The UK Government has set a number of challenging targets for improving sustainability, with the overarching goal of a 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. Without dramatically improving the life-cycle environmental cost of infrastructure stock, it will not be possible to reduce resource consumption and meet this declared environmental target.
Moreover, it has been fully recognized that our infrastructure needs to be more resilient to extreme loads imposed by natural hazards suchs as earthquakes, tsunamis and windstorms, as well as man-made hazards such as terrorist bombs and fires.
Construction materials and structures have an important role to play in sustainable and resilient development through efficient application, smart structural design, energy performance and durability. Developing new and modifying existing materials and structures is one approach to achieving a more sustainable and resilient building environment.
Good design is synonymous with sustainable construction and this requires materials and structures research. Current activites focus on the characterisation of components, joints and whole structures of new or traditional materials, and/or of innovative or unusual forms.
Research involves evaluation of results from both full-sized static and dynamic testing in our structures laboratories and advanced computational modelling. Research on resilience focuses on damage-free seismic-resistant self-centering steel and steel-concrete composite frames; on smart fully replaceable and demountable steel connections; on passive (metallic, viscous, elastomeric) dampers; and on multi-hazard (seismic, wind, blast) resistant design procedures.
Research into vibration pollution and human-structure interaction is ongoing. Structural health monitoring is another area of research explored within the group. It involves damage detection, measurement and structural identification.
There are links with other research groups focussing on smart structures. Smart structures use integrated communication and sensor systems to monitor and manage performance and within buildings to support the lifestyle choices of the occupants. The transfer of academic results into the drafting of standards, industry manuals and codes of practice is also undertaken and this ensures there are strong and synergetic links with end user groups.
Key phrases for research interests are provided with name of group member. For details of their research portfolio, current projects, national and international links and research opportunities go to their personal web-page using the link on the right-hand side of this page.
Dr Alan Bloodworth – Soil structures interaction for tunnelling and bridges, sprayed concrete tunnelling liners, concrete structures
Dr Sean Carroll - Human movement in crowds, human-structure interaction
Dr Georgia Kremmyda – Precast concrete, seismic design, civil engineering teaching
Dr Irwanda Laory - Structural health monitoring, damage detection, intelligent infrastructure, data interpretation methods, measurement system design and computer-aided engineering
Professor Wanda Lewis (Emeritus) – Form findings for optimal structural shape
Professor Toby Mottram - Fibre reinforced polymer shapes and systems, test methods, connections and joints, durability design, design standards for buildings and bridges
Dr Stana Zivanovic - Human behaviour and human-induced dynamic loading, structural identification, human-human and human-structure interactions and synchronisations, vibration serviceability and sustainable design
Civil Engineering Technicians (CET) Intranet with photogrpahs showing the diersity of our projects.
Introductions to on-going research:
- Fibre reinforced polymer shapes and systems for new build
- Transfer of research into design guidance (rules) for codes of practice
- Experimental dynamic analysis of civil engineering structures
- Dynamic loading induced by humans and their interaction with structures
- Self-centering steel frames
- Passive (metallic, viscous, elastomeric) dampers
- Repairable and demountable steel connections
- Steel-concrete composite bridges
- Computational form-finding, patterning, and load analysis of fabric structures
- Optimal form of rigid-type structures: arches, shells, domes
- Minimal structural forms and applications