Ruby Jacobs ’24


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Extreme Wind Effects on Kinetic Umbrellas

Presentation Link

View Ruby's Presentation

I studied the structural behavior of kinetic umbrellas, which are four-sided concrete hyperbolic paraboloid shells. Kinetic umbrellas are an innovative flood barrier structure that can defend against nearshore hazards; when lined by the shore and tilted to a deployed position, they can combat the threat of flooding during severe weather. I analyzed the effects of various wind and gravity load combinations on the structural behavior of a prototype umbrella to be built in the Princeton Garden Project. We used ASCE 7-16 design codes to determine a value for static surface pressure due to wind, rain, and snow based on the risk category, geographic location, and geometry of the umbrella. Then, we used SAP2000 to build finite element models of the umbrella in its undeployed and deployed positions. We used these models to analyze stresses and deformations in the umbrella under loading, which provides insight into the design’s safety and feasibility. Finally, we designed layouts for strain and wind pressure sensors that will collect data on the umbrella once built. I gained valuable experience in finite element modeling, the structural engineering design process, and construction methods. This internship has made me even more excited to continue my studies in structural engineering.

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