John Brackins a CEE undergraduate student working with Dr. Alfred Kalyanapu, recently received a TTU URECA! grant for the project entitled "Quantifying the Impact of Storm Surge on Coastal Infrastructure". His project aims to investigate scour and other flood factors during coastal flood events in selected cities located in the states of North Carolina, Texas, Massachusetts, and Florida in order to predict structural failures before they occur and threaten the lives of citizens and useful lives of nearby structures.
To acheive this, he wants to answer these questions:
During flood events due to storm surge along a coastline, what vulnerabilities do structures have which can cause them to fail?
Can the failure of one structure have a domino effect on others in the area, and if so, how extensive will it be?
Over the course of the project, he plans to evaluate current models for storm surge to identify possible improvements in the prediction of storm surge. He will then use these storm surge models and apply their flood depth values into currently existing software for modeling structures under loads such as MicroStation© by Bentley or Revit© by Autodesk. Eventually, He plans to model entire cities and to incorporate failure data of structures as inputs to forces exerted on nearby structures. He currently has approval from the state of North Carolina to access their aerial photography database. He will also acquire aerial photographs of at-risk cities in the study areas and analyze them for structural impact. At the completion of the project, the goal is to be able to predict accurately the structural impact on large urban areas due to storm surge and other hurricane-related loads such as winds. This project will extend our knowledge of the inner workings of storm surge as we seek to determine the factors at play during a storm surge event and their individual roles in structural impact, as well as how structures will behave under storm surge conditions.