Driven by recent advances in numerical modelling and computational capabilities, the performance-based design (PBD) approach has become increasingly popular among engineers to design and retrofit new and existing buildings. This approach relies on the availability of robust numerical models and damage fragility functions to assess/quantify structural performance under different hazards (e.g. strong wind, fire, earthquakes), beyond the scope of conventional building codes. The proposed research focuses on advancing the state-of-practice with respect to the numerical modelling guidelines and damage fragilities for semi-rigid (SR) steel beam-to-column connections. Such connections are abundantly used in construction worldwide for their ease of fabrication and erection. Their usage spans conventional and light-weight structures to ductile buildings in highly seismic regions. The literature comprises a number of mechanics-based approaches and empirical formulations attempting to characterize the moment-rotation behaviour of different SR connection types. In most cases, these approaches are too complex and laborious to be utilized by practicing engineers on a wider scale. Most importantly, these approaches fall short from accurately characterizing the behaviour across a wide-range of connection geometric configurations. To that end, the main objectives of this research are to 1) develop accurate, yet easy-to-implement, numerical modelling guidelines to characterize the connections’ behaviour under monotonic and cyclic loading conditions, and 2) develop fragility functions that relate the occurrence probability of different structural damage states to the connection rotational demand and geometric properties. Such functions are essential in quantifying potential economic losses associated with damage repairs, in the aftermath of a hazardous event. The project objectives will be realized through rigorous analytical and numerical research.
Entry Requirements A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).
Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.
Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.
How To Apply
Applications should be made online, please select the academic session 2020-21 “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Ahmed Elkady under the proposed supervisor.