Press Release: Advancing Earthquake Safety of Schools: EERI Housner Fellows Visit Ghana


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OAKLAND, CA, USA, 26 August, 2013 – International leaders in earthquake risk reduction are visiting Ghana this week to advance earthquake safety of schools. Housner Fellows of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) will meet and build alliances with the Ministry of Education, the National Disaster Management Organization of Ghana (NADMO), the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE), Architectural and Engineering Services Ltd. (AESL), consultants who design new schools, as well as school administrators and contractors. The Housner Fellows have also identified the Ghana Earthquake Society (GhES) as a key advocate and plan to continue collaborating with them in the future.

The Housner Fellows’ focus on Ghana school safety follows a commitment by the Ministry of Education to build more than a hundred new schools over the next several years. “This represents an ideal opportunity for Ghana to take an enormous step in school seismic safety and community resilience by introducing cost-effective enhancements to the design and construction of new school buildings. Because schools house children and also serve as community centers, they are essential elements in protecting the nation’s youth and building community resilience,” said EERI Executive Director Jay Berger. Greater Accra is in a zone of moderate seismic hazard, with potential for rare but damaging earthquakes.

The Housner Fellow Program, named after EERI founder George Housner and funded in part by the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction of the World Bank and the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, equips a select group of promising and motivated professionals worldwide to lead and advocate for efforts to reduce earthquake risk. EERI Housner Fellows benefit from training, mentorship, networking, and from execution of an individual project and a group project.

2012 Housner Fellows include:

  • Dr. Syed Mohammad Ali, Ph.D.; University of Engineering and Technology; Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Cale Ash, PE, SE; Degenkolb Engineers; Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Ing. Carlien D. Bou-Chedid, FGhIE; Consulting Structural Engineer; Accra, Ghana
  • Danielle Hutchings Mieler, PE; GNS Science; Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • Lindsey Maclise, PE, SE; Forell/Elsesser Engineers; San Francisco, California, USA
  • Hassan Mdala; Geological Survey of Malawi; Zomba, Malawi
  • Vivek Rawal; People-in-Centre Consulting; Ahmedabad, India
  • Kate Stillwell, PE, SE, MBA; GEM Foundation; Oakland, California, USA
Download this press release (PDF).

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is a US-based, nonprofit, technical society of engineers, geoscientists, architects, planners, public officials, and social scientists. Approximately one-third of EERI members are international. The objective of EERI is to reduce earthquake risk by advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering; improving understanding of the impact of earthquakes on the physical, social, economic, political, and cultural environment; and advocating comprehensive and realistic measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes. EERI is a leader in earthquake investigations and in the dissemination of earthquake risk reduction information both in the US and globally in cooperation with its international partners.