Thursday, April 28, 2016

"Research & Development of Engineered Bamboo Structures" with Yan Xiao of Nanjing Tech, May 5 at Pitt.

The May 5 keynote speech of the "Bamboo in the Urban Environment" symposium at the University of Pittsburgh will be "Research & Development of Engineered Bamboo Structures" by Yan Xiao of the Nanjing University of Technology. Dr. Xiao is an innovator in the field of bamboo in construction, and made the news in 2008 for his plans to use "instant" bamboo structures to house those displaced by the Sichuan earthquake. The talk begins at 1:00 pm in 102 Benedum Hall (map). An April 14 press release previews the 3-day conference:
The University of Pittsburgh will soon be the epicenter of a global discussion in novel and groundbreaking analysis of bamboo as a safe and sustainable construction resource in urban areas. “Bamboo in the Urban Environment” will bring together some of the world’s leading experts in bamboo and sustainable design at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering May 4-6, 2016.

Participants will gather from the U.S. (and Puerto Rico) and UK, as well as Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The symposium is part of a University of Pittsburgh-led consortium created by the Global Innovation Initiative, a program funded by the U.S. and UK governments to foster multilateral research collaboration with higher education institutions in Brazil, China, India and Indonesia.

Led by symposium chair Kent A. Harries, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Swanson School, the consortium includes Coventry University (UK); collaborators at Bogor Agricultural University (Indonesia); the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (India); the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, an intergovernmental organization of 41 member states based in Beijing, China; and industry partners in the US and UK.

“Urban centers in developing and lagging countries often do not have the luxury to safe housing and other structures with traditional materials like wood, steel and polymers that we in first-world countries take for granted,” Dr. Harries explained. “Nearly one billion people worldwide already live in non-engineered or vernacular bamboo structures, and so this symposium presents an opportunity for architects, builders and engineers to apply our technical skills to a traditional yet resilient and sustainable construction material.