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  • Vibration Serviceability and Control of Civil Structures

    KTA Industrial Research Sabbatical Case Study

    Project partners:Department of Civil and Structural EngineeringUniversity of Sheffield Professor Paul Reynolds, Professor ofStructural Dynamics and Control &EPSRC, Leadership Fellow

    Overview As a leading expert in the research field ofvibration serviceability of civil engineeringstructures, particularly, floor structuresunder pedestrian excitation and crowd-induced vibration of sports stadia,Professor Reynolds was the ideal matchfor a KTA Industrial Research Sabbatical(IRS) with major UK-based civilengineering consultancy WSP.

    The main objectives of the IRS were todevelop a strategy to exploit currentEPSRC-funded research in activevibration control (AVC), develop linkswith other parts of WSP and investigatecurrent practical design methodologiesutilised in industry for vibrationserviceability of structures (floors,footbridges, sports stadia, staircases,etc.) to identify potential areas of futureresearch.

    As a result of the IRS, Professor Reynoldshas developed a much morecomprehensive understanding of the waythat vibration problems are dealt with ona day-to-day basis in industry; leading tofocused research activity and thedevelopment of improved guidance todeal with vibration problems.

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    ActivitiesProfessor Reynolds was based in theWSP Leeds office working on a range ofvibration serviceability issues. Thisincluded reviewing WSPs vibrationdesign procedures, gaining access tointernal design documentation anddiscussing design issues with staff. Thisprovided invaluable data that will beused for further development ofvibration serviceability design guidanceand for evaluation of the performance ofthe AVC system. Professor Reynoldsmade a number of visits to the WSPLondon offices and to the WSP CantorSein UK office in New York to discussthe problems of wind-induced vibrationsin tall buildings. Through feedback fromWSP and an extensive literature surveycarried out by Professor Reynolds,research needs were identified to

    establish realistic damping levels in tallbuildings, to determine amplitudedependency of damping, the effects offoundation conditions and to investigatethe so-called critical tip deflectioneffect.

    Outcomes A specific programme of research intodamping of tall buildings has been initiatedat the University, supported by WSP.Permissions have been sought and grantedfor in-service monitoring of the threetallest residential buildings in the UK andadditional structures will be sought via thenew contacts made in the US.

    Jeremy Wells, StructuresTechnical Coordinator, WSPsaid: Links with researchorganisations like theUniversity of Sheffield arevital for advancing designpractice in technicallydemanding fields. Through theIRS we identified importantareas for future collaborationrelating to tall building designas well as taking significantsteps in on-going activevibration research.

    KTA Industrial Research Sabbatical Case Study


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