André T. Beck

Professor, Structural Engineering Department, University of São Paulo, Brazil

The Latent Failure Probability: a conceptual basis for robust, reliability-based and risk-based design optimization

It is nowadays well accepted that engineering systems need to be designed considering the inherent uncertainties in demands and capacities. Robust, reliability-based and risk-based optimization are three modern approaches to address the optimal design problem under objective aleatory uncertainty, that is: uncertainty which can be quantified using probability theory. Yet, subjective epistemic uncertainties, related to limitations of knowledge, social, political, financial, organizational, and behavioral factors, human errors, etc., cannot be quantified probabilistically, but also need to be considered in design optimization. In this talk, an optimal redundancy allocation problem in structural engineering is addressed: it is shown that conventional RBDO formulations lead to single element non-redundant solutions. The "Latent Failure Probability" concept is proposed to address epistemic uncertainties in optimal design of structural systems, and this leads to redundant optimal systems. Application to risk-based progressive collapse of frame structures is  also addressed.

Personal Profile:
Prof. André Teófilo Beck graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil, 1996), obtained a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil, 1998). He obtained a Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Civil Engineering from University of Newcastle (Australia, 2003), and works as Associate Professor at the Department of Structural Engineering, São Carlos School of Engineering, University of São Paulo. He is further a member of the Brazilian Association of Computational Methods in Engineering (ABMEC) and of the Uncertainty Quantification and Stochastic Mechanics Committee of the Brazilian Association of Mechanical Sciences (ABCM) and serves as a peer-reviewer for the main Brazilian Research agencies FAPESP, CAPES and CNPq. His research interests include Structural Mechanics and Structural Safety, in particular: structural reliability, stochastic processes, structural optimization. Finally, he is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering, ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Reliability Engineering & System Safety and Structural Safety. In 2022, Prof. Beck was listed among the top 2% most influential researchers in the area of Civil Engineering.