The objective of this Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award is to mitigate the effect of extreme events, such as earthquake, progressive collapse, and blast/impact, on structural systems. To this end, the project will create optimal structural-material designs for withstanding extreme events using novel multi-scale topology optimization methods. Specific research activities include: (1) Developing multi-scale constitutive models for simulation of energy dissipation in structural steels; (2) Experimentally investigating energy dissipation in steels through damage evolution and localization; (3) Establishing topology optimization formulations and algorithms for optimal design of nonlinear dissipative systems; (4) Performance based seismic and progressive collapse designing of steel building systems with optimal energy dissipating elements; (5) Designing and validating novel cladding systems for blast-impact mitigation using topology optimization. Through these integrated activities engineering products and technologies will be developed that can be effectively used for mitigating the effect of extreme events on structural systems.
The project will provide the structural engineering community with tools and technology necessary for hazard mitigation from the extreme events. The project results will also be utilized for developing the next generation of performance based building design codes. The research methods will be integrated into the mainstream undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Notre Dame through classroom teaching and Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. The project outreach program focuses on training and education of the Native American students through K-12 classroom activities to encourage them to pursue careers in science and engineering. High school teachers from the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation in the North and South Dakota will be trained to use simple structural simulation tools, and teaching modules will be developed to introduce the topic of structural engineering to the high school Native American students. To reach wider Native American community, the research results and teaching modules will also be disseminated through the Sitting Bull College library on the reservation. The workforce impact of the project will include two Ph.D. students, and several undergraduate and high school students.