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Lecturers: Prof. Paolo Bazzurro, Prof. Dimitrios Vamvatsikos, Prof. Mario Ordaz

Seismic Risk a.y. 2020/21


This course comprises three distinct but well-connected parts. The main focus of the course is on seismic risk but,  despite its official title, it will also deal with risk assessment for other perils.
This course will start with a very succinct overview of the basics of probability and statistics that are commonly used in the field of hazard and risk assessment. Working knowledge of probability and statistics is a pre-requisite of the course. After this preamble, in the first part we will move on to describe the basics of risk assessment and loss estimation for assets subject to natural events such as earthquakes and tropical cyclones. In this part we will also review the fundamentals of seismic hazard analysis and we will cover both probabilistic and deterministic approaches. Then we will deal with the theory behind catastrophe risk modeling of portfolios of structures both for earthquakes and for tropical cyclones. The examples discussed are typical of those found in the insurance/reinsurance industry, capital markets, and sovereign disaster risk financing. Therefore, some fundamentals of insurance/reinsurance will also be provided. Then we will introduce the concepts of seismic risk for single structures (a topic that will be tackled in the second part of the course) and we will compare and contrast them with the approach for portfolio of assets. Time permitting, we will discuss the risk assessment of networks and of nuclear power plants. These cases have special aspects that are not found in the applications previously discussed during the course.

The second part of the course will tackle in detail the state-of-the art approach to assess seismic risk of single buildings for both collapse and loss estimation purposes. The techniques that you will learn here are applicable both to the design of new buildings and to the assessment of existing ones. 

Finally, the third and last part of the course after a brief recap on the theoretical aspects of risk calculations will provide an overview of risk assessment of other perils, such as volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, hail and rain. Then the focus will shift to applications of the multi-hazard portfolio loss assessment with emphasis on the correct interpretation of their results.


Paolo Bazzurro

Professore Ordinario di Tecnica delle costruzioni


Tipologia corso : Caratterizzante

Curriculum : Ingegneria Sismica e Sismologia

Periodo: Semestre I

Anno accademico: 2020-2021

Luogo : Iuss classroom