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Alexandros Taflanidis

Alexandros Taflanidis

Associate Professor and Frank M. Freimann Collegiate Chair in Structural Engineering

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences

Concurrent Associate Professor
Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Associate Professor and Frank M. Freimann Collegiate Chair in Structural Engineering
College of Engineering

Email: a.taflanidis@nd.edu

Phone: 574-631-5696

Office: 158 Fitzpatrick Hall


Ph.D, California Institute of Technology, 2007

M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 2003

B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 2002


Alexandros Taflanidis received his diploma in Civil Engineering with a major in Structural Engineering from the Civil Engineering Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2002. He completed the master's program "Earthquake Resistant Design of Structures" in 2003 in the same department. He received his Ph.D. in 2008 in Civil Engineering with a minor in Control and Dynamical Systems from the California Institute of Technology. Subsequently he conducted postdoctoral research at Duke University. He joined the faculty of the University of Notre Dame in 2008. Dr. Taflanidis currently oversees the operation of the High Performance system Analysis and Design (HIPAD) laboratory. He is also part of the University of Notre Dame team (Engineering2Empower) that is committed to scholarship and service for Haiti following the devastating January 2010 earthquake.

For full CV please follow link

Awards and Distinctions

2015 Best Young Researcher Paper award (co-authorship) in the 4th International Conference on Soft Computing Technology in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, for the paper “Optimal design of floor isolation systems subject to multiple reliability criteria utilizing kriging surrogate modeling” by I. Gidaris  and A.A. Taflanidis.

2014 NCEEES Award for best undergraduate project linking to the professional practice

2014 Joyce C.S.C Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. University of Notre Dame.

2013 Best Young Researcher Paper award (co-authorship) in the 3rd International Conference on Soft Computing Technology in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, for the paper “Non-parametric Stochastic Subset Optimization for System Design Optimization under Uncertainty” by G. Jia  and A.A. Taflanidis.  

IRIS 2012 Prize of Excellence by the Integrated European Industrial Risk Reduction System (IRIS) project for publications “Analysis and design of offshore energy conversion devices under modeling uncertainties” and “Risk assessment and sensitivity analysis for offshore wind turbines”, both authored by Taflanidis, A.A., Loukogeorgaki, E and D.C. Angelides.

2009 Best Young Researcher Paper award in the 1st International Conference on Soft Computing Technology in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, for the paper "Stochastic Subset Optimization with Response Surface Approximations for Stochastic Design" by A.A. Taflanidis. 

Award for academic excellence in entire Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2000-2001 by International Rotary Society of Thessaloniki

Technical Chamber of Greece – Award for academic excellence in each year of undergraduate studies (1997-2002) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Ministry of Education of Greece and  Greek Math Foundation – Awards  (one from each) for excellence in Greek national placement exams (1997) for admittance to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Recent Papers

Jia, G., Taflanidis, A.A., Norterto N-C, Melby, J, Kennedy, A., and J. Smith (2015). “Surrogate modeling for peak and time dependent storm surge prediction over an extended coastal region using an existing database of synthetic storms”. Natural Hazards, DOI 10.1007/s11069-015-2111-1

Jia, G., Taflanidis A.A., and J.L. Beck (2015). “Adaptive rejection sampling using kernel density approximations and its application in Subset Simulation”. ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part A: Civil Engineering, D4015001. 

Gidaris, I., Taflanidis, A.A. and G.P. Mavroeidis (2015). “Kriging metamodeling in seismic risk assessment based on stochastic ground motion models”. Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, 44 (14): 2377–2399.

Ruiz, R., Lopez-Garcia, D. and A.A. Taflanidis (2015). “An efficient computational procedure for the dynamic analysis of liquid storage tanks”, Engineering Structures, 85: 206-218.

Medina, J.C. and A.A. Taflanidis (2014). “Probabilistic measures for assessing appropriateness of Robust Design optimization solutions”. Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 51 (4): 813-834.

Jia, G. and A.A. Taflanidis (2014). “Sample-based evaluation of global probabilistic sensitivity measures”. Computers and Structures, 144: 103-118.  

Jia, G., Gidaris, I., Taflanidis, A.A. and G.P. Mavroeidis (2014). “Reliability-based assessment/design of floor isolation systems”. Engineering Structures, 78 (1): 41-56.

Kijewski-Correa, T., Smith, N., Taflanidis. A.A., Kennedy, A., Liu, C., Krusche, M. and C. Vardeman II (2014). “CyberEye: Development of integrated cyber-infrastructure to support rapid hurricane risk assessment”. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 133: 211-224.

Medina, J.C. and A.A. Taflanidis (2014). “Adaptive importance sampling for optimization under uncertainty problems”. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 279: 133-162.

Image Gallery


Summary of Activities/Interests

In recent decades increased urbanization and mass migrations towards cities have contributed to population shifts and infrastructure growth –leading in extreme cases to the formation of megacities– in some of the world’s most hazard-prone areas. The inevitable result is particularly large life and economic loss potential, something that has unfortunately been confirmed far too often by the thousands of lives lost and communities devastated in recent events like hurricanes Katrina and Ike and earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, New Zealand and Japan. Unfortunately, accurate assessment and mitigation of risk in such complex environments are non-trivial to achieve using traditional approaches. Even in the absence of extreme events, maintenance of our aging infrastructure network is emerging as another critical engineering challenge. Although Civil Infrastructure is second only to the health care industry in annual expenditures in the United States, it does not efficiently implement similar advanced diagnostic and decision support tools. While embedded sensors for continuous monitoring of bridges could help to deliver the data necessary for diagnostic and prognostic efforts, a rational and consistent framework that can use the vast assimilated data to guide the decisions about optimalinfrastructure maintenance has yet to be delivered. These threats posed by natural hazards and aging civil infrastructure are acknowledged as grand challenges of the 21st Century by both the National Academy of Engineering and American Society of Civil Engineers, as they have the potential to undermine the most fundamental pillar of our society. As such, Civil Engineers have a great opportunity and an even greater responsibility to provide innovative solutions to these problems, for both the developed and developing world, and simultaneously prepare and motivate the next generation of engineers to continue on this path.

Motivated by this, the research, teaching and outreach of Dr. Taflanidis is an integrated effort to counter these threats, related to natural hazard risk assessment and mitigation and optimal infrastructure maintenance, through the implementation of advanced probabilistic methodologies, simulation-based engineering science, cyber-collaborations, and a variety of knowledge diffusion mechanisms and venues, including outreach in Haiti. In parallel the research of his group (HIPAD laboratory at Notre Dame) extends to the probabilistic analysis and design of any engineering system warranted to exhibit higher performance, i.e. optimal life-cycle cost/benefit, maximum reliability, or minimal downtime, under regular operation and/or extreme loading conditions (for example optimization of offshore wind turbines and offshore energy conversion devices). Uncertainties related to the characteristics of these systems and their operational environment significantly impact their performance and ultimately their optimal design.

The work of' the HIPAD lab also addresses the probabilistic quantification of model uncertainties but primarily focuses on efficient computational methodologies for the propagation of these uncertainties to calculate the system probabilistic performance (for example, risk assessment), for optimization of that performance (for example, risk mitigation) or for updating it when additional knowledge becomes available through monitoring data (for example infrastructure condition assessment through health monitoring implementation). The HIPAD laboratory is equipped with Pershephone, a high-performance cluster (forty two nodes, each with eight Nehalem computational cores), Prometheus, a 1792 CUDA core GPU perosnal supercomputer, and a variety of tools for structural and stochastic simulation/optimization. This provides HIPAD great opportunities to investigate applications of simulation-based science to efficiently and accurately address modeling uncertainties in natural hazard risk mitigation, infrastructure condition assessment, and in the analysis and design of complex engineering systems. The group additionally addresses the development of automated assessment tools for knowledge dissemination and for allowing non-technical end-users to leverage the full potential of the established research advancements.

Current research projects include development of advanced stochastic simulation techniques for probabilistic assessment and sensitivity analysis, implementation of surrogate modeling in stochastic analysis, development of novel tools for optimization under uncertainty problems and investigation of high-performance computing applications in probabilistic mechanics. The applications examined focus primarily on natural hazard risk assessment and mitigation with emphasis on earthquake and hurricane hazards. The relevant problems currently investigated extend to protection of base-isolated structures against near-field ground motions, life-cycle cost estimation and optimization for civil engineering structures, protection of critical isolated building contents, selection of ground-motion models for efficient description of seismic hazard and real-time estimation of hurricane surge and wave risk. Applications related to large-scale optimization of grids of offshore turbnes or wave-energy conversion devices and to development of an automated decision support system for optimal monitoring and maintenance of infrastructure systems, are also currently examined.

For furhter details on research interests, specializations and current projects please visit the HIPAD lab website http://hipad.nd.edu

Outreach in Haiti

Two years after the January 2010 Haiti earthquake, despite the millions of dollars pledged through foreign aid and well-intended efforts of the international community, the sad reality is that the majority of the families displaced due to the earthquake [over 600,000 Haitians] are still waiting in transitory shelters, without a clear roadmap towards safe permanent housing they will be able to call “home”. While many agree that sustainable redevelopment and self-reliance is essential for Haiti, few appreciate how it can be practically achieved, particularly in the domain of urban residential redevelopment. As the poorest Western nation with the highest import taxes and severe deforestation, construction practices cannot rely on the many engineered materials that are required in traditional code-compliant designs used in other seismically active regions and even other parts of the developing world due to the lack of affordable local inventory. The pre-existing lack of education, codification and oversight to regulate the construction processes adds to such challenges. Dr. Taflanidis has made four trips to Haiti post quake and is co-founder and integral member of Engineering2Empower, which is committed to provide an affordable, sustainable, safe housing solution for the bottom of the economic pyramid Haitian families. Visit http://Engineering2Empower.org to learn more


Faculty awards honor undergraduate teaching and advising

May 9, 2019

Twenty University of Notre Dame faculty members have received Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and three have been honored with Dockweiler Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising.

Two Graduate Students Awarded Ammann Fellowship

April 11, 2018

Graduate students Karen Angeles and Evan Gerbo have been awarded the O.H. Ammann Fellowship from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Natural Hazard Research at Notre Dame: Engineers Putting their Expertise to Work throughout a Busy Season

November 8, 2017

In a year that included Harvey, Jose, Maria, Nate, Ophelia and Irma, wind and coastal engineers have been scrambling to document infrastructure performance and damage as they continue to seek ways to improve the construction standards and level of hurricane resistance of the country’s infrastructure.

Taflanidis Named Greek Diaspora Fellow

December 15, 2016

Associate Professor Alexandros A. Taflanidis, the Frank M. Freimann Collegiate Chair in Structural Engineering, has been named a 2017 Greek Diaspora Fellow.