Workshop on Resilient Cities through Computation

The 2020 Virtual MICDE Symposium

Friday, October 9, 2020
Zoom, 9:30 am – 6:00 pm


All times are noted in Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4).


Section I

9:30 a.m. — Opening Remarks, Sherif El-Tawil, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

For more information on Professor Sherif El-Tawil’s seminar, please refer to Section 3 below.

9:35 a.m. — Terri McAllister, Community Resilience Group Leader and Program Manager, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY

Terri McAllister
Community Resilience Group Leader and Program Manager
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Seminar: Providing Risk-Informed Decision Support for Resilient Communities

Abstract: Communities, both large and small, are embracing the need to prepare for future hazard events and ongoing stressors through resilience planning, which addresses the ability of a community to recover its services and functions within a specified timeframe, so that the effects of severe disruptions are averted or minimized. Resilience builds upon well-established concepts that include urban planning, hazard characterization, reliability, life safety, risk management, mitigation, and emergency response. It provides a framework to integrate these and other concepts, such as recovery planning and dependencies between multi-disciplinary (e.g., physical, social, and economic) systems. Therefore, computational tools need to be multi-disciplinary and provide risk-informed decision support at the community scale for future hazard events and ongoing stressors.

Recent interactions with communities at workshops and during their resilience activities have identified significant challenges that communities face in selecting appropriate computational tools to support developing and implementing resilience plans. The range of data and tools available, and the resources needed for their use, can be overwhelming for communities. Many communities continue to rely on expert judgment of their staff and consultants. Advancing resilience requires that communities understand and appropriately apply computational tools to inform their community plans and decision options.

Even with these challenges, communities are actively working with available data and tools to advance their resilience plans. Examples of community resilience planning tools and needs and considerations for computational tools will be provided.

Bio: Dr. Therese McAllister is the Community Resilience Group Leader in the Materials and Structural Systems Research Division of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She is also the Technical Point of Contact for the NIST funded Center of Excellence, Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning led by Colorado State University.

She is an ASCE Structural Engineering Institute Fellow and serves on standard and technical committees of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and serves on advisory panels for DHS and HUD resilience programs.

10:10 a.m. — Xinzheng Lu, Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University

Xinzheng Lu
Civil Engineering
Tsinghua University

Seminar: Physics-driven disaster simulation and its application in community resilience

Abstract: Quantify the performance of the community under multiple potential hazards is important for building a resilient community. In this study, a physics-driven multi-hazard simulation framework based on the city information model (CIM) concept is proposed to evaluate the function loss of the community under the earthquake, fire, and wind disasters. The disaster simulations in the framework are all based on physics-driven models. Consequently, it is more flexible to be employed in different communities compared with data-driven empirical methods. Furthermore, the CIM-powered database unifies the database required for the simulations of different hazards and scales, promoting the modeling efficiency. The regional disaster simulation together with several case studies for real-world communities is introduced in detail to demonstrate the workflow of the framework, including the application of these methodologies in the NHERI SimCenter and San Francisco Bay Area.

Bio: Xinzheng Lu is a full professor and the head of the Institute of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation of Tsinghua University. His major research interests cover earthquake engineering and collapse prevention of structures. He has published more than 200 papers in refereed journals. Prof. Lu has been awarded as the “Most Cited Chinese Scholars in Civil and Structural field” by Elsevier (from 2014 to 2019). Read more.

10:40 a.m. — Seth Guikema, Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan

Seth Guikema
Industrial & Operations Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Michigan

Seminar: Resilience, Behavior, and Equity

Abstract: Resilience is a powerful concept in hazard preparedness planning. However, existing conceptualizations and models of resilience offer a limited view of community resilience and how it changes over time. In this talk I present a view of resilience that spans the engineering and social capital perspectives and refocusing resilience as equitable access to essential services. I then discuss the critical role of behavior in influencing how the resilience of a community evolves over time. This talk draws on computational modeling projects spanning a number of hazards and geographies from hurricanes to tsunamis to riverine floods.

Bio: Dr. Seth Guikema is a Professor in Industrial and Operations Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. Dr. Guikema’s research is highly interdisciplinary. Much of his group’s recent work is focused on the problems of urban and infrastructure resilience and sustainability in a changing climate, though areas of application are broad. It is grounded in risk analysis, particularly data-drive risk analysis and complex systems simulation.

11:10 a.m. — Break

Session 2 will begin at 11:30 am.

Section II

11:30 a.m. — Gregory Deierlein (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University)

Gregory Deierlein
John A. Blume Professor of Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Stanford University

Seminar: NHERI SimCenter Computational Framework for Simulating Regional-Scale Impacts of Natural Hazards

Abstract: The Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure’s Computational Modeling and Simulation Center (NHERI SimCenter) is developing computational workflows for regional simulations of natural hazard disasters. These simulations enable research to combine detailed
performance assessments of individual facilities and infrastructure with comprehensive regional-scale simulations of natural hazard effects on communities. Effective development of platforms for high-resolution regional simulations requires modular workflows that can integrate state-of-the-art models with information technologies and high-performance computing resources. In this presentation, the modular architecture of the computational workflow models is described and illustrated through testbed applications to evaluate regional building damage for an earthquake scenario in the San Francisco Bay Area and a hurricane scenario in Atlantic City. Developed and disseminated as open-source software on the NHERI Design Safe Cyberinfrastructure, the computational workflows are facilitating multi-disciplinary research to develop strategies that can mitigate disruption and facilitate more rapid recovery from natural hazards disasters.

Bio: Dr. Gregory Deierlein is a John A. Blume Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. He is Co-Director of the NSF-supported Computational Modeling and Simulation Center for Natural Hazards and Director of the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center. Deierlein’s research focuses on performance-based earthquake engineering of buildings and civil infrastructure with emphasis on nonlinear analysis, design and behavior of structures.

12:00 p.m. — Tasos Sextos (Earthquake Engineering, University of Bristol)

Tasos Sextos
Earthquake Engineering
Bristol University

Seminar: Quantifying Seismic Resilience of Infrastructure and Communities: smart tools vs. pragmatic challenges

Abstract: In case of seismic events, the inter-dependency between structural damage and system functionality is key for assessing financial cost and social impact. One of the challenges associated with informed disaster risk mitigation, however, is the quantification of resilience in a feasible, meaningful, and pragmatic manner. This talk focuses on a recently developed, multidimensional (i.e., structural, geotechnical, transportational, financial and social) framework that aims to facilitate resilience enhancement and metrics-based decision-making for infrastructure and communities, using state-of-the-art computational methods, hybrid testing and mobile app agents in different societal contexts. Depending on the system studied, a set of resilience-based indicators is also presented for meeting pre-defined objectives by stakeholders and individual agents. Examples are provided from recent applications in developed and developing countries.

Bio: Dr. Tasos Sextos is a Professor of Earthquake Engineering at the University of Bristol, UK. He is the Head of the Earthquake and Geotechnical Engineering Research Group and the Academic co-Lead for the design and delivery of the new £12million (€14.4m) Soil-Foundation-Structure Interaction (SoFSI) Facility. Anastasios has an extensive record of service to the earthquake engineering community.

12:30 p.m. — Hiba Baroud (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Vanderbilt University)

Hiba Baroud
Assistant Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Vanderbilt University

Seminar: Evaluating Uncertain and Dynamic Network Interdependencies

Abstract: Cities are comprised of interconnected systems that include critical infrastructure such as water, energy, and transportation. These networks are interdependent and their operation is influenced by the dynamics of socio-economic and environmental systems. They are also vulnerable to hazards whereby a disruption in one network can result in cascading failures across other connected networks. With cities constantly adapting to changing circumstances, planning for resilience requires an understanding of uncertain and dynamic interdependencies across systems to monitor change and strategically intervene to better prepare for disasters. As such, there is a need for data-driven and computational methods that leverage information and model these complex interactions.

This talk presents a research approach founded in dynamic network modeling to characterize and evaluate uncertain and dynamic infrastructure interdependencies. The method adopts a probabilistic model to predict the importance of interdependent links during disasters. A framework for performing a dynamic analysis of vulnerability and restoration is presented with case studies using a real power, water, and gas system.

Bio: Dr. Hiba Baroud is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Littlejohn Dean’s Faculty Fellow at Vanderbilt University. Her research is at the intersection of data analytics and risk and resilience modeling. Her group develops and applies methods founded in statistical learning, network models, and decision analysis to evaluate infrastructure performance during disasters. She is particularly interested in uncertain and dynamic interdependencies across multiple systems (infrastructure, humans, environment). Applications are focused on smart cities, developing countries, and Arctic communities. Hiba is the recipient of the 2019 Chancellor’s Public Voices Fellowship and the 2020 National Science Foundation Early CAREER award.

1:00 p.m. — Break

Resume at 1:30 p.m.

Section III

1:30 p.m. — John W. van de Lindt (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University)

John W. van de Lindt
Harold H. Short Endowed Chair Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Colorado State University

Seminar: The Interdisciplinarity of Community Resilience and IN-CORE

Abstract: Physical infrastructure exists to support society and thus many community-level metrics are socio-economic and related to population and economic stability. As a result, community resilience requires cooperation across and within disciplines, namely engineering, computer science, social science/planning, economics, and policy. Dependencies play a key role and act within networks, across networks, and across disciplines making modeling a complex endeavor. The Interdependent Networked Community Resilience Modeling Environment (IN-CORE) developed by the NIST Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning enables analysts to develop and/or combine models from all disciplines with interacting physics-based/process and data-driven/empirical models for earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis. This presentation will address the interdisciplinarity of these complex modeling approaches, which metrics are tracked to identify stability and improvements in resilience, and demonstrate an example of modeling the event-to-recovery (ETR) modeling process for a tornado striking a mid-size city.

Bio: Dr. John W. van de Lindt is the Harold H. Short Endowed Chair Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. He has conducted nearly 50 research projects related to building and other systems related to earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes and floods. He serves on ASCE’s Executive Committee for the Infrastructure Resilience Division and SEI. He is the Co-director for the National Institute of Standards and Technology-funded Center of Excellence (COE) for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning headquartered at Colorado State University. The NIST COE is a 14-university collaboration developing the computational resilience environment IN-CORE and engaging partner communities. He has published more than 400 technical articles and reports including more than 200 journal papers.

2:00 p.m. — Waeel El-Dakhakhni (Civil Engineering, McMaster University)

Wael El-Dakhakhni
Civil Engineering and Computational Science & Engineering
McMaster University

Seminar: Critical Infrastructure Resilience in the Face of Climatological Systemic Risks

Abstract: The 2019 Global Risk Report by the World Economic Forum identified Failure of climate-change mitigation & adaptation; Extreme weather events; and Natural disasters as the top three global risks in terms of their combined likelihood and impact. The series of devastating climatological disasters across the globe in the past few decades clearly demonstrates that our societies are far from being climate resilient. Our societies’ critical infrastructure networks feature a multi-layer, densely interconnected architecture of several dynamic (i.e., evolving with time) networks. These networks include, most notably, the power grid, water & wastewater, transportation, as well as telecommunications, fuel, food supply chain, health care, and financial networks. The interdependence of such networks may be responsible for system-wide failures spreading progressively, through interdependence, from one network to another in a domino-like scenario (known as systemic risks), thereby threatening multiple strata of social life and economy. This talk will highlight some ongoing projects at the INTERFACE Institute employing data analytics to overcome the interdependence-induced complexity influencing infrastructure resilience to climatological risks.

Bio: Dr. Wael El-Dakhakhni is a Professor of Civil Engineering and Computational Science & Engineering at McMaster University. He is the Director of the INTERFACE Institute for Multi-hazard Systemic Risk Studies and the INViSiONLab [Interdependent Network Visualization, Simulation, Optimization, analysis, and Learning laboratory].

2:30 p.m. — Sherif El-Tawil (Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan)

Sherif El-Tawil
Antoine E. Naaman Collegiate Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Michigan

Seminar: SRTI: An Accessible Distributed Computing Platform for Interdisciplinary Simulation of Natural Hazard Scenarios

Abstract: Computational research is widespread in the many fields that contribute to natural hazards research. Yet, transdisciplinary efforts routinely face the challenge of connecting disciplinary models that were not designed from the start to be compatible with one another. Integrated platforms are a natural answer to this problem. However, modifying or extending them requires detailed knowledge of the software that necessitates a dedicated maintenance and development staff. This diminishes their scalability and versatility and acts as a throttle on future growth.

The Simple Run Time Infrastructure (SRTI) was developed to address these limitations. Designed to have a low barrier to use, the platform enables disparate simulators to interact together within a publish-subscribe modeling environment. Each simulator represents one part of a disaster scenario and is viewed as a black box that subscribes to data it needs from other simulators and/or publishes its results for other simulators to use. The key advantage is that researchers from various parts of a project (say civil engineering) do not need to know, and may not have the training to know, the details of how simulators from other parts of the project (e.g. economics, social science, or health) work. A cross-language simulation of a time-dependent seismic resilience analysis is presented to demonstrate the scalability and usability of SRTI.

Bio: Sherif El-Tawil, PhD, PE is the Antoine E. Naaman Collegiate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. He is the PI for the NSF-funded ICoR project that resulted in the development of SRTI.

3:00 p.m. — Break

The panel discussion will begin at 3:10 P.M.

Panel Discussion

3:10 p.m. — Panel, Moderated by Jason P. McCormick (Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan)

Jason P. McCormick
Associate Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Michigan

About Dr. McCormick’s research: Dr. McCormick’s research interests are in the general area of extreme load mitigation (earthquake and wind), structural response reduction through innovative systems, steel system design with hollow structural sections, welded systems (steel structures and aluminum ship hulls), and simulation of interdependencies toward community resilience. His research over the years has involved large-scale experimental testing, small-scale mechanical behavior studies, and high fidelity simulations. Recent studies have focused on the application of innovative materials (polymer foam, metal foam, honeycomb materials) to control structural response under seismic and wind loads and understanding the behavior of deep, slender wide flange sections under large axial loads and bending moments. Research on steel tube-based seismic moment connections has provided the impetus toward a more diverse and increased use of hollow structural sections. Collaborations have included working with members of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering to look at under-matched aluminum welds for ship structures.

Hands-on Workshop

4:00 p.m. — Hands-on Workshop: Creating a Hybrid Simulation System Using the Simple Runtime Infrastructure Software

Andrew Hylnka
Research Applications Developer
University of Michigan

Workshop: Hands-on Workshop: Creating a Hybrid Simulation System Using the Simple Run Time Infrastructure Software

Abstract: This hands-on workshop’s goal is to introduce the Simple Run-Time Infrastructure software toolkit (SRTI) to the participants, and provide a template project consisting of multiple simulators, each with a specialized purpose, relating to a natural-disaster scenario. It will take place after the feature talks.

The SRTI is a free, open-source solution developed at the University of Michigan, and enables researchers to connect computer programs and simulators written in different languages, to share data during execution, and to design hybrid systems using disparate simulator modules, with a primary goal of being user friendly. This hands-on workshop will explain what the SRTI is, and provide an example on how to use it.

The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is required to run the SRTI. Please install it prior to the workshop. Refer to for more information on supported operating systems and languages. Participants will need to use their own computer systems at home to take part. Basic coding skills in any programming language are required.

Bio: Andrew Hlynka is a Research Applications Developer at the University of Michigan, and joined the ICoR research project in 2017. He holds a Master of Science (Computer Science) from the University of Windsor. His career includes experience with software development and interactive 3D experiences.