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MMS Brown Bag Seminar with Andrew Rock, Graduate Student, and Daniel Tonelli, Visiting Student Research Collaborator

Speaker: Andrew Rock, Graduate Student, and Daniel Tonelli, Visiting Student Research Collaborator
Series: MMS Brown Bag Seminars
Location: Engineering Quad E219
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 12:30:00 p.m. - 01:30:00 p.m.


Title: Expected utility theory for monitoring-based decision support system
Speaker: Daniel Tonelli, Visiting Student Research Collaborator

In theory, we all recognize that Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) should help infrastructure owners to make decisions on the management of their assets.  In practice, we often observe owners who are very skeptical of the benefit of SHM and act based on their experience, disregarding the actions suggested by SHM.  One of the topics I am working on is about filling this gap between theory and common practice, by outlining a formal approach to rational decisions based on monitoring information.  SHM and decision are two separate processes, occurring one downstream of the other: whereas SHM allows assessing the state of a structure based on monitoring data, the decision provides the optimal action, based on the structural state assessed and the possible consequences of any individual choice.  The first process is rationally tackled by using Bayesian inference, the second by using the axioms of expected utility theory (EUT).  I have illustrated this approach on a real-life case study, the Colle Isarco viaduct, a strategic bridge in the European Alpine region.  The decision support system (DSS) developed interprets the data coming from a robotized topographic monitoring system and resistance thermometers, infers information on the state of the structure, and it suggests the optimal management policy after a possible damaging event.

Title: A Finite element formulation of nonlinear pneumatic membranes with applications to fluid structure interaction
Speaker: Andrew Rock, Graduate Student

Compared with all other natural disasters, storm surges are the leading cause of damage and loss of life in the USA.  Due in part to climate change’s accompanying sea level rise, the intensity of the average storm surge has increased and will continue to do so.  Current solution methods comprise large steel gates and huge masses of concrete, and these coastal strategies reduce beachfront property values and are not environmentally friendly, so an alternative, storable, less intrusive, inflatable rubber membrane is proposed as a more cost-effective coastal defense measure.  Before one can confidently implement this design, an appropriate means of analysis of the nonlinear membrane subject to hydrodynamic fluid flow must be established.  It is proposed that the membrane can be characterized by its 2D cross-sectional plane strain behavior and is analyzed with the finite element method.  The nonlinear material and geometric formulation is presented and verified numerically, and introductory work on a coupled fluid structure interaction simulation between the membrane and incompressible Navier Stokes flow is shown using ALE methods.