The Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines, Inc. (ASEP) held its 4th ASEP convention on Concrete Engineering Practice and Technology (a.concept’14) with this year’s theme, “Extreme Loadings on Concrete Structures,” on 22-24 May at Century Park Hotel, Manila, Philippines.

This three-day event focused on extreme loadings on concrete structures in response to the natural disasters the Philippines experienced from September to November 2013. For three consecutive months, the disaster-prone country was struck by two powerful typhoons and a strong earthquake that killed thousands of people and destroyed a large number of buildings and infrastructures including old churches, school buildings, roads and bridges.

The a.concept’14 featured very timely keynote speeches from renowned structural engineers in the Philippines, plenary presentations, special technical presentations, poster presentations, and exhibits. The keynote speaker of the event was Hon. Alfredo Arquillano, Jr., Vice-Mayor of San Francisco Cebu and UNISDR Champion “Making Cities Resilient.” Vice-Mayor Arquillano was recognized for his work “Purok System” that empowers local communities in reducing disaster risks and adapting to climate change.

Speakers presented topics such as investigation of historical structures after the Bohol earthquake, review of school building after the Bohol earthquake, seismic analysis and retrofitting of concrete building, strengthening method of concrete members, storm surge-wave inundation on the typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) field survey, updated wind zone and contour maps: adaptation strategies for extreme wind speeds, among others.

One of the speakers, Dr. Naveed Anwar, Executive Director of AIT Consulting, discussed the strategies and techniques for seismic risk reduction of school buildings in developing countries. Dr. Naveed, while in the in the Philippines, also meet with UNESCAP and Hilti Foundation to discuss collaborative partnership in developing strategic solutions for sustainable and disaster-resilient buildings.

About ASEP Convention:
The first a.concept convention was held on 22-23 May 2008 with the theme “What’s cracking in our concrete?” ASEP then committed to host a.concept regularly every two years. In 2010, a.concept carried the theme “Aiming for Safe and E-nnovative Practices in Concrete Engineering” and in 2012 the theme focused on “Advance your Career, Enhance your Practice.” The first ASEP Continuing Education Summit (ACES) was also held during the second day of a.concept’12.