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The Assessment of Earthquake Preparatory Knowledge and Activities of Lebanese Engineering Students

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Impact of Community Engagement on Students

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1187.1 - 24.1187.10



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Paper Authors


Hoda Baytiyeh American University of Beirut (Beirut)

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Hoda Baytiyeh has B.E. in Computer Engineering from France and Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), USA. Upon graduation in 2009, she joined AUB Faculty of Art and Science as an assistant professor in the Department of Education. In her current position, Dr. Baytiyeh teaches courses in Educational Technology and Web Design. Her primary research areas of interest include Online Learning Communities, Social Networking, Engineering Education and Earthquake Disaster Risk Education focusing on community and schools engagement. She has published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

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The Assessment of Earthquake Preparatory Knowledge and Activities of Lebanese Engineering StudentsThe uncontrollable physical and social consequences of an earthquake remain a key challengeand a horrible nightmare for every vulnerable community. Such a fact necessitates a proactiverole of engineering institutions and an active engagement of the engineering community inplanning and preparing for future earthquakes. It is well documented that even in highseismically active regions; earthquake disaster preparedness has traditionally been overlookedand ignored by the general public, local community and government organizations. Lebanon hasrepeatedly suffered from devastating earthquakes that have recently become a source of deepconcern because of their imminent threat to the safety of unprepared communities, to poorlydesigned infrastructure facilities and to the fragile national economy. The quiescence of seismicactivities along the Lebanese faulting systems during the last few centuries has misled both theLebanese public and former governments’ officials about the existing seismic hazards and hasreduced their perception and awareness for earthquake preparedness. This study investigates thepreparedness of Lebanese engineering students to future earthquake disasters. Senior studentsattending engineering colleges in Lebanon (N=378) were surveyed to assess: 1) students’awareness to earthquakes, 2) students’ preparatory knowledge and practice to earthquakes, 3) thepossible link between awareness, preparatory knowledge and practice, and 4) how engineeringinstitutions, organizations and programs have affected their current awareness and preparedness.Although the findings indicated satisfactory seismic risk awareness across the majority ofparticipants, a poor level of earthquake preparatory knowledge that has negatively affectedpreparatory practices was revealed. It was clear that engineering students were unable to connectsuch awareness with the needed preparatory knowledge and activities to reduce such risks. Also,the role of engineering institutions and organizations has insignificant influence on bothpreparatory knowledge and practicing skills of participants. This article calls for theincorporation of earthquake disaster preparatory knowledge and practice into engineeringprograms across Lebanon and for the engagement of the Lebanese engineering sector inearthquake disaster risk reduction efforts.

Baytiyeh, H. (2014, June), The Assessment of Earthquake Preparatory Knowledge and Activities of Lebanese Engineering Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23120

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