Sheffield pupils help rebuild Nepalese city after devastating earthquake

Professor Pilakoutas with Keith Brook, Head of Sixth Form at Birkdale School and some pupils.
Professor Pilakoutas with Keith Brook, Head of Sixth Form at Birkdale School and some pupils.
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A team of engineers from a Sheffield university have trained pupils, parents and staff from one of the city’s schools to help communities in Kahtmandu recover from last year’s devastating earthquake.

Experts at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Civil and Structural Engineering have trained representatives from Birkdale School ahead of their visit to the Nepalese city to be able to help the local community with their recovery from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

Ahead of the visit which took place in the Easter holidays, Professor Kypros Pilakoutas and his team held six intense training sessions on Earthquake Engineering, sharing their expertise on how to assess buildings, ensure they are safe, and examine structural damage.

Following the expedition, Professor Pilakoutas organised a public lecture earlier this month at the University of Sheffield, where the Birkdale team reported on the successes of the expedition.

In addition to the engineering work carried out by the expedition team, they also carried out medical checks - eye and oral health - for affected locals in Nepal.

Professor Pilakoutas said: “The Nepal earthquake in 2015 caused widespread devastation to buildings in Nepal.

“My team were able to pass on our knowledge about the damage that can happen after earthquakes and share the innovative techniques that we are developing at the University of Sheffield to limit the damage to buildings in the future.”

The school has previously taken part in many charitable projects for Nepal since 2000.

Keith Brook, Head of Sixth Form at the school said: “Birkdale has a long history of helping the community in Kathmandu, Nepal and it was fantastic for our staff and pupils to gain skills and knowledge from the experts.”