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Keynote speaker: Margareta Wahlström
(Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UN/ISDR)

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UNISDR) was established at the UN General Assembly in 2000 (UNISDR Headquarters in Geneva), aiming to guide and coordinate the efforts of a wide range of partners to achieve substantive reduction in disaster losses and build resilient nations and communities as an essential condition for sustainable development. UNISDR serves as the focal point for the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), a ten year plan of action for comprehensive disaster risk reduction, adopted in 2005 by 168 governments at the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR). UNISDR biennially organizes the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, the main forum for continued and concerted emphasis on DRR, providing strategic guidance and coherence for implementing the HFA, and for sharing experiences and expertise among stakeholders. The third session will be held in Geneva in May 2011.
More information can be found at: www.unisdr.org

Alan G. Davenport’s contributions to wind engineering

Keynote speaker: Nicholas Isyumov (Canada)

The purpose of this presentation is to remind the wind engineering community of the many contributions to wind engineering which have been made by the late Professor Alan G. Davenport. The presentation will discuss some of his personal achievements and those made under his direction by the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory, which he founded at the University of Western Ontario. One of his foremost achievements is the description of strong wind in the atmospheric boundary layer and its simulation in wind tunnels in order to determine wind-induced loads and responses of buildings and structures. Details of Professor Davenport’s mean and turbulent wind profiles and his spectrum of longitudinal turbulence are known to wind engineers world-wide. Also known are the pioneering studies conducted at his Laboratory for many of the world’s milestone structures.

Professor Davenport also made key contributions to the development of statistical methods which are needed in order to predict peak wind loads and effects. These include the prediction of peak values expected to occur during particular intervals of time; the gust factor method, which determines the magnitude of the peak response, including the additional effects of wind-induced resonance; the method of up-crossings which determines the probability of exceedance of particular extremes, once the parent distribution of wind speed and direction is known; and many others.

Large-scale research facilities

Keynote speaker: Gregory Kopp (Canada)

Wind engineering research is undergoing some dramatic changes with novel, large-scale research facilities being built around the world to deal with the rising economic losses associated with severe wind storms. The presentation will discuss the challenges being addressed by these facilities with a particular focus on full-scale testing at the ‘Three Little Pigs’ Project at the University of Western Ontario and at the Institute for Business and Home Safety’s large, 200km/hr, 30MW, wind tunnel in South Carolina. These challenges center on both the nature of the wind loading and the responses of low-rise structures to such loading. For example, small tributary areas for critical components on low buildings raise concerns regarding Reynolds numbers effects in model-scale wind tunnel testing which can be ameliorated in a “full-scale” wind tunnel. In addition, the responses of residential structures and components are not well modelled analytically, or are currently evaluated under relatively simple standardized tests, so that realistic, full-scale testing is required in order to develop risk consistent building code requirements as well as improved product safety standards and loss models. Emerging test methods and results from these facilities will be discussed.

Design process for wind effects around simple buildings

Keynote speaker: Chris Baker (UK)

Chris Baker’s presentation will consider the design process for wind effects around simple buildings, and in doing so will delve into some of the assumptions implicit in the design process, often assumptions that derive from the early days of wind engineering. These include the nature of the design wind storm and its statistical representation; the independence of the hourly mean wind speed and short term gust speeds; the characteristics of short term gusts and the use of a gust factor; the use of pressure coefficients from wind tunnel tests, and the definition of reference pressure; and the Reynolds number independence of pressure and force coefficients. It will be argued that some of these assumptions are not as well founded as is often assumed. It will be argued further that there is a need to fully understand these assumptions so that the adequacy and accuracy of the design process can be properly understood, rather than being mechanically applied with no such understanding, and also that there remain opportunities for wind engineering research on some fundamental aspects of the subject.

Recent Aerodynamic Concerns of Cable Supported Bridges with Super Long Span: Flutter instability, torsional divergence and wind-rain induced vibration

Keynote speaker: Yaojun Ge (China)

With the ever-growing span length of cable supported bridges recent aerodynamic concerns have been presented in the aspects of flutter instability and effective countermeasures, torsional divergence with turbulence effects and wind-rain induced vibration of long stay cables. The intrinsic limit of span length due to aerodynamic stability seems to be about 1,500m for a traditional suspension bridge with either a box or truss girder, but both twin and triple box deck could provide a 5,000m suspension bridge with high enough critical flutter speed. It is necessary to take into account turbulence effect on torsional divergence calculation of super long span suspension bridges since the assumption of laminer flow will lead to unsafe results and signature turbulence surely exists in twin or triple box girder. Cable-stayed bridge intrinsically has good aerodynamic stability, and rain-wind induced vibration of stay cables were introduced with some new findings in wind-rain environment and control measures.

Meteorological controls on wind turbine wakes

Keynote speaker: Rebecca Barthelmie (USA)

As wind energy capacity expands, the size of individual wind farms continues to increase requiring tens to hundreds of wind turbines typically arranged in a large array. One of the research challenges is to accurately model interactions between the individual turbines, the atmosphere and neighboring turbines to accurately predict power output before wind farm construction in addition to evaluation during the operation phase. Analysis of power data from large wind farms offshore illustrates that modeling under-estimates power output and loads from wake losses in the centre of the array (the ‘deep array’ effect). However, no such effect has been found at various large wind farms on land. This presentation will explore these findings together with model results and relationships between wind farm efficiency and various meteorological parameters.