student profile: Dr Cao Wang


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Time-dependent reliability analysis of aging structures subjected to non-stationary loads

Supervisors: Kim RASMUSSEN , Hao ZHANG

Thesis abstract:

Civil infrastructures may deteriorate with time due to aggressive environmental or operating conditions, and are often subjected to non-stationary loads. These factors may cause reduction in structural safety and serviceability as assumed for new ones, implying the importance of evaluating structural reliability under a probability-based framework.

Structural time-dependent reliability analysis has gained much attention within the scientific community over the past three decades, and continues to be an attractive and important research interest in the future, as it provides a quantitative link between the practice of structural engineering and its social consequences. For example, it serves as an important tool for resilience analysis of both individual structures and large-scale communities subjected to various natural and human hazards.

The aim of this research is to perform time-dependent reliability analysis of aging structures subjected to non-stationary loads. The following three sub-objectives are included.

(1) Modelling the stochastic loading process of structures. The issue of the non-stationarity and auto-correlation in structural applied loads has been initialized by few researchers. For instance, the structures in coastal areas are exposed to non-stationary and auto-correlated cyclone winds due to the potential impact of climate change.
(2) Proposing a realistic deterioration model for aging structures. A realistic deterioration model should incorporate the information of both deterioration mechanism and observed data, and its probabilistic characteristics can be updated timely as soon as more data are available.
(3) Developing a mathematical tool for reliability assessment. For structures with complex deterioration and loading processes, a new reliability assessment technique is essentially required, aimed to improve the efficiency of analysis due to the consideration of low efficiency and limitation in application of traditional Monte Carlo simulation-based methods.

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