Dr Terry Y.P. Yuen (袁宇秉助理教授) at the Department of Civil Engineering was recently awarded a research grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) under the prestigious Einstein Program (愛因斯坦培植計畫) for a research proposal entitled “Complete Solutions for Rehabilitation of Seismically Damaged Masonry Structures: Collapse Risk Mitigation using Integrated System of Fiber Reinforced Cementitious Composite/Matrix Overlay and Optical Fiber Sensor Monitoring”. The Einstein Program was established by the MOST “to encourage young research fellows and scholars whose age under 32 to make bold attempts and innovations in various aspects, cross over the boundary of science without being confirmed by the prescribed framework” (The Pilot Directions for MOST Grant for the Einstein Program, 2017). The proposed research by Terry is rooted in a former international research collaboration, which was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, UK), between Dr Yuen and his co-workers at the UK.
Terry’s research interests cover a board range of topics in earthquake engineering and dynamics of structures and infrastructures, solid and structural mechanics, computational methods, and design of reinforced concrete and tall building structures. Dr Yuen’s research achievements have earned him numerous academic awards and honors including「財團法人傑出人才發展基金會」106學年度第一期「積極爭取國外優秀年輕學者獎助, 交大許文良青年講座教授 (NCTU’s Wen Liang Hsu Junior Chair Professor), the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers – Institution of Structural Engineers (UK) Grand Structural Excellence Award (R&D) 2017, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers Transactions Prize 2016, and the prestigious Institution of Civil Engineers (UK) Telford Premium 2014.
Terry’s current research project under the Einstein Program aims to enhance the seismic resilience of buildings with masonry walls, which are well known for their extreme vulnerability to earthquake effects. Collapses of these structures were repeatedly observed in the major earthquakes, which include the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the most recent 2017 Central Mexico earthquake and the 2016 Central Italy earthquake. In Taiwan, masonry infill walls have been often incorporated in a reinforced concrete (RC) frame to form a so-called masonry infilled RC frame structures, which many of them suffered catastrophic damage in the 1999 Chi-chi earthquake.
To attain the objective, a smart and innovative retrofit-monitoring integrated system natural fiber reinforced cementitious composites/matrix (FRCC/FRCM) overly embedded and advanced optical fiber sensing technology will be developed. The integrated system will mitigate the collapse risk of seismically damaged masonry buildings by (1) rapidly strengthening or restoring the strength of the structures to withstand future earthquakes and (2) closely monitoring the damage state of the structures such that the occupants will know when further repairs or evacuation are needed. Hopefully, with the proposed retrofit-monitoring integrated system, the occupants of those buildings and their assets can be protected in future strong earthquakes.