Scheda insegnamento

Anno Accademico 2018/2019

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

The method for safety evaluation and risk assessment of civil structures will be studied. Definition of loadings and structural safety will be given in a probabilistic framework. Risk assessment of civil structures in earthquake regions will be analyzed with details.


Requirements/Prior knowledge

A prior knowledge and understanding of structural behaviour is required to attend with profit this course.

In addition, students should master the basics of mathematical analysis.

Fluent spoken and written English is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials, and all study material will be in English.

Course contents

The student will be acquainted with the different methods for evaluation of the safety and risk associated with civil structures.The objective of these methods being the evaluation of the probability of violation of a limit state function (such as collapse). The failure probability will be obtained from the various sources of uncertainty/randomness associated with:loadings, material properties, structural geometry, boundary conditions, as well as structural models and analysis techniques. The course will also cover example of structurally sound systems as well of major structural collapse/failures both with reference to static and seismic loadings. The reasons behind the selection of the safety factors used in common Codes will also be covered.

· Review of conceptual design

. Review of probability theory

· Structural Component reliability analysis

· Analysis of uncertainties - Bayesian Reliability analysis

· Structural Systems Reliability analysis

· Simulation methods

· Probabilistic codified Design

· Examples of "Robust" structural design

· Examples of structural failures

. The role of conceptual design in structural reliability


Recommended text:

Melchers. "Structural Reliability Analysis and Prediction" , Second Editio. John Wiley, 1999.


Augusti, Baratta, Casciati. "Probabilistic Methods in Structural Engineering". Prentice Hall, 1984.

Ang, Tang. "Probabilistic Concepts in engineering planning and design". Vol I. Chapman Hall, 1975.

Ang, Tang. "Probabilistic Concepts in engineering planning and design". Vol II. Chapman Hall, 1984.

Benjamin, Cornell. "Probability, Statistics and Decision for Civil Engineers" McGraw Hill, 1970

Metodi didattici

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Frontal teaching classes, both at the blackboard and with the use of power point slides, development and illustration of applicative examples, simple take home exercises (optional).

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Achievements will be assessed by the means of a final exam. This is based on an analytical assessment of the "expected learning outcomes" described above.

In order to properly assess such achievement the examination is composed of three different sections: all oral.

The verification of the knowledge attained by the student will be developed through a final exam aimed at verifying: knowledges, abilities and critical capabilities acquired and developed by the student in the course. The final exam is composed in three parts:

1) in the first part the student will illustrate (with a power point presenation) an original research developed with specific reference to the course (the student is also required to provide a written report regarding the original research).

2) in the second part the student is asked to illustrate the solutions developed with reference to series of take home exercises that the professor is handing out a week before the exam.

3) in the third part the student is required to provide oral answers to theroretical questions based upon the mathematical theory of probability illustrated in class.

To obtain a passing grade, students are required to at least demonstrate a knowledge of the key concepts of the of mathematical theory of probability (as well as its relationship with structural safety and its application to actual structural engineering), some ability for critical application, and a comprehensive use of technical language.

Higher grades will be awarded to students who demonstrate an organic understanding of the subject, a high ability for critical application, and a clear and concise presentation of the contents. In detail a higher grade will be given to students who will show to have both a good knowledge of the mathematical theory of probability and a good critical understanding of structural behaviour and its relation to structural safety (as illustrated throughout the course with case studies)

A failing grade will be awarded if the student shows knowledge gaps in key-concepts of the subject, inappropriate use of language, and/or logic failures in the analysis of the subject of structural safety and reliability.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Handouts, development of applicative examples, power point presentations, applicative software.

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Tomaso Trombetti