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Page Updated: 25-Sep-2006
SPS Homepage > News 2004 > Prize 2004


2004 NATO Summit Science Prize

NATO's Istanbul Summit
15 June 2004 - Science
Special 2004 NATO Summit Science Prize awarded to Turkish Institutes
NATO Science Partnership Prize

A special Summit Science Prize has been awarded to

Bosphorus University
Istanbul Technical University
Middle East Technical University

on the occasion of the meeting of
NATO Heads of State and Government
in Istanbul, Turkey, on 28 and 29 June 2004.

for their achievements in research on alleviating the consequences of earthquakes, and

for their work in fostering cooperation between NATO and Partner countries

At Bosphorus University, Professor Mustafa Erdik and his team of scientists at the Department of Earthquake Engineering, have contributed to an assessment of earthquake risk and risk mitigation measures in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. In the true spirit of NATO Science for Peace, the cooperation on this project between the United States Geological Survey, the National Academies of Science of Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, under the leadership of the Bosphorus University, has set an excellent example of scientific solidarity between the member and partner countries of NATO. The risk assessment included the development of guidelines for the retrofit of critical and vulnerable buildings, as well as training, education, and technology transfer. The results are now in use by the local governments, construction industry, land-use planners, and hazard managers in Tashkent and Bishkek. It is expected that the results will also ultimately be used as a model to develop earthquake loss scenarios and risk mitigation measures in other cities in Central Asia.

At the Istanbul Technical University, Professor Naci Görür and his team at the Department of Mines, played an essential role in launching the special initiative of the NATO Science Committee following the 1999 earthquakes in Turkey and Greece, and the fast establishment of a priority list of actions to be taken. One major achievement was the deployment, with the financial support of NATO, of ten ocean bottom seismometers in the eastern and western parts of the Marmara Sea, using the Turkish Navy’s RN Çubuklu, for monitoring the microseismicity of the sea floor. The department was also responsible for the organization of a large NATO seminar on integrating earth science research on the earthquakes, during which eminent international scientists determined where additional data were required, and established mechanisms for integration of the new data and rapid dissemination of the research results.

At the Middle East Technical University, Professor Guney Özcebe, and his team at the Department of Civil Engineering in Ankara, have, with NATO support, successfully developed methodologies for vulnerability assessment of existing buildings, and for rehabilitation of buildings, sharing knowledge with institutions in Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1. The results of the project provide data for engineers to decide if a building is potentially unsafe or vulnerable to earthquakes, to allow in-built structural seismic safeguards in advance of an earthquake. Extensive information is provided on new techniques and innovative materials such as carbon fiber reinforced polymers in strengthening building components in-situ. At the University’s Disaster Management Research Center, Professor Polat Gulkan and his team have also upgraded part of the national strong ground motion recording network, with NATO support, in collaboration with the General Directorate of Disaster Affairs and in cooperation with the United States Geological Survey and the University of Nevada, Reno, USA. This has resulted in twenty state-of-the-art earthquake recording stations which are now fully operational. Young geophysicists and engineers responsible for operating the stations have been trained in the United States and Turkey.


(1) Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name