Converging Design Methodology: Multi-objective Optimization of Resilient Structural Spines


The goal of this project is to integrate functionality-based design and multi-objective optimization into a single converging design paradigm that will support resilient, sustainable seismic solutions for lateral force resisting systems. The project will integrate existing and new data from laboratory and numerical work to (1) define functional recovery and sustainability metrics, including quantification of uncertainty, for the design of innovative lateral force resisting systems employing mass timber spine solutions; (2) create and implement a multi-objective optimization converging seismic design methodology that considers resiliency and sustainability goals; and (3) develop optimized seismic lateral force resisting systems, whose performance is validated through a six-story full-scale building test program at the NSF-supported Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) outdoor shake table at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The six-story specimen re-uses an existing ten-story shake table specimen that will be tested on the UCSD shake table. A series of expert elicitation interviews and participatory workshops will support the definition of resiliency metrics, including time to functionality and sustainability metrics (e.g., embodied carbon) to meet the goal of the research. Educational modules for industry and higher education will be created.

An industry working group will promote increased collaboration and foster innovation among academia, industry, and government agencies. This project will lead to new seismic design possibilities and advance knowledge of the functionality and sustainability of mass timber structures based on decades of research in seismic design, advances in high-performance computing that support optimization in design, and functional-recovery modeling, including sustainability goals. Project data will be archived and made publicly available in the NHERI Data Depot (


PI Andre Barbosa Oregon State University
Co-PI Arijit Sinha Oregon State University
Co-PI Barbara Simpson Stanford Universtiy
Co-PI John van de Lindt Colorado State University
Co-PI Nathan Brown Penn State University

Andre Barbosa

Primary Sponsor(s)