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Thesis defences

PhD Oral Exam - Ahmed Assad, Civil Engineering

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 (all day)

This event is free


School of Graduate Studies


Daniela Ferrer


On line

When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.


Water distribution networks (WDNs) are critical infrastructure systems that secure needed supply of potable water to the public. Efficient management of WDNs has always been a primary concern for decision-makers, particularly in events of natural disasters, deliberate attacks, human-made accidents and/or sudden failures. Aging and deterioration of WDNs further exacerbate their vulnerability and likelihood of service disruption. Previous hazards reveal that classical risk-based approaches are not sufficient to prevent disruptions of WDNs. As a result, the concept of resilient WDNs has emerged to cope up with inevitable disruptions that are becoming more frequent.

The objective of this research is to develop a holistic resilience-based management model for WDNs. In this context, WDNs is sought to be strong enough to withstand unforeseen disruptions with a minimum performance impact and to recover rapidly after a service interruption. Firstly, a multi-attribute metric is developed for assessing resilience of WDNs based on robustness and redundancy. Attributes from graph theory are employed to quantify the network redundancy. Robustness is measured by integrating the reliability and criticality of pipe segments of the network. Multi-attribute utility theory and Fuzzy analytical network process are exploited to estimate the criticality of water segments based on a set of economic, social, and environmental factors. Survival analysis and maximum likelihood estimate are employed to dynamically determine reliability of pipe segments. Censored inter-failure time data are leveraged to model the deterioration behavior of homogenous cohorts of pipe. The developed metric was used to measure the resilience of a real-life WDN in the City of London, Ontario. The results obtained showed an average of 5% variation when compared to previously developed flow-based and topology-based metrics.

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