LSU CEE Professor Studies Impact of Natural Disasters On Infrastructure

October 12, 2021

Aly Mousaad Aly standing in the WISE labBATON ROUGE, LA – For the past 15 years, LSU Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Aly Mousaad Aly has studied wind, structural, and coastal engineering. His latest project explores ways to improve community resilience and establish smart and recoverable infrastructure and businesses along the Gulf Coast.

“Specifically, our research at LSU looks at the design and rehabilitation aspects of the natural and engineered built environments to survive single and multiple hazard stressors brought by natural disasters such as earthquakes, windstorms, and hurricanes,” Aly said. “The goal is to increase the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions, withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions, contribute to economic growth, and improve the quality of life.”

Aly currently runs the Windstorm Impact, Science, and Engineering (WISE) Research Lab at LSU. He says the facility offers resources that help research and industry test their ideas and expand their knowledge, leading to innovations and discovery in science, hurricane engineering, and materials and structure disciplines. The applications include, but are not limited to, wind turbines, solar panels, residential homes, large roofs, high-rise buildings, transportation infrastructure, power transmission lines, and more.

“Building the more resilient community to enhance safety and reduce the tremendous cost of rebuilding due to natural disasters is the core challenge of WISE’s research,” he said. “The research activities are beneficial for students and researchers, as they provide potential opportunities to learn with direct involvement in real-world projects. The research findings are directly applicable to solving challenging industry issues, fine-tuning design codes, giving coastal residents options for making their dwellings more storm-resistant, and improving hurricane protection policies.”

Cords inside of a box in the WISE labWithin the WISE Lab, Aly and his team of student researchers use the LSU Open Jet Hurricane Testing Facility to replicate full-scale flow physics. There, they can test infrastructure under realistic turbulence and higher Reynolds numbers. Testing at this facility can provide knowledge useful for homeowners and insurance companies in dealing more effectively with windstorms, for example, and how to fine-tune design codes and give coastal residents options for making their dwellings more storm-resistant.

“The goal is to build new structures and retrofit existing ones in innovative ways to balance resilience with sustainability, to better protect people, to enhance safety, and to reduce the huge cost of rebuilding after windstorms,” Aly said.

The LSU WISE research team is also working on renewable energy projects that include examining the design aspects of solar and wind farms to help them survive stringent wind loads.

“Wind, wave, and seismic loads can cause interrupted operation and failure to wind turbines,” Aly said. “WISE research has led to a novel control theory that enables semi-active controller tuning under the complex structural behavior and inherent system nonlinearity.”


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Contact: Libby Haydel

Communications Specialist