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aaec Network partner seminar

July 25 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

topic: modeling and analysis with epistemic uncertainties in engineering

only accessible to network partners

  • Monday, 25th of July 2022
  • 4:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Speaker: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Beer

Epistemic uncertainties appear across all engineering fields to quite some significant extent. Although they can often be described phenomenologically and qualitatively, they counteract a rigorous quantitative description, which is needed as a basis for a realistic risk assessment. In the presence of epistemic uncertainties the specification of a probabilistic model and the associated risk analysis lead to hypothetical results presuming some intuitive guess to capture the influence of the epistemic uncertainty. That is, we quantify risk based on conditions that represent assumptions rather than facts. Such results can be significantly misleading. It is thus of paramount importance to quantify epistemic uncertainties most realistically. This quantification should neither introduce unwarranted information nor should it neglect information. On this basis there is a clear consensus that epistemic uncertainties need to be taken into account for a realistic assessment of risk and reliability. However, there is no clearly defined procedure to master this challenge. There are rather a variety of concepts and approaches available to deal with epistemic uncertainties, from which the engineer can chose. This choice is made difficult by the perception that the available concepts are competing and opposed to one another rather than being complementary and compatible. Clearly, the first consideration should be devoted to a probabilistic modelling, naturally through subjective probabilities, which express a belief of the expert and can be integrated into a fully probabilistic framework in a coherent manner via a Bayesian approach. While this pathway is widely accepted and recognized as being very powerful, the potential of set-theoretical approaches and imprecise probabilities has only been utilized to some minor extent. Those approaches, however, attract increasing attention in cases when available information is not rich enough to meaningfully specify subjective probability distributions. The presentation will feature models for epistemic uncertainties, and it will highlight their capabilities and added value when used for engineering analysis and design. Illustrative examples are used to explain the respective features. The discussion on the models is complemented by presenting a powerful numerical technology for processing epistemic uncertainties even in very complex and nonlinear engineering analyses. This technology can be used not only for reliability analysis, but also for sensitivity analysis, design, model updating and more.

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From October 2021 to September 2022 eight partner seminars will take place. Partner seminars are focused on cross-sectional and interdisciplinary topics and are open to all network partners. If you attend at least six of the eight seminars, you will receive a certificate of time attended. You must register for this at the beginning of each event. The procedure for this will be briefly explained before each seminar.

speaker information: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Beer

Michael is Professor and Head of the Institute for Risk and Reliability, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany, since 2015. He is also part time Professor at the Institute for Risk and Uncertainty, University of Liverpool, in Tongji University and in Tsinghua University, China. He obtained a doctoral degree from the Technical University of Dresden and pursued research at Rice University, supported with a Feodor-Lynen Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation. From 2007 to 2011 Michael worked as an Assistant Professor at National University of Singapore. In 2011 he joined the University of Liverpool as Chair in Uncertainty in Engineering and Founding Director of the Institute for Risk and Uncertainty. He is serving on the Board of Directors (2020-2028) of the International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management, and he is a Co-Chair (2020–2023) of the Risk and Resilience Measurements Committee (RRMC) of the ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division. Michael is an Editor in Chief (jointly) of the Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering (Springer), and a Founding Associate Editor and incoming Editor in Chief of the ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems. His further editorial appointments include an Associate Editorship of the International Journal of Reliability and Safety, as well as 13 Editorial Board Memberships including Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics, Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, Computers and Structures, Structural Safety and Engineering Structures. Michael’s research is focused on non-traditional uncertainty models in engineering with emphasis on numerically efficient reliability and risk analysis.

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July 25
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


SPP 2187
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