We present a radical rethinking of conventional coastal armor via the development of “Kinetic Umbrellas” inspired by the architecture of master builder Félix Candela. Unlike traditional floodwalls or levees which rely on sheer mass alone, Kinetic Umbrellas are remarkably thin shells that utilize the double curvature of hyperbolic paraboloids (hypar) to resist surge and wave forces associated with landfalling tropical cyclones. As a kinetic structure, these umbrellas only deploy into an impermeable barrier prior to imminent hazard scenarios but remain a canopy during normal weather such that beach access is not impeded.
A decoupled numerical scheme constituting smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) and finite element modeling (FEM) was leveraged for the structural analysis of deployed Kinetic Umbrellas under arbitrary hydrodynamic forcing. It was revealed that the effects of double curvature dramatically reduces out-of-plane stresses that typically limit the performance of thin shells. Hydrodynamic modeling confirmed that Kinetic Umbrellas proved structurally viable against surge inundation and wave attack consistent with Hurricane Sandy (2012) at Monmouth Beach, NJ. A simulation is shown here.
This research has been recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers via the Moisseiff Award and has gained domestic and international media attention such as:
Wu, G., Garlock, M., Wang, S. (2022). A Decoupled SPH-FEM Analysis of Hydrodynamic Wave Pressure on Hyperbolic-Paraboloid Thin-shell Coastal Armor and Corresponding Structural Response. Engineering Structures, 268
Wang, S., Garlock, M., Deike, L., Glisic, B. (2022). Feasibility of Kinetic Umbrellas as deployable flood barriers during landfalling hurricanes. Journal of Structural Engineering (ASCE), 148 (5)
Wang, S., Garlock, M., Glisic, B. (2021). A mechanism for the deployment of Kinetic Umbrellas for coastal hazard adaptation. Proceedings of the IASS Annual Symposium, Guilford, United Kingdom
Wang, S., Notario, V., Garlock, M., Glisic, B. (2021). Structural parameterization of Kinetic Umbrellas under hydrostatic inundation. Proceedings of the IASS Annual Symposium, Guilford, United Kingdom
Wang, S., Garlock, M., Glisic, B. (2021). Kinematics of deployable hyperbolic paraboloid umbrellas. Engineering Structures, 244
Wang, S., Notario, V., Garlock, M., Glisic, B. (2021). Parameterization of hydrostatic behavior of deployable hypar umbrellas as flood barriers. Thin-Walled Structures, 163
Wang, S., Garlock, M., Glisic, B. (2021). Parametric modeling of depth-limited wave spectra under hurricane conditions with applications to Kinetic Umbrellas against storm surge inundation. Water, 13
Wang, S., Garlock, M., Glisic, B. (2020). Hydrostatic response of deployable hyperbolic-paraboloid umbrellas as coastal armor. Journal of Structural Engineering (ASCE), 146 (6)
Wang, S., Garlock, M., Glisic, B. (2019). Kinetic Umbrellas for coastal defense applications. Proceedings of the IASS Annual Symposium, Barcelona, Spain