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Seminar in Regensburg examines consequences of climate change in Germany and South Africa

As part of the ideas competition held within the framework of the joint Science Year 2012/2013, Germany and South Africa are sponsoring selected research projects in both countries. Among the projects being sponsored are a collaboration between Stellenbosch University in South Africa and Regensburg University of Applied Sciences. A joint seminar held by the two institutions in Regensburg on 19 June had around 50 participants and generated a positive response.

The theme of the joint seminar entitled "Reviewing the impact of climate change on the exposure of infrastructure to extreme loading as based on risk management methodologies" was the safety of buildings under the impact of extreme burdens caused by climate change. As a global problem, climate change influences the frequency and intensity of natural events such as storms, snowfall and floods. The consequences of this for buildings are particularly acute in relation to their structure and stability and necessitate a static inspection.

Prof. A. Maurial, Dean of the Civil Engineering Faculty at Regensburg University of Applied Sciences, opened the seminar, in which representatives of Stellenbosch University reported on their theme-specific experiences with extreme climate-related burdens in South Africa. W.-D. Rogowsky, Head of the Regensburg Water Management Office, explained and demonstrated local flood protection measures in his own authority. Maria Crespi and Prof. D. Diamantidis discussed the impact of climate change on measurement standards and the implementation of practical safety measures.

The organisers are positive about the seminar, and also see it as a success of the German-South African Science Year 2012/2013 and the accompanying lively scientific cross-pollination between the two countries. 

The scope of the seminar was to discuss such extreme loads on structures and to analyse them on a risk basis. South Africa and Germany have similar problems with extreme stress due to climate change. Both countries must e.g. deal with problems such as floods and storms.
During the meeting also topics for joint research activities (eg, optimization of design criteria, description of the extreme uncertainty of impacts due to climate change) were discussed and will be extended within the framework of this cooperation.

The workshop exceeded expectations with over 50 participants.