Events for CEGE Graduate Students

The department and the University host many events, lectures, and trainings of interest to CEGE graduate students. Please join us for events that interest you.

If you would like to have your events posted to this calendar, contact cegesps@umn.edu.

Upcoming Warren Lectures

Warren & Dexter Lecture with Constantin Christopoulos

Why We Need to Redefine Our Infrastructure Design Focus towards Resilience and a Few Examples of Novel Seismic Resilient Systems

 

Constantin Christopoulos, Ph.D., P.Eng. is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Seismic Resilience of Infrastructure and Director of Structural Testing Facilities, at the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto. He is also the Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering.

ABSTRACT: Protecting our infrastructure is fundamentally important to public safety and to all sectors of our economy. Even if loss of life is averted when designing structures following modern codes, major catastrophic events such as earthquakes or hurricanes, may produce significant damage, economic loss, and place major strains on entire nations’ well-being. To address this challenge engineers are evolving their traditional methods of designing “safe” structures to achieving more “resilient” ones; the ultimate goal being to design and build a new generation of infrastructure that remains damageless and fully functional even after major disasters.

In this presentation, an overview of emerging broader risk and resilience analysis and decision-making frameworks will be presented to emphasize the benefits of our design focus shifting towards resilience. The presentation will then provide an overview of structural engineering research over the past 20 years at the University of Toronto that has been aimed at defining and validating a new set of systems that can provide the structural performance that is required in order to achieve resilience goals. The presentation will focus primarily on steel structures, but, given the limited damage that structural elements sustain in these systems, the findings are also applicable to structures constructed using numerous available materials. This research includes large-scale experimental and numerical research and discussions on design aspects. Finally, the presentation concludes with a discussion on how the implementation of these technologies, which has been lackadaisical at best in North America, can be accelerated to achieve a timely mass implementation of resilient structural systems.

Constantin Christopoulos is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto. He completed his undergraduate and Maters degrees at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and his Ph.D. at the University of California at San Diego before joining U of T. He is the author of more than 150 technical papers, of two textbooks that are used in graduate courses in numerous countries, and named as an inventor in more than 40 international patents.  

Dr. Christopoulos is an associate member of the CSA-S16 Canadian Steel Code Committee, has been involved in a number of high-profile consulting projects involving the implementation of supplemental damping devices in structures, and has presented numerous lectures on advanced seismic engineering and damping systems with an emphasis on high-performance systems throughout the world.

Over the past 20 years, his research has pioneered the development and implementation of novel resilient self-centering structures. His team has also developed advanced damping technologies for both wind and seismic protection of high-rise buildings. He has also supervised research over the past decade on the use of cast steel in seismic engineering applications, which has led to numerous innovations. Professor Christopoulos has also been active in transferring research into practice through startup companies that he has co-founded with his former students.