GTU Introduces MARTEST to the World in Japan

May 31, 2024-GTU Office of Press and Public Relations

Faculty members from the Department of Civil Engineering at GTU attended the 2024 meeting of the Japan Geoscience Union and presented the MARTEST project, which focuses on creating earthquake-resistant structures and communities.

Representing Türkiye at the meeting, which included prestigious universities and participants from over 80 countries, were Gebze Technical University (GTU), Boğaziçi University, and the Kocaeli Branch of the Chamber of Civil Engineers. The project, prepared by GTU scholars, began in 2023 and will continue for five years. It is supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The main objectives of the project are to create earthquake-resistant structures and communities, to be able to cope with major disasters, and to transition to the recovery process with minimal damage by increasing public disaster awareness. The MARTEST project team, consisting of Prof. Dr. Bülent Akbaş, Prof. Dr. Selçuk Toprak, Dr. Ceren Özer-Sözdinler, and Dr. Ahmet Anıl Dindar, completed the project's second annual meeting at JICA's Tokyo headquarters and examined earthquake damages in the area affected by the January 1, 2024 Noto earthquake.

In the MARTEST Earthquake and Structural Engineering Laboratory, which will be completed with the support of the Presidential Strategy Development Department, experiments will be conducted to build earthquake-resistant structures in Türkiye. Additionally, hazard analysis and damage reduction studies against tsunami disasters, real-time observation of ground motions in the Eastern Marmara section of the North Anatolian Fault using the DAS (Distributed Acoustic Sensing) method, disaster preparedness and urban risk reduction studies in our cities, and education to improve disaster literacy and awareness will be conducted by Turkish and Japanese researchers. The MARTEST project, guided by the painful experiences of the 2023 Kahramanmaraş earthquakes and the light of science and technology, is planned to continue until 2028. Experimental studies for disaster-resilient structures will be carried out in the laboratory to be established under the project, using the latest technological approaches.

The GTU team also visited the Turkish Ambassador to Tokyo, Mr. Korkut Güngen, to share their work processes and maintain institutional communication.

Developments in the MARTEST project can be found at