The Recent major earthquakes that occurred in the world had caused significant life and property losses in the affected areas. These earthquakes include, but not limited to, the Loma Prieta earthquake (USA, 1989), Northridge earthquake (USA, 1994), Kobe earthquake (Japan, 1995), Izmit earthquake (Turkey, 1999), Chi-Chi earthquake (Taiwan, 1999), Southern Sumatra (Indonesia, 2000), Bhuj-Ahmadabad-Rajkot earthquake (India, 2001), San Miguel earthquake (El Salvador, 2001), Baghlan earthquake (Afghanistan, 2001), Xinjiang earthquake (China, 2002), Algiers-Bourmerdes-Thenia earthquake (Algeria, 2003), Bam earthquake (Iran, 2003), Sumatra-Andaman earthquake (Indonesia, 2004), South Asia earthquake (Pakistan and India, 2005). It is therefore extremely urgent that some action plans be executed in order to mitigate effectively the seismic hazard in these high risk regions. Nevertheless, in order to improve the seismic design practices in the developing countries, the World Seismic Safety Initiatives (WSSI) launched by the International Association for Earthquake Engineering (IAEE) has suggested that the members of Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) including the United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan shall provide training programs. In response to this, the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE) has created the Seismic Design Training Programs for government officers, researchers and practicing engineers from many developing countries to know about Taiwan’s earthquake engineering research and practice, to exchange ideas and to share experiences. It also allowed Taiwanese researchers and engineers to be informed about the seismic design practices in these participating countries, thus, further strengthen the future possibilities of international collaborations.
The training programs started in 2002 and was held annually from then. A total of 118 overseas participants from fifteen countries together with technical staffs from the NCREE, universities, and industries in Taiwan have joined the programs. This year, it is expected that 35 participants from the international community will participate for the ITP 2006 that includes professional engineers, government officers, and professors. These participants are from Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. Fourteen technical lectures are arranged in this program, including topics on traditional and advanced seismic designs, ground motion characteristics, seismic hazard assessment, structural analysis tools, and the latest research programs conducted at NCREE.
In behalf of NCREE, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest appreciation to the efforts given by all the instructors. The financial support provided by the Taiwan National Science Council is gratefully acknowledged. I strongly believe that the training program will be successful in strengthening friendships as well in sharing experiences of technologies on earthquake hazard mitigation. I wish you all to have a wonderful stay in this friendly country.