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Intensive Course "Geotechnical Infrastructure Asset Management"

Date: April 18 - 22, 2011
Venue: AIT (Asian Institute of Technology), Thailand
Subject: Geotechnical Infrastructure Asset Management

Organized by:
Kyoto University Global COE Program “Global Center for Education and Research on Human Security Engineering for Asian Megacities”

Number of attendants: 19

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From April 18 to 22, 2011, a five-day, 15-hour intensive course on Geotechnical Infrastructure Asset Management was held at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), one of the overseas cooperation bases of the Kyoto University Global COE (GCOE) Program “Global Center for Education and Research on Human Security Engineering for Asian Megacities.” As text material, the course used a publication I compiled for the GCOE Program, Geotechnical Infrastructure Asset Management (Third Edition).
This intensive course was the third of its kind, following similar GCOE Program-related activities that started in 2009 on which I previously reported. This time, in light of the damage caused by massive flooding and landslides in East Asia and Southeast Asia between October and November 2010, and more recently in the provinces of Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat in Southern Thailand in late March 2011 (see Photo Left down), I focused the content on commentary and responses to issues related to the most recent incidents. Following the disasters in late March, the Thai government conducted an emergency survey on landslide risk across the whole of Thailand. It released a report that more than 1 million people in the country currently face the threat of landslides due to deforestation and an increase in severe torrential rain caused by climate change.
The participants of this intensive course included students from countries like Vietnam, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan in addition to those from Thailand (see Photo Top). With the risk of landslides from downpours becoming evident in all Asian countries, the participants showed a keen interest in the course content. Plans for an early landslide warning system aimed at evacuating residents in heavy rain prompted many questions from the participants.
At the end of the five-day course, I awarded customary certificates to participants with an attendance of at least 80% (see Photo Center/Right down). As mentioned earlier, the frequency of massive natural disasters stemming from floods and landslides is on the rise in Asia. I plan to continue grasping such opportunities, and collecting and analyzing information on relevant topics taking a “thoroughly field-oriented approach” which is the basic principle of this GCOE Program. My aim is to spread the knowledge acquired as a result and to share information from the standpoint of Human Security Engineering.

(Photo Left down) Landslide in Kao Panom distric, Krabi province in March 2011
(Photo Top): Group photo with course participants
(Photo Center/Right down) Awarding of course certificates