PREPARE Africa workshop Malawi

6 August 2018, 8.00 AM - 10 August 2018, 3.00 PM

Malawi University of Science and Technology, Thyolo, Malawi

The workshop was organised as part of the PREPARE project (Enhancing PREParedness for East African Countries through Seismic Resilience Engineering), which is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The event builds on active research links among the UK and Malawian universities in this project, and was organised by the University of Cardiff and University of Bristol.

Line of researchers who attended the PREPARE Africa workshop in August 2018

Conference presentations are available for download below. Download the conference programme here: ‌PREPARE workshop programme 2018 (PDF, 593kB)


About the workshop 

The main purposes of the UK-Malawi Disaster Research workshop were to:

  • Strengthen existing links with academic/industrial partners
  • Create new links for future collaboration among people who are interested in seismic disaster preparedness and resilience of Malawi and other East African countries

The workshop included a series of talks and discussion sessions giving an overview of the PREPARE project and presenting the methodology and findings. Participants contributed by giving talks on their research related to the workshop theme. The workshop provided the PREPARE investigators and partners with opportunities to brainstorm the next step of the development of the project. It comprised conference-style presentation sessions for academics and professionals, workshop modules (in class and in field) for students and junior academic staff at Malawian institutions, and project meetings.


Malawian researcher inspects brick building  


PREPARE is a three-year research project (2017-2020) funded by the UK-EPSRC as part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). It aims to develop a holistic seismic risk management framework for East Africa, and co-produces practical tools and guidelines for enhanced disaster preparedness in partnerships with local governmental and academic institutions. The project aims to overcome existing barriers to designing seismically resilient infrastructure in least developed countries using advanced risk assessments and suitable low-cost engineering solutions.

The research objectives of PREPARE are:

  1. To develop integrated seismic risk assessment tools for East African countries by accounting for alternative hypotheses and uncertainties associated with hazard, exposure, and vulnerability components comprehensively and consistently; 
  2. To co-produce a variety of seismic hazard-risk maps and seismic design guidelines in collaboration with local governmental and academic partners; 
  3. To improve the knowledge on tectonic behaviour of major fault systems in East Africa by gathering new field data (geology and GPS) and by analysing regional seismicity data; 
  4. To develop bespoke seismic vulnerability models of unreinforced masonry (brick) constructions in East Africa through an extensive experimental programme (i.e. material testing of local bricks and pull-over testing of real-scale brick walls) and advanced structural modelling; and 
  5. To investigate the effectiveness of low-cost engineering solutions to improve the seismic resilience of the buildings and infrastructure in East Africa.

Learn more about the PREPARE project

Workshop presentations

Day 1: 6 August

Day 2: 7 August

Day 3: 8 August

Day 4: 9 August

Day 5: 10 August


Contact information

For more information, please contact: John Macdonald (University of Bristol, or Richard Mvula (MUST,

Learn more about the PREPARE project

PREPARE Africa workshop logo

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