Current Projects

Definition of a Generic Decision Making Framework and Design of an Open Decision Support Platform

Researcher: Simona Miraglia
Type: Joint Postdoctoral Research Project of the Global Decision Support Initiative (GDSI) and the Research Group ERDA
Fund: Strategic Research Funding DTU
Period: 01.04.2015-31.03.2018

Description: The research activity is addressing the definition of the overall decision theoretical and methodical framework to structure and facilitate decision processes when different decision alternatives are available and when the available information are subject to uncertainty and/or are incomplete, thus providing a robust tool to rank those alternatives in accordance with their consequences on sustainability, benefits and risks. Moreover, the framework shall facilitate the introduction of new information, changes in preferences and models and expert opinions with associated uncertainties. Based on the developed theoretical framework integrating quantitative assessment of risk and sustainability, the architecture of an Open Platform for the storage of information and models, the organisation of an analysis of models as well as the presentation of results of decision analyses shall be developed.
The research activity is part of the joint GDSI project aiming at supporting decision makers from industry and public authorities.

SysPark - System Model for Offshore Wind Park Support Structures

Type: Industrial Research and Development Project
Fund: RWE Innogy
Period: February 2015 – January 2018
 Andreas Rogge (Project leader; BAM, Berlin, Germany), Ronald Schneider (BAM, Berlin, Germany), Sebastian Thöns

Description: Offshore wind parks consist of a large number of turbines with equivalent support structures. The performance of these support structures is highly dependent as they are manufactured in series production using the very similar welding procedures and quality standards. In addition, the support structures of a wind park are exposed to the same deterioration processes and environmental load conditions throughout their service lifes. Through these system effects it is possible to indirectly infer the condition of structures from inspection and monitoring results obtained from other structures. The influence of inspection and monitoring results can be quantified using reliability-based methods. This approach forms the basis for optimizing inspection and monitoring strategies as well as repair and maintenance actions, and it thus facilitates an efficient management of support structures of offshore wind parks.

COST Action TU1402: Quantifying the Value of Structural Health Monitoring

Type: European Scientific Networking and Dissemination Project
Fund: European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) as a part of Horizon 2020
Period: 13.11.2014 - 12.11.2018

Description: The COST Action TU1402 aims at enhancing the benefit of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) by novel utilization of applied decision analysis on how to assess the value of SHM – even before it is implemented. This improves decision basis for design, operation and life-cycle integrity management of structures and facilitates more cost efficient, reliable and safe strategies for maintaining and developing the built environment to the benefit of society.
The COST Action TU1402 comprises about 120 researchers, engineers, industrial representatives, authorities and infrastructure owners and operators from 27 European Countries.

Structural Health Monitoring Systems Design

Researcher: Henning Brüske
Supervisor(s): Sebastian Thöns
Type: PhD Project 
Fund: DTU, Department of Civil Engineering
Period: 02.11.2014- 31.10.2017

Description: Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) allows for triggering timely and cost efficient remedial actions to structures to counter deterioration, damage, peak loads and unintended use if effective systems are applied. Monitoring systems can be of support in maintaining safety for people, protecting the environment and minimising asset life-cycle costs. All potential benefits are in fact not always realised. Poorly designed SHM systems can incur increased life-cycle costs and lead to production losses or other disturbances through triggering unnecessary or inappropriate rehabilitation actions.
The concept of Value of Information (VoI) for the pre-posterior Bayesian decision analysis can be used to predict if a SHM strategy is beneficial prior to its implementation and provides thus the basis for SHM systems design. The VoI is calculated with probabilistic structural models accounting for uncertainties of the structural performance, the relationship between monitored performance indicators and life-cycle costs, reliability and safety as well as uncertainties in the precision of the applied monitoring techniques. In this project approaches, model and tools are developed to facilitate an efficient and VoI based design of SHM systems.

An Integrated Platform for Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment of Critical Civil Infrastructures

Researcher: Evangelos Katsanos
Type: Joint Postdoctoral Research Project of the Research Groups ERDA and CESDYN
Fund: HC Ørsted Postdoc Programme co-funded by Marie Curie Actions (EU-FP7)
Period: 01.10.2014 – 30.09.2016

Description: Critical Infrastructures (CIs), being extensively interrelated with modern communities, constitute the vital lifeline to keep both society and economy functioning in a steady and prosperous rate. Thus, a protective grid of elaborate techniques and policies should be applied in order to provide safety and security for the CIs against the devastating effects of either natural or man-made threats. Along these lines, the proposed research work aims at developing a comprehensive and systematic approach for the risk assessment-management of critical civil infrastructures threatened by a multi-hazard environment during their entire life span. A holistic methodology will be carried out in order to perform a risk-based decision analysis, estimating both the direct and the indirect natural hazard consequences for a CI. At the same time, an additional sustainability-based evaluation will be implemented regarding the expected life-cycle environmental impacts from losses and recovery of the CI after adverse natural events.

Past Projects

Comparison of structural reliabilities based on Eurocodes and Danish Standards for fire design

Type: Consulting Project
Fund: Danish Standards
Period: May 2014 - December 2014
Sebastian Thöns, Florian Berchtold (BAM Berlin), Michael Havbro Faber, John Dalsgaard Sørensen, Annemarie Poulsen (Rambøll)

Description: The changes in the safety concept for the design of structures subjected to fire at the transition from Danish Standards (1998) to Eurocodes and associated Danish national annexes are analysed in this project. Probabilistic models are established for the uncertainties related to representative forms of the limit states of the building materials steel, concrete and timber subjected to fire and based on the background documents of the Eurocodes and the Danish Standards. The structural reliabilities for structural members of the three individual materials are calculated based on the Danish Standards and the Eurocodes with the associated Danish National Annexes. The structural reliabilities are analysed and compared to the respective structural target reliability requirements. Recommendations to Danish Standards are given in order to ensure the safety of structures subjected to fire in Denmark.

Operational Expenditure Optimization utilizing Condition Monitoring for Wind Parks

Student: Allan May (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Supervisor(s): McMillan, David (Principal Investigator), Thöns, Sebastian (Co-investigator), Golysheva, Evgenia (Co-investigator), Comeault, Chad (Co-investigator), Quail, Francis (Co-investigator)
Type: PhD Project 
Fund: University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Period: 30.09.2012 - 30.09.2015

Description: The true economic value of a condition based maintenance strategy for offshore wind farms has yet to be calculated. The paper published at the PMAPS 2012 conference is seen as a first step to integrate both concepts. So far, studies have focused on either the functionality of the turbine, or on the structural integrity, but not both. This PhD is jointly conducted with the Research Field ERDA at the Technical University of Denmark and will involve closing the research gap which exists between reliability modelling of wind turbine functionality and modelling of structural integrity. Additionally, the research will answer key questions about the economic viability of condition based maintenance being posed by operators and 3rd party O&M providers. The research will be supported by the industrial partners Vestas - American Wind Technology, Inc. and Romax. Both partners are keen to see value being quantified through modelling, and will be providing data and expertise as required. The result will be a comprehensive approach which will facilitate quantification of the overall economic benefits of condition monitoring. With a case study, the industrial application of the approach will be shown and the benefits will be demonstrated. See also the project website at the University of Strathclyde.

Hierarchical Modeling of Flood Risk for Engineering Decision Analysis

Student: Rocco Custer 
Supervisor(s): Michael Havbro Faber, Kazuyoshi Nishijima
Type: PhD Project 
Fund: DTU
Period: 2011- 2014 

Description: Faced with flood risk, decision makers in both private and public sectors are requested to identify optimal risk reduction measures to minimize the risks due to flood events. The aim of this project is to support decision makers by establishing a flood risk model allowing the accommodation of decision alternatives. A generic consequence model for engineering facilities in floods is developed in terms of Bayesian probabilistic networks. In particular, engineering facilities with flood protection functionality and engineering facilities exposed to floods, such as residential and industrial buildings, are modeled. The consequence modules are hierarchically integrated with readily available hazard modules to form a complete risk model. Moreover, portfolio aggregation schemes and model weighing are investigated.

Development of stochastic typhoon model in Northwest Pacific region and its application to portfolio loss estimation

Student: Mathias Graf
Supervisor(s): Michael Havbro Faber, Kazuyoshi Nishijima
Type: External PhD Project
Fund: Industry 
Period: 2007 - 2011

Description: A framework as well as a software tool for portfolio loss estimation due to typhoon events is established taking basis in the Bayesian statistics and Bayesian probabilistic network. The Bayesian approach enables consistent integration of historical evidence, professional experience and scientific knowledge for typhoon events. The established software tool supports decision makers in insurance industries to design their insurance policies with a better precision, by incorporating information available at any stage of decision making.

Real Time Decision Support in the Face of Evolving Natural Hazards

Student: Annett Anders
Supervisor(s): Kazuyoshi Nishijima, Michael Havbro Faber
Type: PhD Project
Fund: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) 
Period: 2010 - 2013 

Description: The present project aims, on the basis of the pre-posterior decision theory, at establishing a framework for near-real-time decision making which supports decisions on loss reduction in the face of emerging natural hazards. The natural hazards considered in the present project have common characteristics; the processes of natural hazard events evolve relatively slowly or precursors on the intensities of natural hazard events are available prior to the impacts of the events. Hence, reactive loss reduction actions can be undertaken if required. The project is organized into the following main parts: (1) general identification and formulation of the decision problem; (2) indicator based, generic characterization and probabilistic modeling of hazard processes and consequences and (3) mathematical formulation and numerical implementation of decision optimization strategies facilitating utilization of near-real-time information. The established framework facilitates decision makers to optimize decisions on e.g. operation of facilities, evacuation of people and assets, and early warning for natural hazards; e.g. tropical/winter storms, floods and avalanches.

Risk-based Management for Civil Infrastructure under Climate Change 

Student: Shuoyun Zhang
Supervisor(s): Kazuyoshi Nishijima, Michael Havbro Faber, Eleni Chatzi 
Type: External PhD Project
Fund: China Scholarship Council (CSC) 
Period: 2010 - 2013 

Description: Emerging evidences of the global climate change in the last decades have called for actions to reduce negative impact of the climate change at different levels of society proactively and reactively. As the first defense of the society to the external environment, civil infrastructure plays the crucial role to safeguard people and other assets. Correspondingly, societal decision makers responsible for the management of civil infrastructure are requested to identify appropriate decisions for the adaptation to the climate change in civil engineering; decisions that are robust to large uncertainties associated with the projection of the future climate under the climate change. The aim of the present project is to establish a decision framework for the adaptation of civil infrastructure to the emerging climate change with due consideration of large uncertainties evolving over time. Special focus is given on a generic format of consequence models/framework that facilitate the assessment of the consequence of the variety of decision alternatives – not only due to different type and degree of the actions but also the difference in the timing of the actions.