What is the overall goal of your project?
The goal of this project is to develop a methodology for understanding and evaluating the performance of residential infrastructure for enhancing the post-disaster recovery and resilience of coastal communities in the United States subjected to hurricane loads.

Which grand challenge are you addressing?
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the average grade for various categories of US infrastructure in 2005 was a “D.” With a report card like this, today’s engineers face the challenge of restoring and improving infrastructure to support civilization, especially in high-density urban areas. However, expected deterioration of urban infrastructure is not the only challenge engineers must overcome. Protection against natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and accidents must also be considered as we improve the infrastructure. Our goal is to identify the deficiencies of current residential infrastructure in coastal communities and propose methods to improve their recovery following hurricanes.

What is the key challenge your project is trying to solve?
The degradation of wood-frame buildings has a significant probability to increase the risk of extensive damages in the case of a natural disaster (e.g., hurricane) as well as costly unplanned maintenance/repair work.  To develop an interdisciplinary methodology that integrates the effect of different factors on the recovery of coastal residential infrastructure following hurricanes as well as making risk-informed recommendations is required in order to improve pre- and post-hurricane preparedness.

What is the impact on society your project has?
Wood-frame structures represent the vast majority (approximately 99%) of single and multi-family residential units in the United States. Such structures can be vastly damaged during hurricanes especially when located in coastal communities. A methodology that integrates the effects of the hazard occurrence, built-environment, and social and economic attributes for improved pre-disaster preparedness and post-disaster recovery are critical for increasing the communities’ recovery time and resilience to natural hazards.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Maria Koliou

Engineering majors targeted: Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Ocean Engineering