ENGINEERING IN SUPPORT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

 In a few days the Mexican Federation of Associations of Civil Engineers [FEMCIC – Federación Mexicana de Colegios de Ingenieros Civiles] will convene its first national conference in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

The event will take place this coming March 1-3, 2012 and it will be hosted by the association local chapter – Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles del Municipio de Solidaridad representing the municipality of Solidaridad, and presided by Jaime Juarez Tellez. The focal theme of this first conference will be Engineering toward Civil Protection!

The conference will bring together engineers from throughout Mexico, as well as representatives from the architectural profession, emergency managers, academics and researchers, NGOs and also policy-makers and elected officials. The choice of Playa del Carmen, seat of the municipality of Solidaridad is both quite symbolic and on target, given its tradition of strong civil defense and pro-mitigation policies as well as its location on the Caribbean coastline of Quintana Roo, the most hurricane-vulnerable state in Mexico.

The conference highlight will be the inauguration ceremony and general session of participants on Friday 2 March, which will include remarks by the Municipal President on the State Law for Civil Protection, presentations by José Loria, Dean of the School of Engineering at the Autonomous University of Yucatan, by Octavio Albores a practicing engineer, and by Ricardo A. Alvarez, of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies, who will deliver the keynote thematic presentation on the topic of Characterization of Impact and Site: Practical Tools for Hurricane Resistant Design.

With this upcoming conference Mexico and Quintana Roo in particular, will take a significant step toward a much needed collaboration and synergy between the engineering and building-design sectors, with emergency management, education and research, and with policy-makers. It is hoped this will set a strong foundation for future collaboration between the various sectors, and an example to be followed by other communities both in Mexico and abroad.