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Pedestrian-structure dynamic interaction on wobbly bridges, Engineering PhD (Funded)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence on 23 September 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter. The studentship will cover tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £14,777 per annum for 3.5 years full-time (at overseas student rate or UK/EU student rate, as appropriate). The student would be based in the College at the Streatham Campus, and some experimental work will be at Exeter Science Park.

This PhD studentship will investigate under which conditions and how people walking on oscillating bridge decks perceive motion and interact with vibrating supporting surfaces.

Contemporary bridges are often sensitive to dynamic loading by pedestrians. People walking over these structures are known to interact with and adapt to the deck vibration, altering the vibration response of the structure in the process. To predict these vibrations and optimise structural design it is necessary to develop models for depicting mechanisms of pedestrian-structure dynamic interaction (PSDI).

The project will seek to identify the necessary conditions that cause the PSDI to develop, look at kinematics and kinetics of the pedestrian gait during PSDI as well as human subjective feeling about the vibration perceived. The ultimate aim is to develop a reliable model of human locomotion over wobbly bridges and enable better prediction of vibration response of the structure and/or pedestrian’s sensitivity to vibration. Vertical vibrations only will be considered.

The project will benefit from a unique research infrastructure at Exeter, such as the VSimulators (virtual reality and motion simulation facility) and a lively, low-frequency bridge (20 m long and 3.2 m wide; maximum vibration amplitude about 10 m/s2) and some state-of-the-art instrumentation (such as motion capture system CODA, force plates and F-scan in-shoe pressure measurement system).

This project would suit an engineering/biomechanics/sports science graduate with an interest in vibration of structures, biomechanics of human locomotion and/or human response to vibration and who enjoys playing with and mastering use of state-of-the art instrumentation/facilities.
This award provides annual funding to cover tuition fees and a tax-free stipend of at least £14,777 per year. Candidates of any nationality are eligible to apply.

The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study.

Relevant subject areas: Structural engineering, Mechanical engineering, Human motion science, Biomechanics

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