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Resilient light steel framing structures for seismic prone areas

Project Description

Conventional light steel framing systems are made of cold-formed steel (CFS) sections, producing relatively low local buckling resistance and low stiffness and strength in the joints of the frames. Low buckling resistance of the frames` strap-braces also causes significant pinching and slackness in the seismic hysteretic behaviour of the structural system. These systems are therefore only suitable for low-to-medium rise, short span buildings, with limited ductility and seismic energy dissipation capacity. Consequently, in multi-storey construction they are often combined with hot-rolled steel or reinforced concrete frames, which makes prefabrication and assembly difficult and time-consuming, and increases cost. Moreover, system reliance on immovable load-bearing walls (instead of frame bays for typical building systems) results in a lack of open space and limits architectural flexibility for future alterations. A more efficient and seismic resilient CFS structural system for multi-storey construction is needed that is fully compatible with modular, off-site fabrication methods and easy site assembly.

The aim of the proposed research is to develop a novel CFS structural system with high ductility capacity and structural resilience that is suitable for multi-storey construction in seismic areas, flexible architectural design and rapid construction. This will involve use of commercial FE packages, detailed stress analysis, nonlinear push-over and dynamic analyses and structural optimisation.

Successful completion of the project and publication of its results will likely lead to significant application in the CFS industry which is rapidly growing in the UK and overseas.

The successful candidate should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Civil or Structural Engineering.

Knowledge of: steel structures, finite element modelling and seismic design structures.


Formal applications can be completed online: You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct person for processing.


Informal inquiries can be made to Dr A Bagheri Sabbagh () with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ().

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. It is for self-funded students only.


Bagheri Sabbagh A., Petkovski M., Pilakoutas K., Mirghaderi R. (2013), Cyclic behaviour of bolted cold-formed steel moment connections: FEM including slip, J. Constr. Steel Res., 80, 100–108

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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