School of Engineering

Numerical Simulation

Numerical Simulation

Overview

We have considerable expertise in computational mechanics across a wide range of topics, in both application and analysis of problems and in the development of numerical methods and constitutive models.

Structures

In the field of plate, shell and membrane structures, our work involves analysis and optimisation, with special emphasis on high levels of material and geometric non-linearity and the development of stochastic frameworks.

This work also has strong links to the development of testing technologies and the numerical modelling of structural textiles and polymeric composites.

Earthquake engineering

Our research on earthquake engineering takes the form of seismic structural analysis. It is based on fundamental reassessments of current practice and structural performance design qualification, from field observations of extreme events.

Multi-phase flow

Under the theme of multi-phase flow and coupled multi-field analysis, we have expertise in modelling problems concerned with partially saturated soils.

For example, we study the effects of climate change on slope stability and in coupled hygro-thermal-mechanical modelling of concrete exposed to elevated temperatures, looking at nuclear applications and the effects of fire.

Directly allied with this is our work on constitutive model development.

Research topics

We look at:

  • multi-phase flow and coupled multi-field analysis
  • slope stability
  • structural textiles and polymeric composites
  • structural optimisation and reliability
  • seismic engineering and extreme loadings
  • network vulnerability & lifelines

Projects

Staff: Numerical Simulation

Dr Colin Davie
Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Director of Postgraduate Studies

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6458

Dr Gaetano Elia
Visiting Fellow

Email:

Professor Stephanie Glendinning
Professor of Civil Engineering

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6612

Professor Peter Gosling
Professor of Computational Structural Mechanics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6422

Dr Mohamed Rouainia
Reader in Computational Geomechanics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3608

Dr Vladimir Vinogradov
Lecturer in Structural Mechanics and Materials

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7684

Dr Sean Wilkinson
Reader in Structural Engineering

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8876

Architectural Textiles

Architectural textiles offer a means to reduce energy and material consumption while delivering striking structural engineering solutions.

Project leaders

  • Mr Alex Colman
  • Professor Peter Gosling
  • Dr Ben Bridgens

Project details

Project details

Sponsors: Architen Landrell Associates, Buro Happold, EPSRC, Serge Ferrari, Tensys
Start/end dates: 2010-2013
Contact: Prof Peter Gosling

Architectural textiles are lightweight and translucent to light, require minimal support and can be recycled. However, they also exhibit complex, non-linear, hysteretic behaviour when subjected to load. No British or European codes currently exist for the design of fabric structures.

This means that to characterise a given structural fabric, expensive and time-consuming testing is often required on a project-by-project basis.

We are developing a predictive model that will reduce the need for expensive testing by predicting fabric behaviour under biaxial and shear loading. The model aims to be 'truly predictive', not requiring calibration against test data.

To demonstrate the capabilities of the predictive model, we are designing and implementing new test equipment and protocols to provide robust, reliable experimental data.

Academic Staff

Academic staff

  • Dr Ben Bridgens
  • Professor Peter Gosling

Fabric Structures

Modern architectural fabrics enable the construction of striking minimal surfaces, which act as both structure and cladding.

Project leaders

  • Miss Nicola Bartle
  • Professor Peter Gosling
  • Dr Ben Bridgens

Project Details

Project details

Start/end dates: 2010-2013
Contact:
 Prof Peter Gosling

Current design practice uses a plane stress framework to model architectural fabric behaviour. The well documented non-linear behaviour of architectural fabrics leads to a need for varying degrees of manipulation of test data in order to find plane stress moduli. An alternative to the plane stress framework is therefore required.

This project aims to develop a more accurate material model and implement it within fabric structural analysis.

The key hypotheses are that it is possible to represent fabric material strain stress behaviour using a probabilistic response-surface approach and that it is possible to relate design using a factor-of-safety approach to reliability indices.

This will enable architects and engineers to further push the boundaries of lightweight structure design and reduce the often prohibitive cost of fabric structures.

Academic Staff

Academic staff

  • Dr Ben Bridgens
  • Professor Peter Gosling

Design of Functional Textiles

Fabric structures have provided shelter for thousands of years, but in the last century modern, synthetic, and woven engineering fabrics have become widespread. The design and analysis of these fabrics is made difficult by their complex response mechanisms to biaxial and shear stresses in the plane of the fabric.

Project leaders

  • Dr Ben Bridgens
  • Professor Peter Gosling
  • Christopher Iliffe 

Project Details

Project details

Start/end dates: 2011-2014
Contact: Dr Ben Bridgens

Current material models are frequently developed to 'represent' material response instead of predicting it. Representing a fabric's properties can lead to problems when it becomes necessary to extrapolate beyond the range of the initial data set.

The aim of this project is to develop a model that can be used to design coated woven fabrics with specified mechanical properties using a fully predictive model, not a representative model. We will use case studies to demonstrate the model's utility.

Academic Staff

Academic staff

  • Dr Ben Bridgens
  • Professor Peter Gosling