October 10, 2023, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. MDT

The Lessons of Catastrophe: Structural Challenges and New Disaster Perspectives

Webinar Description:

The Blessings of Disaster Book Cover

Join leading catastrophe engineer and author Michel Bruneau as he examines how future successes and failures in dealing with societal threats—be they pandemics, climate change, overpopulation, or other events—can be predicted by observing how we currently cope with and react to disasters.

Bruneau will discuss ideas from his recent book, The Blessings of Disaster: The Lessons That Catastrophes Teach Us and Why Our Future Depends on It, which highlights the relationship between humans and disasters. Bruneau will bring experiences from his decades-long career as an earthquake and disaster engineer together to detail case studies from extreme events such as the Kobe Earthquake in Japan and Category 5 hurricanes in the United States. Along with thoughtful and practical solutions, he’ll provide a thorough examination of the structural challenges that face today’s (and tomorrow’s) world.


Michel Bruneau, State University of New York at Buffalo

Natural Hazards Center Overview Slides
Bruneau Presentation Slides


Acapulco was built to withstand earthquakes, but not Hurricane Otis’ destructive winds – how building codes failed this resort city

The Blessings of Disaster: The Lessons That Catastrophes Teach Us and Why Our Future Depends on It

Continuing Education Credits:

This webinar is eligible for one contact hour of emergency management training within the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) certification program. For more information about continuing education credits and how to earn them, please click here.

Michel Bruneau

Michel Bruneau is a Distinguished Professor at State University of New York at Buffalo, a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and Emeritus Director of a National Science Foundation-funded Earthquake Engineering Center that focused on enhancing the disaster resilience of communities. He has spent more than three decades developing engineering strategies to enhance the resilience of infrastructure. His extensive body of research has been instrumental to innovative structural system specifications being implemented worldwide. Bruneau has conducted numerous reconnaissance visits to disaster-affected areas, is a member of many professional and technical code-writing committees, and has served on many expert peer review panels.