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Simulation of human - built-environment interaction

Project Description

Civil structures, particularly bridges, footbridges, tall buildings and long-span floors vibrate when exposed to dynamic forces exerted by wind, vehicles and human movement. The human users/occupants are constantly exposed to this vibration. The current design guidelines for assessment of vibration serviceability of structures are quite simplistic and do not consider the occupancy pattern of the structures and the ways that the human occupants are affected by the structural vibration. Estimating the occupancy pattern of the structure (such as walking paths in corridors and rooms, lying, sitting and standing locations, etc.) is essential during the design of the structure to simulate realistically the dynamic effects of humans on structures and to estimate the effects of vibrations on human users/occupants.

This PhD project is intended to develop a statistical/computational model, such as an agent-based model, to simulate the interaction of human occupants with building internal spaces and furniture. An extensive experimental measurement from real-world buildings will be carried out as part of the project and will be used to develop and validate the model.

The PhD researcher will be able to use the state-of-the-art experimental and technical facilities of both the University of Bath and Exeter. The Human-Environment Advanced Dynamics (HED) laboratory of the University of Bath have extensive laboratory and field vibration testing experimental facilities including visual and LIDAR-based movement monitoring systems, actuators, sensors and data acquisition and control systems that are suitable for use in this research project.

The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent). The successful candidate ideally (but not essential) will be familiar with computational modelling and a programming language such as Matlab, preferably with knowledge of crowd simulation. Any English language requirements must be met at the deadline for applications.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Erfan Shahabpoor Ardakani ()

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Architecture & Civil Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019

Funding Notes

Funding will cover Home/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£14,777 pa (2018/19 rate)) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for 3.5 years.

How good is research at University of Bath in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 28.38

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

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