Rice University logoGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering


Leonardo Dueñas-Osorio

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Summary

Computational and theoretical complex system reliability assessment, failure analysis and topological characterization of interdependent infrastructure systems, instantaneous reliability and resilience of smart lifeline systems, soil-foundation-bridge interaction effects on road networks, long-term performance analysis of wind turbines, and hurricane risk evaluation for urban evacuation.  

Brief Bio

Leonardo Duenas-Osorio is Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Universidad de La Salle in Bogotá, Colombia in 1996. He then obtained a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá in 1998, followed by a Professional Master’s degree in Engineering Project Management from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana also in Bogotá in 2000. After arriving to the United States, he obtained a Master of Engineering degree in High Performance Structures from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2001, and his Ph.D. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 2005.

He joined Rice University as Assistant Professor of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in July of 2006. The research interests of Dr. Dueñas-Osorio are in the area of computational and theoretical complex system reliability and risk assessment. Accordingly, his research group on Structural and Infrastructural System Reliability and Risk Assessment (SISRRA) pursues applications that bridge the gap between academia and practice and which have the potential for broad societal impact.  Examples include the response characterization of interdependent lifeline systems subjected to natural or man-made hazards, real-time reliability prediction of emerging smart utility systems, topological investigation of civil infrastructure layouts, propagation of soil-foundation-bridge response uncertainties to road-network reliability, estimation of wind turbine unavailability from wind turbulence and wind induced accelerations, and regional hurricane risk assessment of single family residential houses and utility systems in coastal cities. His research program is funded in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security of the City of Houston, the Shell Center for Sustainability, and Rice University.

Recognitions for his work include the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) award in 2005 for the paper entitled “Interdependent Response of Networked Systems”, the Best Ph.D. Thesis Award in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006, and the NSF CAREER award for young investigators in 2008 to study new mitigation principles for reliability enhancement of smart interdependent infrastructure systems.

In terms of professional service, he is Associate Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Member of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Member of the Complex Systems Society (CSS), Member of the Institute for Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and Member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He is also Member of the Joint Committee in Structural Safety (JCSS), the International Association of Structural Safety and Reliability (IASSAR), and the Civil Engineering Risk and Reliability Association (CERRA). He actively participates in different committees from these organizations to bridge the gap between academic advances and practical implementations.

Regarding teaching activities, Dr. Dueñas-Osorio has taught courses in structural mechanics and probability and statistics for engineers. Currently, he teaches a graduate course on the topology and function of complex systems, and a course on time-dependent system reliability methods.  He also teaches two undergraduate courses, one on uncertainty and risk quantification with emphasis on decision analysis, and the other on hurricane risk assessment for residential housing and utility systems.  He is also actively engaged with national level outreach activities coordinated by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), in addition to several local initiatives led by Rice University.

Dr. Dueñas-Osorio was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1976. He enjoys playing classical guitar and attending independent film festivals. He also enjoys playing board games, solving puzzles, experimenting with cuisine, reading science history, and volunteering for the Houston Humane Society. He is also currently training to run a half marathon.

Leonardo Duenas-Osorio
PHONE: 713-348-5292
OFFICE: 212 Ryon Lab