Modelling Human-Structure Dynamic Interaction on Lightweight Structures

   School of Engineering

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  Dr Sigong Zhang  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

An ever-increasing use of building materials with high strength-to-weight ratios has led to development of slender and lightweight structures with dazzling forms, especially in case of landmark public structures such as footbridges as well as walkways and corridors between buildings, at airports and shopping centres. Such a trend is fuelled by the urgent need to improve sustainability through minimising use of materials in construction. It follows that structures are more sensitive to human-generated dynamic loading than ever before, and their design is largely governed by vibration serviceability limit state. Although theoretical and design methods have been well-established, the design for structural vibration induced by human walking is currently based on loading models obtained on rigid surfaces. It is largely unknown how footstep forces would be modified due to human-structure interaction if the surfaces are vibrating. Pedestrians start interacting with vibrating structures under certain conditions resulting in vibration-dependent dynamic force and unacceptably large errors in predictions of the actual vibration response. To further understand human-structure dynamic interaction under a broad range of conditions, a comprehensive experimental program has been carried out in a world-unique platform and both GRFs and markers trajectories were recorded using force plates and motion capture systems, respectively. The next step is for modelling human walking on vibrating surfaces by implementing biomechanically-inspired bipedal inverted pendulum models and verifying such models against the collected data. 

This project combines physical and mathematical modelling to improve understanding of how pedestrian interacts with vibrating structures through a multidisciplinary approaching including human motion science and structural engineering. The output of the project will be a simple bipedal inverted pendulum model of minimum complexity but inclusive of all important parameters derived from testing data analysis to reveal the change in human walking behaviours and facilitate the development of performance-based vibration serviceability design.  

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Engineering (12) Mathematics (25)
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 About the Project