Formation of an international base for research on compound disasters due to tsunamis, earthquakes, storm surges and volcanic eruptions

Wed, Sep 4, 2013

The project “Formation of a Disaster Research Group for the Global Deployment of Disaster Mitigation Research,” whose principal investigator is Professor Tomoya Shibayama of Waseda University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering (School of Creative Science and Engineering) , has been selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s “Strategic Research Foundation Grant-aided Project for Private Universities” for the 2013 year. In association with this, disaster researchers from countries around the world including Canada, the United Kingdom, Iran, Indonesia, Thailand, Tanzania, Bhutan, Chile, and Vietnam will be assembled within Waseda University, creating an international research base for conducting research on compound disasters resulting from tsunamis, storm surges, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. With the installation of a tsunami wave generator (4m width, 10m length, 0.5m depth) serving as a 3-dimensional tsunami experimental apparatus in 2013, joint studies involving researchers from both inside and outside of Japan will be initiated. Fully applying the academic knowledge accumulated by Japan, a country highly advanced in the field of disaster research, and the historical background of disaster research in Waseda University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, studies will be conducted from 2 aspects: disaster mitigation techniques for reducing structural damage by tsunamis and earthquakes, and clarification and mitigation of compound disaster mechanisms. Research will proceed under a 5-year plan involving analysis of disaster damage experiences from around the world, generalization and advancement of disaster research methods originating from Waseda University, and clarification of and response to actual conditions of urban compound disasters.

Research field relationship diagram


Research road map

Initial year

Carry out preparation and information sharing for the formation of a disaster research group, through installation of experimental facilities beginning with a 3-dimensional tsunami/storm surge experimental tank, as well as accumulation of disaster-related numerical models originating from Waseda University.

Year 2

Arrange disaster research methods applying the experiences and lessons of the Tohoku tsunami into a package format. Carry out verification of research methods in Kanagawa prefecture.

Years 3 and 4

While moving forward with joint studies together with overseas researchers and planning for generalization and advancement of previously-developed disaster research methods, proceed with clarification of the actual conditions of urban compound disasters.

Final year

Hold an international workshop at Waseda University’s Okuma Auditorium, and while planning for the integration of research results, take steps toward the perpetuation of the international disaster research foundation, with Waseda University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering as its hub. These research results are planned to bring about effective worldwide repercussions through the international program for the acquisition of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees with English as their teaching language (G30 program) , which is currently operated at Waseda, and the international disaster research group; and the results are then intended to be reflected in the disaster mitigation strategies of individual regions.



Shibayama Lab, Waseda University

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