Wenjuan Sun is a Research Associate in Civil Engineering, Center of Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) at Lehigh University. Previously, she received her Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, with an M.Sc. degree in Geotechnical Engineering and a B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University at Shanghai, China. Sun has a unique interdisciplinary background that encompasses traditional topics of civil engineering, probabilistic risk and resilience assessment, multiscale and multi-physics modeling and experimentation of civil engineering materials, and geoenvironmental impact assessment and sustainable construction techniques. Her research mainly focuses on developing computational models to solve engineering problems for supporting sustainable and resilient infrastructures.
At the system-level, Sun has been developing mechanistic computational models to evaluate system resilience and capture different types of infrastructure interdependencies in a probabilistic manner, with quantitative assessments of the impact of different types of interdependencies on the functionality recovery and system resilience in post-disaster scenarios. Her research findings in this area can provide informative suggestions to decision-makers for developing effective plans of retrofit, mitigation, and restoration. In particular, her work contributes to a comprehensive simulator - PRAISys (Probabilistic Resilience Assessment of Interdependent Systems) for post-disaster resilience assessments, with the implementation of uncertainty quantification and mechanistic interdependency modeling.
At the component-level, infrastructure materials significantly influence the mechanical properties and sustainability of infrastructure systems. Therefore, we should carefully select suitable infrastructure materials and sometimes design and deploy advanced materials with targeted engineering properties. The process from material design to deployment usually take a long time (on the magnitude of decades). To speed up this process, identifying the material genome and understanding its quantitative impacts on physical and mechanical properties are extremely helpful. In this respect, Sun has developed computational programs to rapidly characterize surface morphological characteristics and microstructural mechanical properties of infrastructure materials. Based on the characterization results, she has established multi-physics models of infrastructure materials to build a mechanistic understanding of non-linear mechanical performances at different spatial scales, with validations from experimental results.