Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



In modern times, hurricanes have caused enormous losses to the communities worldwide both in terms of property damage and loss of life. In light of these losses, a comprehensive methodology is required to improve the quantification of risk and the design of structures subject to hurricane hazard. This research develops a probabilistic Performance-Based Hurricane Engineering (PBHE) framework for hurricane risk assessment. The proposed PBHE is based on the total probability theorem, similar to the Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE) framework developed by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center, and to the Performance-Based Wind Engineering (PBWE) framework. The methodology presented in this research disaggregates the risk assessment analysis into independent elementary components, namely hazard analysis, structural characterization, interaction analysis, structural analysis, damage analysis, and loss analysis. It also accounts for the multi-hazard nature of hurricane events by including the separate effects of, as well as the interaction among, hurricane wind, flood, windborne debris, and rainfall hazards. This research uses the Performance-Based Hurricane Engineering (PBHE) framework with multi-layer Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) for the loss analysis of structures subject to hurricane hazard. The interaction of different hazard sources is integrated into the framework and their effect on the risk assessment of non-engineered structures, such as low-rise residential buildings, is investigated. The performance of popular storm mitigation techniques and design alternatives for residential buildings are also compared from a cost-benefit perspective. Finally, the PBHE framework is used for risk assessment of engineered structures, such as tall buildings. The PBHE approach introduced in this study represents a first step toward a rational methodology for risk assessment and design of structures subjected to multi-hazard scenarios.



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Committee Chair

Barbato, Michele