Overcoming Uncertainty in Legacy Engineering Resilience Modelling for Flood Hazards
PI: Chris J. Oates (School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics, Newcastle University)
CIs: Victoria Stephenson (Dept. Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, University College London); Chris Thomas (Engineering Geology, British Geological Survey).
Project Overview: The role of legacy engineering structures within risk propagation from environmental threats is a problem of national significance in the UK. In recent years multiple failures of legacy structures such as bridges have occurred due to catastrophic flood events, which affects society and its function, with substantial economic impact. Thus decision-makers, such as engineers, environmental planners, policy makers and government are required to consider the risk associated with likely future events and to choose appropriate intervention measures. Central to this process are models for the interaction of the engineering structure with the environmental hazard.
In the case of historic and ageing structures, such as masonry retaining systems, the modelling effort is challenging due to the lack of information defining the original design and construction, and the degenerated state of the structure being unknown outside the lifespan that was originally intended. In practice, an approximate and assumptive process reliant on judgement and expertise typically drives the modelling effort. This project aims, instead, to develop rigorous statistical protocols for modelling of legacy engineering structures and their interaction with environmental hazards. The project will consider a number of case studies in detail.