Geo-Risk 2017

Denver, Colorado | June 4-7, 2017

Short Courses

*Note: Attendees must be registered for the Conference (full or daily) in order to register for the short courses.

Sunday, June 4

Bayesian Analysis and Reliability Updating in Geotechnical Engineering

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Professor Gregory B. Baecher, PH.D., M.ASCE, University of Maryland
Dr. Timo Schweckendiek, Deltares & Delft University of Technology

7.5 PDHs

Geotechnical engineering deals with large uncertainties compared to other engineering domains. Our estimates of soil and rock properties are typically based on a limited amount of site investigation unlike steel or concrete, which undergo quality control. Hence, it is not surprising that reliability and risk approaches have undergone a rapid development in academe in the last decades, but there are also increasing numbers of applications to practical projects. For example, the safety assessments of flood defenses in the Netherlands will be fully probabilistic from 2017. As infrastructure ages and many structures approach their design life, another rapidly growing issue of concern is the reliability assessment of existing structures. Such assessments call for the use of observations of performance, measurements, and monitoring data to update reliability estimates.

This course focuses on basic understanding of Bayesian probability theory and reliability updating, and at presenting simple techniques for use in engineering practice. Topics covered include the essentials of Bayesian reasoning; survival analysis, including examples on pile foundations, levees, and dams; and the distinction between treatment of inequality and equality information. These concepts are tied together by a demonstration of how to include performance observations in the assessment of levee reliability.

The course is targeted at practicing engineers who would like to extend their toolbox by enhancing their probabilistic skills, as well as graduate students intending to apply Bayesian concepts. This is an advanced course and participants are expected to have basic knowledge of probability theory and geotechnical analysis (i.e., undergraduate level).

Ticket Prices: ONS: $345

Risk Assessment in Geotechnical Engineering

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Gordon A. Fenton, Ph.D., P.Eng., FEIC, FCAE, M.ASCE
D. V. Griffiths, Ph.D., D.Sc., P.E., FICE, D.GE, F.ASCE

7.5 PDHs

Soils and rocks are among the most variable of all engineering materials, and are therefore highly amenable to a probabilistic treatment. This course is designed for geotechnical engineers who wish to update their knowledge of probabilistic methods and reliability-based design methodologies. The course content and delivery will assume no more than an introductory understanding of probability and statistics on the part of the participants. The goal is to present a user-friendly training on modern probabilistic techniques taught through several practical geotechnical applications.

Ticket Prices: ONS: $345

Risk and Reliability of Levees and Dams - THIS SHORT COURSE IS CANCELED. 

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Robert. B. Gilbert, Ph.D., P.E., The University of Texas at Austin
Martin W. McCann, Jr., Ph.D., Jack R. Benjamin & Associates, Inc.

This course is intended to provide basic concepts and tools used in analyzing the risk and reliability of levees and dams. It will start with the basic framework used in analyzing risk for the large and complex systems that constitute dams and levees. Topics will include uncertainty, probability theory, fault and event trees, hazard curves, fragility curves, expected consequences and decision making. Detailed techniques will be presented to characterize natural hazards, including floods, hurricane surges and earthquakes, to represent failure modes, including seepage, overtopping, static stability and seismic stability, and to integrate available information together to assess risk. Finally, results from two risk analyses of major levee systems in New Orleans and the California Delta will be presented and discussed. Practical, real-world examples will be used throughout to illustrate major principles and ideas. An emphasis will be placed on how to interpret and use the results from a risk analysis.


Understanding Geotechnical Reliability-based Design and Its Complementary Role to Partial Factors Design Approach

12:30 – 4:30 p.m.
B. K. Low, PhD, F.ASCE, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
K. K. Phoon, PhD, F.ASCE, National University of Singapore

3.5 PDHs

Geotechnical design approach has evolved over the years from the global factor of safety approach to the recent partial factors design approaches like Eurocode 7 (EC7) and the Load and Resistance Factor Design Approach (LRFD). Yet another design approach which can potentially overcome certain limitations and ambiguities of the partial factors design approaches is the reliability-based design approach via the first-order reliability method (RBD-via-FORM). The design point obtained in RBD reflects problem-specific parametric uncertainties, sensitivities and correlations in a way the design points of EC7 and LRFD cannot. However, RBD-via-FORM is understood by few practitioners despite its advantages and potential role to complement EC7/LRFD. This short course aims to acquaint practitioners and researchers with the meaning and desirable features of RBD-via-FORM (and links with partial factors design approach), through relatively transparent and intuitive perspectives and illustrative geotechnical RBD-via-FORM examples in soil and rock engineering. The statistical estimation of soil properties will also be discussed. Participants will receive a CD containing the course notes and Excel-based RBD examples covered in the course.

Ticket Prices:  ONS: $245


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+1 (703) 295-6300

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