Kokcan Donmez

Kokcan Donmez

Kökcan Donmez currently serves as a doctoral researcher and teaching assistant at University College London’s Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geomatic Engineering (UCL, CEGE) as the holder of the Chadwick Scholarship. Following the completion of BSc degree in Civil Engineering, he pursued a MSc in Earthquake Engineering at Boğaziçi University, Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute (BU, KOERI), where his research focused on the identification of the dynamic response of a prominent 17th-century historic monument, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, employing vibration-based techniques in Structural Health Monitoring.

In addition to his involvement in several (inter)national research projects at KOERI in the scope of Disaster Risk Reduction approaches in vulnerable urbanised areas, he has been part of several earthquake reconnaissance missions to Haiti, Nepal and Türkiye organised by Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team of Institute of Structural Engineering (EEFIT, IStructE) and conducted research on strong ground motions, structures (with an emphasis on vernacular and monumental architecture) and societal aspects. He is also part of the research group Heritage, Environmental Risk and Data Analytics at UCL’s Institute for Sustainable Heritage (HERADA, ISH) and holds an affiliate membership with the UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB).

Kökcan’s overarching goal is to mitigate the multi-factorial risk posed by multi-hazard exposures, integrating considerations of seismic and climatic factors in a comprehensive manner and enhancing the overall resilience of two of the most broadly vulnerable elements, heritage assets, and communities.

The title of his PhD research is Critical Vulnerability Evaluation of Timber-Framed Masonry Hybrid Typologies under Multi-Hazard Exposure

Brief Description of his PhD research: Vernacular structures represent a significant portion of the global building stock, and their preservation and reuse are crucial not only for safeguarding cultural value and mitigating overall decarbonization but also for addressing the housing crisis. This necessitates holistic resilience to hazards arising from both climatic and seismic factors across diverse geographical contexts.

Structures composed of timber frames with various masonry infill and cladding materials/techniques constitute a significant aspect of vernacular architecture worldwide. However, the systematic evaluation of these structures lacks holistic approaches and suffers from being monodisciplinary.

Our research, taking a multi-hazard perspective, investigates how exposure to climate-induced hazards, aligned with projections of climate change, influences the earthquake vulnerability of timber-frame masonry typologies.

In this regard, a research framework is developed, incorporating on-site monitoring and (post-disaster) data collection, experimental testing at both material and structural levels, and structural modelling and analysis to generate hybrid (empirical and analytical) fragility functions. By enhancing precision through the integration of real-world and experimental data, we aim to significantly contribute to the understanding and mitigation of risks faced by these typologies.

Supervisors: Yasemin D. Aktaş (CEGE), Scott A. Orr (ISH), Dina D’Ayala (CEGE)