Brown University School of Engineering

Engineering Seminar: Joint Materials and Solid Mechanics

Monday, October 21, 2019

4:00pm - 5:00pm

School of Engineering

Barus and Holley, 190

Victor Tsai, Associate Professor of Geophysics at Brown, will present a talk: “The Mechanics of Natural Hazards: From Ice Sheets to Debris Flows”.

Abstract: Many natural hazards have been well known and qualitatively understood for decades, but still lack accurate measures of how damaging future events will be. For example, it still remains a question as to how quickly the great ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will respond to climate change to cause sea level rise, and whether early warning for debris flows can be successfully implemented. For both of these examples, a key need is to better understand the mechanics of the underlying geophysical processes. In this talk, I introduce the basic mechanical principles related to ice sheet flow and debris flow damage, and explain how application of these simple principles results in an enhanced ability to quantify certain aspects of these hazards.

Bio: 
B.S., Geophysics, California Institute of Technology, 2004
Ph.D., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 2009 (Ph.D. advisor James R. Rice)
Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow, U.S. Geological Survey, 2009-2011
Assistant Professor of Geophysics, California Institute of Technology, 2011-2017
Professor of Geophysics, California Institute of Technology, 2017-2019
Associate Professor of Geophysics, Dept. of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, 2019-present