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With the generous support of Explora Foundation, the Centre for Resilience of Critical Infrastructure (CRCI) has been able to carry out a wide range of activities to increase the knowledge and understanding of resilience with a special emphasis on energetic loading. The Explora Program has been in effect since September 2011, under the direction of Dr. Jeff Packer, Bahen/Tanenbaum Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto.


Explora Foundation in-kind support has enabled large-scale field blast “Trials” to be performed for the University of Toronto research team in 2012 and 2013. This enables invaluable real-scale validation and verification of structural and behavioural performance models

“University of Toronto attendees at the 2013 test series. From left: Professor Jeffrey Packer, Cameron Ritchie (PhD Candidate), Matthew Gow (MASc Student), Kevin Spiller (MASc Student), and Professor Michael Seica”


Explora Foundation has enabled professional outreach meetings to be conducted on general resilience topics. So far, a total of eight meetings, known as the Sandford Fleming Fora, have taken place. The topics of the meetings have ranged from “Risk and Infrastructure Resilience” to” The Resilient City: Planning Resilient Communities”. Speakers at the fora included Michael P. Jackson, the former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and Dr. Aurel Schwerzmann, the Vice President Natural Hazards at SwissRe, among many others. More information can be found on the CRCI website.

Explora Foundation has enabled related post-graduate courses to be given at the University of Toronto such as “Structures under Blast and Impact”. In this course the behaviour of structures subjected to accidental or intentional blast or impact loading is exemplified beginning from understanding the nature of threats and blast loading evaluation, to dynamic analysis and specific structural design considerations. The course addresses the existing lack of expertise in the area of extreme loading on structures and resilience of critical infrastructure, at a time when the need for knowledge in protective design is continuously increasing worldwide. Professional Development Courses and Seminars Explora Foundation has supported short courses and seminars on resiliency-related topics. For further information please visit the CRCI website.

“Speakers at the October 2014 Sandford Fleming Forum. From left: Professor Michael Seica, Dr. Michael Grey, Master of Ceremony Alec Hay, and Dr. David Bristow”


The following students and their work have been sponsored:

  • Martin Walker (Master's 2012 on Energy-Dissipating Connectors under Blast).

  • Eric Holzapfel (Master's 2013 on Multi-Drum Neoclassical Columns under Blast).

  • Min Sun (PhD 2014 on Dynamic Properties of Cold-Formed Hollow Section Material)

  • Kevin Spiller (Master's, in progress, on Annealed Glass under Blast)

  • Matthew Gow (Master's, in progress, on Energy-Dissipating Connectors under Blast)

  • Cameron Ritchie (PhD, in progress, on Hollow & Concrete-Filled Steel Members under Blast)


Ritchie, C., Packer, J.A., Seica, M., Walker, M., Eytan, A. and Yankelevsky, D., “Field Blast Testing and SDOF Analysis of Unfilled and Concrete-Filled RHS Members”, 23rd. International Symposium on Military Aspects of Blast and Shock (MABS23), Oxford, U.K., September 2014.

Spiller, K., Seica, M., Packer, J.A., Yankelevsky, D., Walker, M. and Eytan, A., “Blast Testing of Annealed Glass Windows”, 23rd. International Symposium on Military Aspects of Blast and Shock (MABS23), Oxford, U.K., September 2014. Sun, M. and Packer, J.A., “Direct-Formed and Continuous-Formed Rectangular Hollow Sections – Comparison of Static Properties”, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Vol. 92, 2014, pp. 67- 78.

Sun, M. and Packer, J.A., “High Strain Rate Behaviour of Cold-Formed Rectangular Hollow Sections”, Engineering Structures, Vol. 62-63, 2014, pp. 181-192.

Sun, M. and Packer, J.A., “Charpy V-Notch Impact Toughness of Cold-Formed Rectangular Hollow Sections”, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Vol. 97, 2014, pp. 114-126.

Walker, M., Ritchie, C., Spiller, K., Seica, M., Packer, J. and Eytan, A., “Challenges and Outcome of Full-Scale Blast Experimentation on Structural Steel Members and Glass Elements”, 15th. International Symposium on Interaction of the Effects of Munitions with Structures (ISIEMS15), Potsdam, Germany, September 2013, Proceedings Paper 126.

Walker, M., Seica, M., Eytan, A. and Packer, J.A., “Standards and Strategies for Blast Testing of Structures and Devices”, 22nd. International Symposium on Military Aspects of Blast and Shock (MABS22), Bourges, France, November 2012, Proceedings Paper 64.

Sun, M. and Packer, J.A., “Direct Forming versus Continuous Forming, for Cold-Formed Square Hollow Sections”, 14th. International Symposium on Tubular Structures (ISTS14), London, U.K., September 2012, Proceedings pp. 739-746.

Walker, M., Seica, M. and Packer, J.A., “Behaviour of Square Hollow Section Steel Members under Transverse High-Impact Loading”, 14th. International Symposium on the Interaction of the Effects of Munitions with Structures (ISIEMS14), Seattle, Washington, September 2011, Proceedings, 10 pp.