Department of Architecture
Reimagining compression shells: Learning from the Master Builders
Philippe Block is Professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, where he directs the Block Research Group (BRG) together with Dr. Tom Van Mele. The BRG focuses on equilibrium analysis, computational form finding, optimization and fabrication of curved surface structures, specializing in unreinforced masonry vaults and thin concrete shells. Prof. Block is also the director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication. Within the NCCR, the BRG develops innovative structural design strategies using bespoke prefabrication, pushing construction innovation.
Block studied architecture and structural engineering at the VUB in Belgium, and at MIT in the USA, where he earned his PhD in 2009. With the BRG and as partner of Ochsendorf DeJong & Block (ODB Engineering), he applies his research into practice on the structural assessment of historic monuments and the design and engineering of novel compression structures. He has won numerous awards for his research, has lectured at top universities and leading engineering and architecture offices worldwide, and is regularly invited as an expert consultant.
University of Auckland
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Auckland, New Zealand
Seismic vulnerability assessment for precincts of unreinforced masonry buildings in New Zealand and Australia
Dr Jason Ingham obtained his doctorate from the University of California San Diego in 1995 and is a Professor of Structural Engineering and Head of Department at the University of Auckland. His research interests are primarily focused on the seismic behaviour of existing masonry and concrete buildings. He led the collection of data related to the performance of masonry buildings following the Canterbury earthquakes, with evidence subsequently presented at the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission. He has also undertaken post-earthquake building inspections in Sumatra (Indonesia) and in Nepal. In 2015, he was a member of a study tour to inspect URM building damage following the Napa (California) earthquake and in 2016 he was a member of the NZAid-funded team that provided technical training to Nepalese engineers on the seismic assessment and improvement of masonry and concrete buildings. He is currently the president of the Structural Engineering Society of NZ (SESOC), a past president of the NZ Concrete Society (NZCS), a past member of the management committee of the NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE), a past member of the leadership team for QuakeCoRE, the New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for Earthquake Resilience, and is a Fellow of Engineering New Zealand.
University of Minho
Department of Civil Engineering
Historic and modern earthen structures: Challenges and recent research
Professor Paulo B. Lourenço, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal and Co-Head of the Institute in Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering.
He is experienced in the fields of NDT, advanced experimental and numerical techniques, innovative strengthening techniques and earthquake engineering. Specialist in structural restoration, with work on more than one hundred monuments. He is also a structural masonry expert, responsible for R&D projects with the clay brick, concrete block and lightweight concrete block masonry. Consultant on innovative masonry structures using confined and reinforced masonry, and on masonry infills in large projects. He currently is the leader of the Project Team responsible for the revision of Part 1 of the European code for masonry (EN 1996-1-1).
Coordinator of an International Masters Course in Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historical Constructions. Editor of the International Journal of Architectural Heritage: Conservation, Analysis and Restoration and of the Conference Series, Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions.
Supervisor of 50 completed PhD theses and coordinator of several national and international research projects. He is author or co-author of more than 1000 technical and scientific publications in the fields of masonry, timber and concrete structures, with an h-index of 40 (Scopus).