CCEE Ph.D. student Cristina Lorenzo-Velázquez was awarded a Global Travel Grant from the Seismological Society of America. The grant offers student and early-career members financial support to attend and present at scientific conferences and workshops anywhere in the world. Lorenzo-Velázquez, who is advised by Dr. Ashly Cabas, will attend the Latin American and Caribbean Seismological Commission Assembly in Quito, Ecuador, in October.
“I felt really honored and grateful when I found out that I received the grant to attend the Latin American and Caribbean Seismological Commission Assembly in Quito, Ecuador,” Lorenzo-Velázquez said. “This event also provides a unique opportunity to listen to the perspectives of other Latin American professionals in my field, and learn about issues relevant to the region, and new approaches tailored to available resources and specific challenges in Latin American communities.”
Lorenzo-Velázquez, who is from Puerto Rico, hopes to not only expand her knowledge through the grant, but wants to identify gaps in the seismology field and how to contribute to her community with her research.
“Being from Puerto Rico, I also have the eagerness to connect with more Latin American women like myself in the field to not only identify role models but also to pursue collaboration opportunities to advance earthquake engineering in the Caribbean,” she said. “The Puerto Rico earthquake sequence and its consequences left an impact that motivates me to be more intentional in my efforts to advance science and build capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean regions.”
Lorenzo-Velázquez’s research is focused on integrating the effects of local soil conditions into probabilistic seismic hazard assessments of water supply distribution systems — specifically, when the damage concentration in areas prone to ground motion amplification is variable within a region because local soil conditions vary between different locations, which has been seen in past earthquakes.
“The goal is to contribute to the improvement of the performance of pipelines spread through long distances and regions with variable site conditions during seismic events,” she said.