This course describes the methods and applications of structural reliability analysis. These methods seek to quantify the risk associated with unsatisfactory performance of engineered structures. They are commonly applied to critical facilities that are significantly threatened by severe environmental loads; e.g., seismic, wind, or wave events.
The goal of reliability analysis is to evaluate the severity of this threat - both of the environmental loads and the resulting structural response. This course will describe the state-of-the-art in this field.
Computational analysis methods will be described based on both simulation and analytical methods (e.g., first- and second-order reliability methods, or FORM/SORM). Examples will be drawn from seismic, wind, and wave engineering applications. Both ultimate load and fatigue limit states will be considered. The formulation and application of probability-based design codes will also be discussed.
Course content will include (1) an introductory survey of probability and statistics, emphasizing models of most use in reliability analysis; (2) random vibration analysis, to statistically characterize the time-varying behavior of dynamic loads and responses; and (3) general hazard analysis methods, as applied in practice to earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and other natural hazards.
The course is intended to be self-contained; no prior knowledge of probability is required.