I have conducted research in two different areas, seismic performance of steel moment frame structures and mitigation of hurricane hazards on coastal highway bridges. I published journal papers in both areas.
My primary research interest is multi-hazard mitigation of infrastructure systems, which includes:
1. Theoretical and computational analysis of the loads generated by natural hazards (e.g. earthquakes and hurricanes) and man-made hazards (e.g. blast and impact),
2. Prediction of dynamic response of structures (e.g. buildings, bridges and offshore platforms) to these loads, and
3. Parametric studies on key design parameters for development of practical design guidelines for mitigation of hazards.
The theoretical aspects of my research focus on developing realistic model-based simulations of loads and structural response, which are rigorously validated by available experimental results. The ultimate objective of my research is to protect human lives and property from natural and man-made disasters by providing analytical tools for reliable prediction of the potential of failures in structural systems subjected to multi-hazards, and developing practical design guidelines for effective mitigation of the impacts of these hazards.
On the seismic performance of steel moments frames, I completed a seminal study of the seismic performance of steel moment frames with reduced beam sections (RBS). My work was one of the first complete works on the analysis and design of frame system with RBS connections. I also worked on an analytical tool, DYNAMIX, which is capable of realistic prediction of the dynamic seismic response of steel and concrete framed structures. My dissertation work has produced three journal papers that have been published in Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Journal of Structural Engineering, and Journal of Constructional Steel Research.
I continued my work on the seismic performance of steel moment frame buildings at Texas A&M Galveston. I worked with Drs. Fry (Texas A&M) and Engelhardt (UT-Austin) on several proposals submitted to NSF. In 2009, we were awarded a $1.2M project by NSF to investigate the role of panel zones on the seismic performance of steel moment frames. I am co-PI of the project, and leader of frame dynamic analysis studies.
In 2004, on the heels of Hurricane IVAN, which caused extensive structural damages to a coastal highway bridge in Florida, I devoted research efforts to mitigation of hurricane damages to coastal bridges. My research focused on two critical issues. One is the determination of design wave parameter, i.e. wave height and wave period during hurricanes. Another issue is the computation of hurricane wave loads on bridge structures. On the first issue, from Oct. 2005 to Mar. 2007, I worked as co-PI on a $130K project funded by Texas Coastal Management Program, in which we developed real-time wave prediction system for the entire Texas coast. The wave prediction data is archived continuously and may be used to develop site-specific design wave parameters for locations along Texas coast. From Sep.2007 to Aug. 2009, I worked on a $243k project funded by Texas Dept. of Transportation. As the PI of the project, I worked with colleagues in Texas A&M Galveston and Texas A&M College Station to develop site-specific wave parameters for four bridges along Texas coast. Results of the project enable engineers to calculate wave loads on coastal bridges in the design of new coastal bridges and evaluation of existing bridges. (Report)
In the mean time, I supervised a Ph.D. student to conduct research on the second issue. An analytical model based on the Laplace Equation and finite difference method was developed. Parametric studies covering a range of wave parameters, bridge geometry and deck elevation were conducted. The work was presented at the ASCE Structures Conference in 2007. I later used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software Flow-3D to further investigate the interaction between hurricane waves and bridge superstructures. Since the graduation of my student in 2008, results of large-scale experimental studies at OSU were reported. I used the results to validate the numerical model. Equations for calculating wave loads on bridge superstructures were developed using results of parametric studies. This work is presented in a paper recently published in Ocean Engineering.