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Preventing Earthquake Disasters: The Grand Challenge in Earthquake Engineering E The Stakeholder Forum In addition to the direct outreach to the stakeholder community described in Chapter 5, the committee initiated an electronic mailbox from September 1 through October 18, 2002, to solicit input from individuals with whom it could not interact directly. The mailbox format entailed the posting of the committee’s statement of task to a National Academies’ Web site and requesting comments. Notification of the solicitation was sent via e-mail to numerous interest groups and list servers, a total of 470. A link was also provided from the Web site http://www.nees.org. The posted form was visited 330 times. The 31 comments received ranged from the general—for example, “NEES should consider collaborating with practicing design engineers to develop simple, reliable, economical systems for retrofitting the built environment”—to extremely specific—“The structural engineering profession has pressing need to fully understand the global system behavior of steel braced frames in response to earthquake forces.” Although 91 percent of all visitors came from the United States, there were international visitors from 15 different countries, with multiple visits from Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan, and Taiwan. Approximately 52 percent of the visitors came from educational institutions, 38 percent from the commercial and network domains, and 7 percent from government. (The remaining 3 percent were from miscellaneous domains.) Although only 31 comments were received in response to the solicitation notice, the response rate of approximately 10 percent is in keeping with, and in fact slightly higher than, that for a recent study on the utiliza-
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Preventing Earthquake Disasters: The Grand Challenge in Earthquake Engineering tion of Web-based tools to obtain customer notice (Doubleclick, 2002). All comments provided to the electronic mailbox were carefully considered by the committee and helped it to formulate the recommendations presented in this report. This report considers NEES as a new paradigm for earthquake risk reduction. Its aim is to foster a research environment that will bring formidable capabilities of NEES in physical and computational simulation to bear on developing cost-effective risk-mitigation measures for the prevention of catastrophic losses due to earthquakes. This will require the integration of earth science, engineering, planning, the social and policy sciences, emergency management, and public and business administration. The existence of effective loss estimation and loss prevention techniques that can be readily visualized will help make clear the significance of earthquake risks to all decision makers, including homeowners, business owners, utilities managers, emergency managers, and public officials and, most important, will enable them to develop and implement their own strategies for preventing earthquake disasters. However, the voices of all these communities must be heard and responded to if NEES is to be successful. The committee believes that it has developed a process for NEES to maintain dynamic currency with the research needs of its multiple stakeholders. This process incorporates direct outreach and remote, Web-based interaction. As an ongoing process it can serve to ensure that NEES maintains productive contact with its stakeholders as the research program matures and evolves. REFERENCE Doubleclick. 2002. Email Trend Findings Include Rise in Bounces: Q2 Email Trend Report, September. New York, N.Y.: DoubleClick, Inc. Available online at <http://www3.doubleclick.com/market/2002/10/dc/feature1.htm> [August 1, 2003].
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