Seymour M.J. Spence

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Dr. Spence’s main research thrusts are focused on the theoretical and computational development of models and frameworks for the implementation and adoption in practice of performance-based wind engineering, optimization of structural systems subject to uncertainty and experimental/stochastic wind loads, and metamodeling of nonlinear and dynamic structural systems under uncertainty. Specific areas in which Dr. Spence’s research group have made contributions are: performance-based wind engineering, system-level analysis and optimization of uncertain dynamic systems, probabilistic modeling and uncertainty propagation, metamodeling of static and dynamic systems, machine learning in stochastic analysis of structures, resilience and adaptation of communities subject to severe wind events, topology optimization of uncertain stochastic systems, and computational fluid dynamics for wind and rain simulation.

Computational fluid dynamics simulation of wind driven rain in hurricanes

Portrait of Jeremy Bricker

Jeremy Bricker

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Jeremy Bricker is an Associate Professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research is focused on hydraulic engineering to investigate the resilience of structures and infrastructure exposed to both increasing hazard due to climate change and increasing consequences due to expansion of development in coastal and flood-prone areas.

Computational methods are useful in hydraulic engineering for assessing the safety of coastal and hydraulic structures, estimating the flood risk experienced by communities, and predicting damage to buildings during floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis. At a large scale of hundreds to thousands of kilometers, shallow water equation models simulate tsunami propagation, storm surge and wave generation, and river flood occurrence. At scales of kilometers to tens of kilometers, these models resolve overland inundation due to flood events, allowing empirical or analytical estimates of forces on structures and damage to buildings and infrastructure. At a small scale of tens to hundreds of meters, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) directly calculates pressures and forces on submerged and emergent structures from floodwaters and waves. This can be linked with a dynamic response model to assess whether resonance could lead to structural failure, or linked with a Finite Element Method (FEM) model to assess stresses within the structure. Such modeling is useful for forensic analysis of the failure of bridges, buildings, and other infrastructure after floods, as well as for planning and design of new structures.


Streamlines around the cross-section of a 3-girder bridge deck submerged by a river flood, from Oudenbroek et al. (2018).



Hugo Casquero

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Hugo Casquero is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at University of Michigan – Dearborn. His research is focused on developing accurate, robust, and efficient computational methods and using them to solve a myriad of open problems in fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, fluid-structure interaction, biomechanics, and multiphysics. The overarching theme of the computational methods that Dr. Casquero develops is to solve partial differential equations exploiting the new advantages that splines bring to computational mechanics. Dr. Casquero is particularly interested in developing computational frameworks for real-world applications in which experimental measurement of the quantities of interest is too costly or not currently available. Current research activities in his group include achieving a seamless integration between design and analysis of thin-walled structures, studying the dynamics of vesicles, capsules, red blood cells, and droplets under different types of flow, and developing structure-preserving spline discretizations of magnetohydrodynamics to solve problems in fusion energy.

animation of a crash simulation plotting von Mises stress

Crash simulation plotting von Mises stress. A discretization of Kirchhoff-Love shells based on analysis-suitable T-splines is used. This simulation includes elastoplastic material behavior, fracture criteria, contact algorithms, and spot-weld modeling. Material failure takes place around the largest hole of the B-pillar.