientific Research and University) and (from 2008 to 2013) of the 8th Commission on Environment, Territory and Public Works of the Italian Parliament.

Representative of the Commission “Sismica – GLIS” in the Board of ANTEL (Associazione Nazionale Tecnici Enti Locali) since its foundation in 2017. President of the Italian association GLIS (Isolation and Other Anti-Seismic Design Strategies) since its foundation in 1989 to its closure in 2017. Founding President, present Vice-President, Treasurer e Coordinator of the UE and Other Western European Countries Territorial Section of the Anti-Seismic Systems International Society (ASSISi).

Member of the Organizing and/or Technical-Scientific Committees of 180 conferences or seminars (95 national events and 85 international events); author or co-author of about 600 publications.

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