We are a collaborative research team led by the University of Sheffield that has been awarded a grant to create new nonlinear dynamic design tools for engineering structures. The team from the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Sheffield, Southampton and Swansea have been awarded a £4.2 million programme grant by the EPSRC.
The aim of the project is to create a step change in the understanding and exploitation of nonlinearity in structural dynamic systems. The team intends to develop novel modelling and control techniques that can be used directly in the design processes for structural systems and which the group will demonstrate on a series of industry based experimental demonstrators. These design tools will enable a transformation in the performance of engineering structural systems which are under increasing demands from technological, economic and environmental pressures.
Nonlinearity occurs quite naturally in many applications, but despite this it has traditionally been avoided in the design of engineering systems. However, the capability of a design for all engineering structures is being pushed in response to the urgent need in society to find technological solutions for global issues such as climate change. As a result understanding and controlling nonlinearity is becoming increasingly important in many engineering applications. A current topical example is the dynamics of large wind turbines. Understanding nonlinearity is crucial for ensuring that we have safe, reliable and efficient structures.