Advanced Modelling and Seismic Simulation Research Group

[Updated on Dec 1, 2014]

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My research program has focused on the development and application of an advanced simulation method for the seismic performance assessment of structural systems. The simulation method, which is based on the concept of hybrid (experiment analysis) simulation, can integrate experimental elements that are geographically distributed around the world and various numerical elements that are modelled with specialized analysis tools. The integration of these physical and numerical elements results in a realistic seismic response prediction of complex structural systems. My research group has been developing a high-level framework for the integrated simulation, integration modules and various substructure modules. A dedicated laboratory for structural dynamics and advanced simulation is under development.

The research background in the advanced system-level simulation method has led to several industry and academic collaborations. A collaborative research project with Candu Energy Inc. is in progress. In this project, a typical CANDU nuclear containment structure is analyzed using realistic numerical models of reinforced concrete elements when the structure is subjected to long-term strains from shrinkage and creep as well as subsequent internal pressure increase. The model will be subjected to beyond-design level earthquake excitation as well. The hybrid simulation method was applied to the seismic fragility assessment of a structure with self-centering energy-dissipating braces that my colleague, Professor Christopoulos, has developed. I am currently collaborating with Rocscience Inc. to develop a macro element for shallow foundations, which can serve as a substructure component for soil-foundation systems. The element can be used for the seismic performance assessment of rocking foundations of bridges and buildings, and the seismic assessment of offshore platforms. Geographically distributed hybrid simulation was carried out between Canada, U.S., Greece, and Italy in 2013 in collaboration with several universities. I have supported various other research projects in the U.S. and other countries in which hybrid simulation was used. My research group is currently expanding the capability of the simulation method so that physical elements under thermal load can be integrated with a numerical model. Using the new feature, a hybrid (experiment analysis) simulation of a structure under fire will be carried out at the fire simulation facility in Colorado State University.

In addition to the development and application of the advanced simulation method, I am interested in the seismic fragility assessment of structures and infrastructures for regional seismic impact assessment studies. I investigated seismic fragilities of typical bridges in central and eastern U.S., a typical reinforced concrete moment-resisting frame without seismic details, and several steel moment-resisting frames under different usage categories. Two of my students evaluated the seismic fragility of steel moment-resisting frames constructed in Vancouver and Montreal in Canada in the 1960s, 1980s and 2010. A visiting PhD student is currently investigating the seismic fragility of buried natural gas pipelines. With research backgrounds in seismic fragility of structures, I served as an external consultant for AIR Worldwide for a study titled Economic Cost of Major Earthquakes in British Columbia and Ontario/Quebec. I am currently serving as an external consultant for a study titled Development of National Seismic Performance Objective in Korea in which regional seismic impact assessment study will be carried out using a loss assessment tool, HAZUS. I am planning to continue working on this subject so that the seismic fragility of a highly populated urban area can be understood.


Prof. Oh-Sung Kwon
os.kwon[at], 416-978-5908
35 St. George St.
Toronto, ON M5S 1A4