Doctoral Dissertations


Tiantian Li

Keywords and Phrases

Dynamic response; Large-span structure; Non-stationary characteristics; Tornado; Two-way coupled simulation; Wind structure interaction


"Tornadoes have become a significant cause of property damage, injuries and life losses. Investigations of tornadoes indicate that most fatalities were caused by building failure. For example, in the Joplin, MO tornado of 22 May 2011, 161 people were killed, and 84% fatalities were related to building failure. Therefore, it is imperative to develop science-based tornado-resistant building codes, in order to provide a better level of occupant protection from tornadoes and to minimize the tornado-induced damage. This requires in-depth understanding of the wind characteristics of tornadoes and their wind effects on civil structures, based on which design tornadic wind loading can be properly determined. To achieve this, in this study, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations and Computational Structural Dynamics (CSD) simulations are combined for the first time to systematically investigate tornado dynamics and its dynamic impact on civil structures. First, wind effects on large-scale space structures induced by straight-line winds are investigated to fully understand the current building code against wind loads. Then, a real-world tornado is numerically simulated and verified based on full-scale radar-measured data. Based on the verified CFD model, non-stationary wind characteristics of tornadoes and the induced wind effects on large-scale space structures are investigated under different flow structures of tornadoes. Next, CFD and CSD are combined to investigate tornado-induced dynamic responses of large-scale space structures. Finally, tornado-induced dynamic responses of large-scale space structures are compared with that induced by the equivalent straight-line winds, in order to properly modify the equation for calculating the design wind pressure specified in ASCE7-16"--Abstract, page iv.


Yan, Guirong Grace

Committee Member(s)

Chen, Genda
Sneed, Lesley
Mendoza, Cesar
Isaac, Kakkattukuzhy M.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Civil Engineering


National Science Foundation (U.S.)


The author appreciates the financial support from National Science Foundation under Award No. 1455709.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2019

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Influence of turbulence modeling on wind effects of straight-line winds on dome structures
  • Investigate the influence of flow structure of a tornado on wind effects
  • Dynamic structural responses of long-span dome structures induced by tornadoes
  • Modifying G to consider dynamic impact of tornadoes for achieving tornado-resistance design
  • Improve wind-induced structural responses on a cable-net roof structure using two-way coupled wind-structure-interaction simulation


xix, 183 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references.


© 2019 Tiantian Li, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11593

Electronic OCLC #