Project  Faculty Mentors Description Support
Multi-Touch Exhibit for Informal Tsunami Hazard Literacy Education Emergency Services Haizhong Wang, associate professor of transportation engineering; Dan Cox, professor of coastal and ocean engineering; Lori Cramer, associate professor of sociology The likelihood of an M9.0 CSZ earthquake occurring in the next 50 years is an astonishing 7-12%, which poses one of the greatest natural threats in the United States. This event will trigger intense ground motions for several minutes across the region, followed by a tsunami in excess of 10 m, inundating communities within 20 to 40 min. This project will examine the efficacy of multi-touch tsunami exhibit to help educate the coastal residents and visitors about the correct course of actions in near-field tsunami to improve life safety and community resilience.   NSF

Incorporating Spontaneous Volunteers in Emergency Response Information and Communication

Erica Fischer, assistant professor of structural engineering After extreme events (i.e. earthquakes, hurricanes) emergency management systems rely on the public to be self-sufficient for 14-30 days. During that time, the public mobilizes and forms local response teams that very often work against the efforts of the emergency management networks. When the public and the emergency management networks can work together, significantly more victims are rescued, and the public is able to share local knowledge with the networks. This research aims to develop a framework to formally incorporate spontaneous volunteers in emergency response and management networks. Through doing so the emergency response teams can harness the local knowledge of spontaneous volunteers and the two entities can work in synergy. NSF
Resilient Seismic-force Resisting Systems for Steel Buildings Judy Liu, professor of structural engineering  Energy-dissipating fuses protect the rest of the structure from damage while resisting earthquake demands, and are easily replaced to allow rapid recovery after an event. This research project will provide a case study for implementation of seismic fuses using the steel slit panel (SSP) as an example. NSF
Distributed Energy Generation for Resilient Coastal Communities Eduardo Cotilla-Sanchez, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering 

Harnessing distributed generation of energy for improving energy resilience in coastal communities. The research will address the following questions: 

  • How can we model the interaction of emergency power generator deployment with standard power flow models of the grid? 
  • Can we leverage composite load models to capture the effect of distributed generation and reverse flows?


Antibiotic Resistance from Wastewater to Agricultural Soils and Food Crops Tala Navab-Daneshmand, assistant professor of environmental engineering; Tyler Radniecki, assistant professor of environmental engineering Increased drought stresses have led to increased use of wastewater effluent for crop irrigation purposes, with unknown risks in propagating antibiotic resistant pathogens. This work will quantify this risk and identify engineered solutions to minimize propagation of antibiotic resistance in food supply, while improving drought resiliency. NSF
Prevention of Retrogressive Landslides Ben Leshchinsky, associate professor of geotechnical engineering; College of Forestry Many landslides occur from the gradual loss of support from wave erosion, river undercutting, and anthropogenic activities, such as construction. The movements that occur from these actions are devastating to infrastructure, but poorly-quantified from an engineering perspective. The research goal is to establish the long-term behavior of retrogressive landslides and connect the effects of destabilizing processes that govern it. We will better quantify the processes that govern these slope failures using remote sensing tools, novel slope stability analyses, and a database of  long-term monitoring of landslides. NSF
Living Shoreline Design for Habitat and Community Resiliency Meagan Wengrove, assistant professor of coastal and ocean engineering During extreme events, traditional hard seawall and revetment barriers can create more coastal damage and increased urban flood elevations. Flexible and living shorelines are resilient nature-based alternative coastline safety buffer to traditional hard barriers, but, the dynamic response of these systems to storm events is not well understood. This research will investigate physical mechanisms for stability and erosion behind various design choices used in living shoreline alternatives for both marsh and dune restoration.  NSF
Bridge Structural Inspections using Bridge Information Models (BrIM) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Yelda Turkan, assistant professor of construction; geomatics Current bridge inspection practices involve complex and time-consuming set of responsibilities that are prone to error. This study aims to improve ability to inspect bridge resiliency to earthquakes by using BrIM and UAV technologies. The overarching goal of this research is to improve infrastructure safety and reduce inspection costs by developing a novel bridge structural inspection framework that integrates UAV and BrIM technologies. NSF
Bridging the In-situ and Elemental Cyclic Response of Transitional Soils Armin Stuedlein, associate professor of geotechnical engineering This research focuses on improving our understanding of the seismic response of silty soils, which are commonly found in the PacNW and present significant uncertainty in the design and construction of resilient infrastructure. NSF
Adaptation Planning for Resilience in Food, Energy, and Water Sector Meghna Babbar-Sebens, associate professor of water resources engineering; Jenna Tilt, assistant professor of geography, environmental sciences, and marine resource management  As perturbations continue to impact resiliency of different interdependent food, energy, and water (FEW) sectors in a river basin, decision makers need improved capabilities to coordinate recovery plans. This project creates a computational decision support approach for adaptation planning using novel stochastic and dynamic optimization-simulation methods. NSF


Engineering for Bouncing Back