Plenary Lecture

Modern and Historic Structures' Failure Modes with Regards to Design Mistakes, Strength Depreciation, and Nature's Forces

Professor Ahmet Turer
Civil Engineering Department
Structural Mechanics Lab.
Middle East Technical University


Abstract: Building structures, regardless from being historic or contemporary, has always sought a basic balance between material capacity and effects of loads on the members. Recently engineer face challenges with longer spans, taller buildings, deeper excavations, but sometimes the most basic violated principles would cause collapses and human losses. Additional challenges are faced by natural disasters occurring more frequent and severe probably exceeding specifications and guidelines. This presentation discusses design principles and assumptions being violated by nature’s forces, giving practical examples from observed collapses. Interesting case study collapses include millenniums old historic structures, early 20th century structures, and modern – new build structures. Emphasis will be given on how the damages occur and if they can be prevented. Strengthening techniques and basic interventions to overcome existing weaknesses and disadvantages will be discussed.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Prof. Dr. Ahmet Turer is a full time faculty member in the Department of Civil Engineering in Middle East Technical University. He has completed his BS degree (1993) at METU, MS (1997) and PhD (2000) degrees at University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Dr. Turer had worked in private sector in project management, structural engineering design and analysis areas in Turkey and USA. He is a faculty member at METU since 2000 with over 20 MS and PhD students graduated. Research interests are mostly on structural evaluation and strengthening of historic masonry and timber structures, bridges, structural health monitoring (SHM) and its applications, forensic and risk analysis, blast loading, artificial intelligence, earthquake performance of structures, analysis and programming. Dr. Turer has participated in international projects such as NATO-SfP, submitting proposals for EC, and has coordinated a Worldbank project; has been member of national and international organizations such as ICOMOS, ISCARSAH, IABMAS, and national scientific committees for Ministry of Culture. He has been PI of various national and private funded projects and large number of consultancy projects.

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