Friday Transportation Seminar: System-level Risk Management of Transportation Structures and Networks

Friday, November 4, 2022, 11:30am to 12:30pm PDT
David Yang, PSU
Free and open to the public
ONLINE and IN-PERSON: PSU's Vanport Building (Room 269) 1810 SW 5th Ave Portland, OR 97201
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1

Friday Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. You can join us online or in-person at 11:30 AM. All presentations are recorded and shared on the event page afterwards.



Conventional risk assessment approaches in infrastructure management do not fully capture the system-level impact of structural failure or service disruption. As a result, the priorities of preservation projects may be misidentified, leading to suboptimal maintenance schedules and waste of resources. In this presentation, we will first illustrate why conventional risk assessment is not suitable for transportation structures and networks due to interdependency between assets, and then demonstrate how system-level preservation policies can be devised using novel algorithms adapted from the field of deep reinforcement learning. Results from a series of case studies showcase that the system-level risk management is essential to correctly identifying key assets and work priorities, devising adaptive maintenance policies, and lowering life-cycle costs of transportation infrastructure.


  • Difference between asset- and system-level risk assessment and its implications to infrastructure management
  • Challenge in achieving system-level risk management and the role played by novel algorithms in artificial intelligence
  • Benefits of system-level risk management enabled by deep reinforcement learning


David Yang, Portland State University

Dr. David Y. Yang is an Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University. His research focuses on structural reliability and risk, and risk-informed decision-making for infrastructure systems. His recent work specializes in unifying risk and resilience assessment in multi-hazard scenarios, devising novel machine learning techniques for infrastructure management, and risk-informed infrastructure adaptation to climate change. He is the recipient of the 2022 Moisseiff Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He is the author of 29 journal papers, 3 book chapters, and over 10 contributions to various national and international conferences.


This 60-minute seminar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We can provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.

Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) is home to the U.S. DOT funded National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), PORTAL, BikePed Portal and other transportation grants and programs. We produce impactful research and tools for transportation decision makers, expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engage students and professionals through education and participation in research.