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High Performance System Analysis and Design Laboratory (HIPAD)

Alexandros Taflanidis


The research, teaching and outreach of the HIgh Performance system Analysis and Design (HIPAD) Laboratory is an integrated effort to counter the 21st Century Challenges related to natural hazard risk assessment and mitigation and optimal infrastructure maintenance, through the implementation of novel probabilistic methodologies (focusing on stochastic simulation and sampling), advanced simulation-based engineering science tools, cyber-collaborations, and a variety of knowledge diffusion mechanisms and venues, including outreach in Haiti. In parallel our research extends to the probabilistic analysis and design of any engineering system warranted to exhibit higher performance, i.e. optimal life-cycle cost/benefit, maximum reliability, or minimal downtime, under regular operation and/or extreme loading conditions (for example, optimization of offshore wind turbines and offshore energy conversion devices). Uncertainties related to the characteristics of these systems and their operational environment significantly impact their performance and ultimately their optimal design.

Problems we are working on

Our work focuses on the robust (i) analysis, (ii) design and (iii) Bayesian model updating in presence of probabilistically characterized model uncertainties.  This research also addresses the probabilistic quantification of model uncertainties but primarily focuses on efficient computational methodologies for the propagation of these uncertainties to calculate the system probabilistic performance (for example, risk assessment), for optimization of that performance (for example, risk mitigation) or for updating it when additional knowledge becomes available through monitoring data (for example, infrastructure condition assessment through health monitoring implementation). Additionally, we address the development of automated assessment tools for knowledge dissemination and for allowing non-technical end-users to leverage the full potential of the established research advancements.

The personnel of the laboratory is also committed to provide an affordable, sustainable, safe housing solution for the bottom of the economic pyramid Haitian families under the banner of Engineering to Empower (http://Engineering2Empower.org).


The laboratory is located at 156 Fitzpatrick Hall. It is equipped with Persephone, a high-performance computer cluster (forty-two nodes, each equipped with eight 2.57 Nehalem computational cores and 12 GB of RAM), Prometheus, a 1,792 CUDA core GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) personal supercomputer, and variety of tools for structural and stochastic simulation/optimization, including dedicated licenses for the TOMLAB optimization environment. This provides great opportunities to investigate applications of simulation-based engineering science to address modeling uncertainties in natural hazard risk mitigation, infrastructure condition assessment, and in the analysis and design of complex engineering systems, while adopting high-fidelity models to describe these systems and their environment (no constraints on model complexity).


Current projects investigated in the lab include

  • Soft-computing implementation for simulation-based natural hazard risk mitigation
  • Evaluation of importance of risk factors in seismic hazard description through stochastic ground motion models; implementation on design ground motion selection
  • Real-time hurricane risk assessment
  • Optimal design of wave-energy extraction devices
  • Automated tools for condition assessment of aging infrastructures through monitoring data
  • Empowerment model for sustainable residential reconstruction in Haiti, post the 2012 earthquake.

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