Graduate Seminar: Jack Baker (Stanford)

April 11, 2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Quantifying Seismic Risk to Transportation Networks: User Impacts and At-Risk Communities 

Jack Baker
Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Stanford University

This talk presents a study of seismic risk to a complex transportation system, with the goal of quantifying impacts on users of the network and identifying communities that are disproportionally impacted by disruptions. The San Francisco Bay Area transportation system is considered as a case study. The network serves seven million residents and consists of 32,858 road segments, 3152 bridges subject to damage, and 43 transit modes. A refined model of this network’s performance under damage, incorporating features such as transportation mode choice and dynamic demand, is used to predict disruption. Disruption is caused by earthquake shaking, where a full suite of earthquake scenarios in the region (with associated occurrence rates) are considered in order to obtain a fully probabilistic description of risk. Several strategies to manage the computational cost of this analysis are discussed. Then a number of disruption metrics are presented to provide insight into the disruption risks faced by residents of the region. Mode-destination accessibility, a performance metric of interest to urban planners, is used to evaluate the potential disruption to individual users of the transportation system. By linking models for seismic hazards, engineering performance of bridges, and resulting user impacts, we are able to translate engineering knowledge into metrics that are usable by urban planners responsible for long-term management of the transportation system’s risk.

Jack Baker’s work focuses on the development and use of probabilistic and statistical tools for managing risk due to extreme loads on the built environment. He has investigated seismic loads on spatially distributed systems, characterization of earthquake ground motions, performance of damaged infrastructure systems, and probabilistic risk assessments for a number of types of structures. Prof. Baker joined the Stanford faculty in 2006 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), where he was a visiting researcher in the Department of Structural Engineering. He has degrees in Structural Engineering (Stanford, M.S. 2002, Ph.D. 2005), Statistics (Stanford, M.S. 2004) and Mathematics/Physics (Whitman College, B.A. 2000). He has industry experience in seismic hazard assessment, ground motion selection, probabilistic risk assessment, and modeling of catastrophe losses for insurance and reinsurance companies. He is a co-founder and technical advisor for Haselton Baker Risk Group, LLC. His awards include the Shah Family Innovation Prize from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the Early Achievement Research Award from the International Association for Structural Safety and Reliability the Walter L. Huber Prize from ASCE, and the Eugene L. Grant Award for excellence in teaching from Stanford.

All civil engineering graduate seminars are FREE and open to the public. Attendance is required for all enrolled Civil Engineering graduate students.

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