Skip over navigation

Optimal Reliability-Based Design of Structures based on minimum life-cycle cost

Speaker: Alfred Ang, University of California, Irvine
Series: CEE Departmental Seminars
Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium
Date/Time: Friday, April 25, 2014, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Presenting a decision process for determining the minimum expected life-cycle cost design of structures, and the appropriate safety index for conservative (risk-averse) design of important structures. Life-cycle cost is the pertinent cost consideration in the design of major structures and engineering systems. Besides the initial cost, this must include the costs of maintenance, retrofit and possible replacement (in case of serious damage), etc. Optimal design of structures may then be based on minimizing the expected life-cycle cost, E(LCC); this process will yield the corresponding optimal mean safety index, which is associated with a 50% confidence level. For the design of important structures, a reliability-based safety index with high confidence level is required; for this purpose, uncertainties may be broadly divided into two types – aleatory and epistemic.


Dr. Ang is currently Research Professor and Professor Emeritus at the University of California in Irvine, California, USA. He is also Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1988 where he received his Ph.D. in 1959 and was on the faculty of Civil Engineering from 1959 through 1988. His main area of research is on the application of probability and reliability in civil and structural engineering, with emphasis on safety of engineering systems, including seismic risk and earthquake engineering, quantitative risk assessment (QRA), life-cycle cost and performance, sustainability of green buildings and infrastructure. He has published about 400 papers and articles and a two?volume textbook on probability concepts in engineering, which have been translated into several languages. During his academic career, he has directed 55 Ph.D. students and countless post-doctoral researchers and has been serving as consultant and technical adviser to government and industry on technological risk and reliability issues. He is a member of the prestigious US National Academy of Engineering (elected in 1976) and has received a large number of prestigious awards from the ASCE and other societies, including Honorary Membership in the ASCE.