"Resilient Infrastructures — From Concepts to Applications"
Stefan Hiermaier, University of Freiburg, (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg)
Our society depends on the sustained and reliable functioning of its critical infrastructure. This encompasses, among many other things, the energy system and IT, as well as water and food supplies and transportation, and public health services. This infrastructure is at risk. International terrorism, natural disasters and vulnerabilities stemming from the growing interconnectedness and complexity of coupled infrastructure systems must be taken into account. Stefan Hiermaier presents resilience as one way to cope with emerging phenomena such as the complexity of infrastructure, cascading effects through tightly coupled systems and the occurrence of so-called black swan events. He shows how this concept has found its way into the engineering sciences and discusses the application of resilience engineering within the University of Freiburg’s diverse research community. Accordingly, resilience engineering is defined as preserving critical functionality, ensuring graceful degradation and enabling fast recovery of complex (socio-) technical systems in the face of adversity. The relevant engineering tools consist of generic capabilities as well as customized technological solutions when the systems witness problems, unexpected disruptions or unexampled events. This concept due to its nature is still generic and needs further advancement. Thus, Stefan Hiermaier also shows a range of application examples researched and developed in the University Freiburg to assess, manage and improve the resilience of critical infrastructure systems.
Stefan Hiermaier studied aerospace engineering at the University of German Armed Forces in Munich and obtained his doctorate from the Faculty of Civil Engineering. His habilitation on high-speed dynamics of materials dates from 2002. Dr. Hiermaier was appointed the first professor in the field of high-speed dynamics in Germany in 2008. In 2015, he was appointed professor for sustainable systems engineering at the University Freiburg. He is director of both the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics and the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Freiburg. He is also vice dean of the faculty and co-coordinator of the Sustainability Center Freiburg, a co-operation of the five Fraunhofer Institutes in Freiburg and the University of Frieburg.
Dr. Hiermaier’s major research interest is resilient dynamics, i.e. resilience of complex critical infrastructure. One focus is the dynamic behavior and shock wave physics of materials and structures integrating experimental and numerical methods. Major issues are discretization methods and constitutive equations for materials under crash and impact loads. Under the title of “resilience engineering,” Dr. Hiermaier pursues research into advancing the design of critical infrastructure toward greater resilience with respect to disruptive events and related uncertainties. Dr. Hiermaier has written numerous publications on these topics. His book Structures Under Crash and Impact was published by Springer in 2008. Dr. Hiermaier has been president of the DYMAT association, the European association for the promotion of research into the dynamic behavior of materials and its applications, since 2012.
This event is open to all Stevens students, faculty, alumni, staff and invited guests.