Unique mind map created to help negotiate the complex field of nonlinear structural dynamics.

Collaborators on the ENL Project have developed a unique mind map to help industry and other practitioners negotiate their way through the complex field of nonlinear structural dynamics.

Vibration problems affect almost every engineering industry, driving a research effort that is decades old yet still expanding. But research in this field of ‘nonlinear structural dynamics’ has proven remarkably resistant to industrial application, and the subject landscape itself is complicated enough that experts within it do not all speak the same technical language. A paper written by Tore Butlin, Jim Woodhouse and Alan Champneys, “The landscape of nonlinear structural dynamics: an introduction” attempts to map the landscape of nonlinear structural dynamics.

The initial motivation for this project was to carry out a knowledge capture exercise by soliciting input from experts within industry and academia: developing a structured list of terminology that describes phenomena, observations, classifications, representations and desired outcomes associated with nonlinear structural dynamics.

Both the engineering context and the mathematical techniques that can be used to identify, analyse, control or exploit these nonlinear phenomena in practice are placed in the context of a mind-map, which has been created through expert elicitation. This map, which is available in software through the electronic supplementary material, attempts to provide a practitioner’s guide to what hitherto might seem like a vast and complex research landscape.

The paper introduces a special issue of Philosophical Transactions A which is dedicated to the field of nonlinear structural dynamics.

EPSRC: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council