Emily So

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Emily So
MEng PhD CEng MICE

Emily So is a civil engineer and a senior lecturer at the Department of Architecture in University of Cambridge. Before coming to Cambridge Architectural Research in 2005 she worked at Arup as a senior geotechnical engineer. She joined Arup in London after completing her Master’s Degree at Imperial College, London, where she was a Queen's Jubilee Scholarship Trust (QUEST) scholar. During her six years with Arup, she worked mainly on geo-seismic projects and dynamic foundation analysis as well as general geotechnical analysis. In particular, she was involved in carrying out numerous site-specific seismic hazard and site response assessments in many countries around the world.

More recently, she had a two year appointment at the U.S. Geological Survey as a Mendenhall Fellow (2009-2011). Her area of specialty is casualty estimation in earthquake loss modelling and her research has led to improved understanding of the relationship between death and injury following earthquakes. Her work and the international contacts developed have been instrumental in establishing an international network on Disaster Casualties.

She has actively engaged with earthquake-affected communities in different parts of the world, focusing on applying her work towards making real-world improvements in seismic safety. She has been involved in interdisciplinary and international collaboration through her work with the UK Earthquake Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) and the Global Earthquake Model (GEM), and is participating in the international debate on the way forward for earthquake risk mitigation.

She is an international recognised researcher in the field of human casualties in earthquakes and she has been on six post-earthquake field missions, assessing building damage and interviewing survivors of the events. She is the 2010 Shah Family Innovation Prize winner, an award given annually by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) to promising young practitioners or academics.

Dr So joined CAR in 2005 and became a director in 2007, working with Professor Robin Spence on the disaster mitigation and risk assessment services at CAR. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Global Earthquake Consequences Database (GEMECD), leading a team of 10 international collaborators on developing a global GIS relational database for earthquake consequences in the past 40 years. She has also contributed to insurance projects, examining loss estimation and casualties and assessments of uncertainties of losses due to earthquakes. In addition, she has worked for the British Council and the British Red Cross, reviewing their designs and assets and has been involved in several EPSRC-funded projects assessing the impacts of earthquakes and also in monitoring recovery from disasters.

She is a Director of Studies and Fellow in Architecture at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

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