Bryan Boyd ’24


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Extreme Wind Effects on Kinetic Umbrellas

Presentation Link

View Bryan's Presentation

I studied kinetic umbrellas: a new form of adaptable “aquatecture” that is being developed to help mitigate damage to coastal towns during hurricanes and other extreme weather events. These umbrellas provide shade and shelter from rain while undeployed, but when deployed they form a makeshift wall that prevents large waves from flooding the shoreline. The first part of my research involved building a wind tunnel to analyze the effects of extreme winds on models of the umbrellas. The second part of my research focused on creating a prototype umbrella that will be placed in the Princeton Garden Project. This involved modeling the umbrella using finite-element software known as SAP2000, calculating pressure values for varying precipitation and wind load cases, and analyzing stress and deformation results. These results allowed us to gauge the model’s feasibility and to create a layout of where sensors should be placed on the model. I learned how to read the American Society of Civil Engineers’ codes, use structural engineering software to model geometries and loadings, and apply construction methods. This experience has both expanded my knowledge in structural engineering and fueled my passion for developing natural disaster resilient infrastructure.

Internship Year


Project Category

Extreme Weather and Impacts


Creative and Resilient Urban Engineering (CRUE) Research Group and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) Research Group, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey


Maria Garlock, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Branko Glisic, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering