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Vortrag: Prof. Kok-Kwang Phoon

Vortrag: Prof. Kok-Kwang Phoon

From Data to Decisions, July 29th, 13:00, Room 010 (MZ 2), Appelstr. 9 A

Prof. Kok-Kwang Phoon
Research Awardee of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
National University of Singapore (NUS)

Monday, July 29th, 2019, 1 pm
Building 3408 (Appelstraße 9a), Room 010 (MZ 2)

From Data to Decisions


All decisions in geotechnical engineering are ultimately linked to an understanding of one particular site. In fact, site investigation is mandated by building regulations rather than left to the discretion of the engineering consultants. For example, it is common to mandate by law to have more than (i) one borehole per 300 sq m or (ii) one borehole at every interval between 10m to 30m, but no less than 3 boreholes in a project site.

My broad research agenda is to strengthen the link between what is available in real data and methods that exploit real data without strong assumptions not supportable by data or physics, particularly for the purpose of supporting decision making that engineers value. Meeting the needs of practitioners is the general end goal for my research.

The purpose of this presentation is to provide a broad overview of four broad research directions and to invite good ideas that will further advance the value of our work for practice:

  1. Compilation of databases –

    1. Univariate, multivariate, MUSIC (Multivariate, Uncertain and Unique, Sparse, Incomplete, and potentially Corrupted)

    2. Foundation load tests for ultimate and serviceability limit states

  2. Site challenge – estimation of design parameters from site investigation based on site-specific data and non-site-specific data.

  3. Spatial variability – concept of mobilized shear strength

  4. Reliability-based design – concept of the Quantile Value Method and Effective Random Dimension

All comments and collaborations are welcome. Data/papers/book chapters can be provided upon request.



Kok-Kwang Phoon is Distinguished Professor and Vice Provost (Academic Personnel), National University of Singapore. He obtained his BEng and MEng from the National University of Singapore and his PhD from Cornell University. He is a Professional Engineer in Singapore and past President of the Geotechnical Society of Singapore. His main research interests include statistical characterization of geotechnical parameters and reliability-based design in geotechnical engineering. He is the lead editor of 3 books: Reliability of Geotechnical Structures in ISO2394 (CRC Press/Balkema, 2016), Risk and Reliability in Geotechnical Engineering (CRC Press, 2015), and Reliability-based Design in Geotechnical Engineering (Spon Press, 2008). He was bestowed with numerous research awards, including the ASCE Norman Medal in 2005, the John Booker Medal in 2014, and the Humboldt Research Award in 2017. He is the Founding Editor of Georisk and advisory board member for the WEF Global Risks Report. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering Singapore in 2012.