1 Early Stage Researcher (ESR) positions are open:
Project Title: Analysis and risk assessment of petrochemical plants endowed with innovative metamaterial-based shields under seismic/fire loadings.
Objectives: Modelling of the hazard inputs. Definition of the performance levels and critical scenarios for seismic, blast and fire events. Development and application of a risk-based methodology for assessing critical steel tanks of a petrochemical plant. Development and application of metamaterial-based foundations of tanks designed with band gap structures and resonators against fire hazard as well.
Description: The ESR will develop and apply risk-based methodology for assessing critical broad and slender steel tanks of a typical petrochemical plant characterized by tank farms. Therefore, he/she will consider the tanks subjected to a systematic list of top events and accident conditions caused by hazards on tank components leading to a loss of containment or physical damage owing to seismic-induced fire. Thus, performance levels and critical scenarios for seismic and fire events will be quantified. Also the presence of the floating roofs for broad tanks as well as the soil-structure interaction will be considered.
The novel concept of periodic metamaterials or metastructures will be applied to the vibration mitigation of tanks of a petrochemical plant subjected to both seismic shear and/or Rayleigh waves. In greater detail and with regard to vibrations due to the impulsive components of the contained fluid, new tanks will be conceived with novel periodic smart foundations endowed with resonators; whilst existing tanks will be equipped with periodic resonators. Moreover, tanks can also be treated as resonating systems by themselves. These novel design concepts will also be explored for other examples of important symmetric structures, like the tanks used in regasification stations or the reactors of nuclear power plants.
Expected Results: Risk-based assessment of a petrochemical plant subjected to earthquake, blast and fire and development of metamaterial-based periodic foundations of tanks. Development of design guidelines for fire resistant foundations.
Planned secondment(s): IGF, Month 11, for 6 months to enhance skills on the design of petrochemical plant and CCE, Month 35, for 3 months to be trained on plant management.
Project Title: Novel analysis of shallow and deep foundations and optimal layouts of subplants/plants under seismic conditions.
Objectives: Calibration of ad-hoc formulated/implemented constitutive/numerical models for soil-structure interaction under extreme loading. Conception of optimal layouts of tanks with boreholes and resonators made of tanks with tunable liquid/wall thickness.
Description: Carrying out reliable analysis of the behaviour of foundations under seismic loading is a far from easy task, involving not only sound knowledge of earthquake geotechnical engineering, but also insights in the fields of seismology, applied mechanics and geology. Typical steps towards proper understanding of this broad and ever-important discipline involve both field and laboratory testing, analysis of the dynamic soil behaviour, the evaluation of seismic ground motion, the analysis of soil-structure interaction effects, and consideration of seismic design issues. Although there have been significant advances in this field in recent years, accurately evaluating soil behaviour under dynamic loading and making reliable assessment of the soil-foundation system response is far from being fully comprehended. The development of novel theoretical and numerical models can constitute a significant advancement towards proper understanding of such phenomena, leading to the development of practical tools that can play a crucial role in the more general framework of enhancing the resiliency of complex engineering systems (such as petrochemical installations) for disaster reduction.
In light of the above, the proposed research will focus on the development and validation of novel constitutive and numerical models for analysing soil-structure interaction under extreme loading conditions. Constitutive models describing soil behavior and single (deep or shallow) foundations’ dynamic response are the expected starting points of a research path leading to modelling the soil-structure interaction. The analyses will benefit from available experimental and/or field data on existing buildings, to obtain a reliable modelling tool that will be employed, in the second part of this project, to perform parametric analyses to be incorporated into a more general probabilistic tool for risk assessment of critical infrastructures. In the framework of the EU ITN project ‘XP-Resilience’, modelling results will be used to aid conception of optimal layouts of tanks with boreholes and resonators made of tanks with tunable liquid/wall thickness, for petrochemical plants.
Expected Results: Development and validation of novel constitutive and numerical models for analysing soil-structure interaction under extreme loading conditions. The modelling results will then be appropriately incorporated into a more general probabilistic tool for risk assessment of critical infrastructures. Optimised conception of tank layouts for petrochemical plants.
Planned secondment(s): CCE, Month 17, for 3 months to enhance entrepreneurship skills and INSA Month 20, for 6 months to deepen soil-structure interaction knowledge.
Project Title: Advanced finite element analysis of steel and reinforced concrete support structures for petrochemical plants components subjected to seismic loading.
Objectives: The main objective will be the development and application of numerical models for the analysis of concrete/steel support structures – pipe interaction. The results will support the development of relevant fragility curves, considering the outcome of WP1.3.
Expected Results: Development of fragility curves for seismic risk of structural concrete/steel substructures.
Planned secondment(s): MSZ, Month 16, for 4 months to develop skills on design of petrochemical facilities and project management.
Project Title: Development of an optimal real-time monitoring system for petrochemical plants subjected to NaTech events.
Objectives: Provide an optimized real-time monitoring for critical components of petrochemical plants. Health monitoring is used for damage detection and for alert warnings, particularly with respect to the release of CBRNE substances and flooding.
Description: The ESR shall deal with the provision of an optimized real-time monitoring system for critical components of chemical/petrochemical plants. In this respect, health monitoring will be used for damage detection and for alert warnings, particularly with respect to the release of chemical/petrochemical substances and flooding.
In greater detail, the ESR will consider various sensor solutions, ranging from triaxial transducers to optical 3D devices for displacement/acceleration for the monitoring of components and connections, e.g. support structures, pipelines, threaded pipe connections, etc. of a chemical/petrochemical plant.
Optimal sensor location tools based on information entropy and metaheuristic-based tools will be used for setting of proper FE models of components capable of identifying cracks, defects, etc. in steel components.
Monitoring data will be treated and organized for a prototype system for real-time efficient risk prevention and mitigation based on integrated hazard early warning.
Expected Results: Development of an effective monitoring system capable of detecting damage and of alerting in case of NaTech events.
Planned secondment(s): STRATH, Month 11, for 6 months to enhance knowledge on risk assessment and SMARTEC Month 31, for 3 months to deepen knowledge on structural health monitoring techniques.
Host Institution: UNISANNIO
PhD enrolment: Y
Project Title: Soil-structure interaction analysis of critical infrastructures of petrochemical plants.
Objectives: Implementation of stick models of critical components of infrastructures for time-efficient analysis to perform versatile yet accurate risk-based, including soil-structure interaction. These models will serve as a means to perform QRA.
Expected Results: Model calibration and optimisation based on experimental results and in situ measurements.
Planned secondment(s): INSA, Month 23, for 6 months to study advanced numerical modelling of soil and IGF, Month 29, for 3 months to improve skills about construction of petrochemical plants.
To be recruited untill October 2017.
Project Title: Risk-targeting and hazard-consistent seismic action for design of selected components of petrochemical plants.
Objectives: Development of procedure for determination of an appropriate level of seismic intensity for design of selected components of petrochemical plants. The procedure will be developed based on Eurocode, but the design seismic action will be defined based on tolerated target (e.g. collapse) risk and with consideration of the results of hazard analysis at the site of petrochemical plant.
Expected Results: Practice-oriented procedure for design of petrochemical plants based on target collapse risk depending on risk aversion associated with the consequences of collapse of critical components of petrochemical plants.
Planned secondment(s): AM, Month 19, for 6 months to gain practical knowledge of structural design and MSZ, Month 25, for 3 months to enhance project management skills.
Project Title: Evaluation of fragility curves of components/systems and risk-based requirements analysis for software tool development of petrochemical plants.
Objectives: Development of procedure for evaluation of fragility curves of components/systems (support structures, piping systems, tanks, pressure vessels etc.) of petrochemical plants. The micro FEM models will be used at the local level in order to obtain the capacity of the components, whereas the simulations of the seismic demand will be then based on global level using macro models.
Expected Results: Procedure for seismic fragility analysis and issuing of fragility curves of components/systems of petrochemical plants.
Planned secondment(s): UNIRM3, Month 30, for 6 months to study risk assessment methodologies and GSK, Month 36, for 3 months to improve plant management skills.
Project Title: Development of new solutions for rapid detection, alert and damage assessment of HSLA welded pipelines.
Objectives: Study of influence of welded joints defects on cracks initiations and development for butt-welded joints of High-Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) pipeline using manual, semi-automatic and automatic welding with use of Manual Metal Arc (MMA), GMA and laser welding processes. Development of monitoring and detection of a novel alert system of cracks initiation in butt-welded joints of HSLA pipelines.
Expected Results: Innovative butt-welded joints of HSLA pipelines and quality assurance system. A modern approach to the allowance limits of specific defects of MMA, GMA and laser welded butt joints of HSLA pipelines
Planned secondment(s): SMARTEC, Month 25, for 6 months to study structural health monitoring techniques and MSZ, Month 31, for 3 months to enhance project management skills.
Project Title: Analysis and development of a risk-based framework for plants and community disaster resilience.
Objectives: Development of a risk-based procedure framework for the assessment and quantification of resilience of a community after earthquakes, flooding, etc. Resilience-based conceptual procedures will be implemented as part of the structural analysis/design process.
Expected Results: Risk-based assessment of petrochemical plants subjected to extreme loading and evaluation of community resilience.
Planned secondment(s): UNLJUB, Month 13, for 6 months to analyse quantitative risk assessment methods and GSK, Month 19, for 3 months to deepen plant-monitoring techniques.
Project Title: FE models for simulations of civil components and mechanical equipment of plants.
Objectives: Development of advanced FE models for the analysis of extreme events of industrial plants. Development of advanced FE models for industrial plant members including regular beams as well as pipes and relevant fragility curves. The main behaviour (local buckling, warping, ovalization, damage) of structural components under earthquakes, fires and flooding will be simulated.
Expected Results: A set of tools for the analysis of industrial plants under extreme loadings like earthquake, fire, explosion, flooding and the determination of fragility curves.
Planned secondment(s): CCE, Month 16, for 4 months to improve plant management, and STRATH, Month 20, for 4 months to be trained on risk mitigation in case of flooding events
Project Title: Advanced soil modelling for FE analysis of critical civil infrastructures of petrochemical plants
Objectives: To develop a macro-element to simulate dynamic SSI which is suitable for both static and dynamic analyses. Two different models will be developed, one for shallow foundations and another for deep foundations. Novel smart layouts of boreholes/tanks based on metamaterial concepts will be developed to mitigate seismic shear waves.
Expected Results: A macro-element for shallow foundation and smart layouts for resilient petrochemical plants.
Planned secondment(s): STRATH, Month 29, for 6 months to deepen soil-structure interaction issues and IGF, Month 35, for 3 months to improve entrepreneurship skills.
Project Title: Development of a newly-conceived software tool based on a relational database for multi-hazard QRA for petrochemical facilities.
Objectives: Definition and formulation of multi-hazard QRA and resilience for petrochemical plants that will take into account domino effects, i.e. a common cause due to earthquake, flooding, etc., leading to the simultaneous occurrence of several interacting failures. Implementation into a software tool capable of interacting with a relational database of CBRNE and flooding events.
Expected Results: Software tool and relevant guidelines.
Planned secondment(s): GSK, Month 34, for 2 months to develop entrepreneurship skills and UNILJUB, Month 36, for 6 months to enhance skills on QRA.
Project Title: Risk/Resilience-based design of petrochemical plants and development of recommendations for Eurocode extension.
Objectives: Design optimisation of petrochemical plants endowed with metamaterial-based foundations and layout concepts subjected to extreme events by providing design guidelines to critical components both in concrete and steel of petrochemical plants.
Description: The ESR will deal with the design optimisation of chemical/petrochemical plants subjected to extreme events. Within the framework of continuous performance levels, both components/subsystems performance-based on failure and components/subsystems performance-based on losses/costs will be considered. Proper layout of tanks/support structures of sub-plants, based on modularization of resilient components and redundancy of critical sub-systems -both for modelling and emergency purposes- will be used to improve plant resilience. The presence of the nearby community will be taken into account. In this manner, also costs for disaster resilience of both plant and nearby community can be incorporated. Guidelines will be developed in order to provide to practitioners the tools to design critical structural components of petrochemical plants. Guidelines and recommendations for risk-based design of chemical/petrochemical plants, which represent a basis for extending the Eurocodes will be prepared. They currently do not support risk-based design procedures for critical infrastructures. The guidelines will provide minimum requirements for design of chemical/petrochemical plants and nearby communities for risk-informed regulations design of plants. This approach should widen the current set of stove-piped standards of the built environment to a coordinated, holistic approach for disaster resilience.
Expected Results: Recommendations for risk/resilience design of petrochemical plants under extreme events (earthquakes, blast, fire and flooding) in the framework of the structural Eurocodes taking into account metamaterial-based concepts for vibration mitigation.
Planned secondment(s): UNITN, Month 13, for 6 months to deepen knowledge on fire-exposed structures and IGF, Month 32, for 3 months to develop project management skills.
Project Title: Operational modal analysis of petrochemical plants based on optimal sensor placement.
Objectives: Formulation of a plant system model for implementation into model-based observer routines. The optimal number of sensors and sensor location will derive from modern entropy concepts and metaheuristic health-monitoring optimization tools.
Description: Operational modal analysis of petrochemical plants based on optimal sensor placement. Applications are welcome from students with master qualifications in the areas of civil/mechanical/electrical engineering or a similar field of study, with a possibly strong background in numerical modelling, dynamics and sensors.
Expected Results: Guidelines for the system identification of plant models based on optimal sensor number and placement.
Planned secondment(s): VCE, Month 23, for 3 months to deepen structural health monitoring techniques and UNITN, Month 26, for 6 months to gain expertise on QRA.