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PhD Defense

PhD Defense - Omar Issa, "Engineering modeling for assessing and optimizing seismic resilience”

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A study by FEMA suggests that 20-40% modern code-conforming buildings would be unfit for re-occupancy following a major earthquake (taking months or years to repair) and 15-20% would be rendered irreparable. The increasing human and economic exposure in seismically active regions emphasizes the urgent need to bridge the gap between national seismic design provisions (which do not consider time to recovery) and community resilience goals. Recovery-based design has emerged as a new paradigm to address this gap by explicitly designing buildings to regain their basic intended functions within an acceptable time following an earthquake. This shift is driven by the recognition that minimizing downtime is critical for supporting community resilience and reducing the socioeconomic impacts of earthquakes. My dissertation presents engineering modeling frameworks and methods to support scalable assessment and optimization of recovery-based design. By leveraging advances in PBEE, optimization, and machine learning, I: 1. Propose procedures for selection and evaluation of recovery-based performance objectives and study the efficacy of user-defined checking procedures. 2. Develop a framework to rapidly optimize recovery-based design strategies based on user-defined performance objectives. 3. Extract optimal recovery-based design strategies that consider lifetime performance and compare them with strategies derived from intensity-based design approaches. Together, these contributions provide the technical underpinnings necessary to perform broad, national-scale benefit-cost analysis (BCA) studies that can accelerate decision-making and engineering intuition as resilient design progresses in the coming years.