Invited seminar by Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Vamvatsikos
06.11.17 - Seminar on: Hazard, Ageing, Probability and Why Infrastructure Needs to be Designed for Performance. Friday, November 24th 2017, 12h15 - AAC 0 08
Summary: A civil engineering project is a difficult battle with nature. We are fighting against uncertain loads, materials and ageing under changing climatic conditions, using imperfect analysis/modeling tools, and under severe financial, operational and architectural constraints. Our staunchest ally in this endeavor seems to be the design code that offers some standardization to the design process and essentially represents a social contract on what constitutes an acceptable structure. At the same time, though, the design code may also obscure some fundamental principles that one seems to apply when making everyday financial decisions, like buying a car, a smartphone or a computer, but not necessarily when building vastly more expensive infrastructure (ports, bridges, pipelines, etc.). In a market saturated with competing consumer products that cater to every user need and purse size, it seems that very few structural solutions are made available to a risk-conscious future building owner. In the course of the presentation we shall argue the case for designing to cater to a user’s needs, going beyond the structural code to achieve sui generis structures with the required performance.
Bio: Dr. Vamvatsikos studied civil engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (Diploma, 1997) and at Stanford University (MSc 1998, PhD 2002). Since 2011 he has joined the Institute of Steel Structures at NTUA, where he holds the position of Assistant Professor specializing in the static and dynamic analysis of steel structures. His research interests are focused on integrating structural modeling, computational techniques, probabilistic concepts and experimental results into a coherent framework for the performance evaluation of structures and infrastructure under man-made and natural hazards. His seminal work in risk assessment via Incremental Dynamic Analysis has received wide attention leading to more than 2000 citations. He has co-operated with leading structural engineering firms (ARUP, Halcrow/CH2M), the oil&gas industry (Shell, ExxonMobil), catastrophe risk modelers (AIR Worldwide, RED Srl), and insurance/reinsurance companies (AXA Insurance), while his research has been funded by the Applied Technology Council, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology and the European Commission. He is a long-time collaborator of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation and has contributed to the GEM vulnerability assessment guidelines and the Risk Modeler’s Toolkit for OpenQuake.