ICONSA-15: The Initiative for Construction Safety Awareness

With India poised to make a significant investment of resources in the creation and maintenance of infrastructure, there is an urgent need to ensure that this investment does not come at the expense of worker health and safety. On March 21-22, the IITK-VT partnership will be holding a Workshop on the Initiative for Construction Safety Awareness (ICONSA-15) that will bring together national and international stakeholders – contractors, owners, regulators, and academic institutions – to explore different aspects of construction safety and identify strategic opportunities to advance awareness and research on this critical issue. The participation of this broad stakeholder group will ensure a discussion on the latest state of practice with regards to the formulation and compliance of appropriate standards and legal frameworks.

ICONSA-15 is being organized by the Department of Civil Engineering of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and Myers-Lawson School of Construction-Center for Innovation in Construction Safety, Virginia Tech, and will focus on various aspects of construction safety studies. The event is also being supported by the Delhi Chapter of the National Safety Council of India and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi.


SPIA Conference on Resilience

This Friday, I will be giving a presentation about the IITK-VT Partnership on Sustainable Infrastructure at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) conference on resilience. The two-day conference (23-24 October) will be held at Virginia Tech’s Research Center in Arlington, Virginia. The conference can be followed on Twitter using #VTSPIA.



Conversation with Prof. Misra on the IITK-VT Partnership

I had the pleasure of spending today with Prof. Sudhir Misra (Co-PI of the IITK-VT Partnership), during which we held a number of meetings with senior faculty at Virginia Tech focused on the future activities of the IITK-VT Partnership. Prof. Misra also provided a guest lecture in the graduate course on Advanced Urban Infrastructure Planning (UAP5854) – the first course at VT to be associated with the IITK-VT partnership. In between these events, we were able to find ten minutes during which I asked Prof. Misra several questions about what the IITK-VT partnership has accomplished and where we plan to take the partnership in the future. The video below captures our conversation that I recorded using Google Glass and edited in Camtasia.

Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience

Global Forum_Page_2Today, Virginia Tech formally announced the new Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience. The forum has been created to bridge research, policy, and practice in order to address risk and build resiliency at regional and urban scales in a global context. The formal description of the forum’s objectives and activities is provided in the document to the left.

Last week, I had the pleasure of learning more about this new Presidential Initiative while attending the 4th Conference on Community Resilience in Davos, Switzerland. During the conference, I was able to ask President Charles W. Steger a few questions about the Global Forum and witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Virginia Tech and the Global Risk Forum. I captured these events using Google Glass, and with the help of Tonya Pruitt developed the video below.

At the conference, I spoke on a panel focused on “Approaches to Infrastructure Resiliency in Different National Contexts.” In my presentation (below), I described the activities of the IITK-VT Partnership, and how they contribute towards the partnership’s vision of creating sustainable and resilient infrastructure services.