Predicting future water pipeline damage


Illustration by Dan Page

Illustration by Dan Page

Taking a cue from financiers and investment planners, Mohsen Shahandashti is using the principles of risk aversion to help prioritize maintenance for urban water pipeline systems at risk of earthquake damage.

The civil engineering associate professor developed an algorithm that models the effects of earthquakes on pipelines and determines vulnerabilities by considering significant seismic and network uncertainties. The model calculates how best to use limited infrastructure funding to more accurately predict where pipelines are at most risk so cities can proactively repair and replace them to avoid water outages after an earthquake.

College of Engineering Professors Jay Rosenberger, Victoria Chen, and Simon Chao are co-principal investigators on the National Science Foundation grant.

“The potential impact of this grant in bringing the concept to market for widespread distribution is significant,” Dr. Shahandashti says. “We can bring our research one step further and translate it to technology that can be used in industry.”


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Inquiry Magazine 2023

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