A Crys­tal Ball for Quake Dam­age

Fast Company - - Innovation By Design - —KS

As a teen in Kash­mir, Ah­mad Wani sur­vived a dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake, and the ex­pe­ri­ence in­spired him to be­come a struc­tural engineer. While pur­su­ing his mas­ter’s at Stan­ford, he teamed up with two other grad stu­dents, Ni­cole Hu and Tim Frank, on a pro­ject that ap­plied ma­chine learn­ing to his­tor­i­cal earth­quake data, cre­at­ing pre­cise pre­dic­tions of fu­ture dam­age that could guide emer­gency re­sponse. The three co­founded One Con­cern in 2015, and five cities, in­clud­ing Los An­ge­les, Cu­per­tino, and San Fran­cisco, are now us­ing the com­pany’s Seis­mic Con­cern plat­form to mon­i­tor more than 12 mil­lion res­i­dences and nearly 700,000 com­mer­cial build­ings and run evacuation and res­cue sim­u­la­tions. The plat­form re­cently helped emer­gency work­ers in San Fran­cisco iden­tify evac­uees fol­low­ing a high-pres­sure gasline rup­ture.

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