Research Centre for Civil Engineering Structures
This centre brings together three interlocking groups, all focusing on the analysis of different complex and/or special engineering structures: long-span bridges; tall buildings; and nuclear structures.
'Complex' or 'special' structures are primarily all those that fall outside the scope of current structural design codes of practice. Particularly challenging problems arise when these structures are situated in adverse environments, resulting occasionally in extreme loads to structures (strong wind fronts/ hurricanes, floods, (rogue) sea waves, earthquakes, fire/blast, corrosion, climate change, extreme temperature and humidity). A major challenge for designers is to analyse such complex structures, especially when high performance objectives are set for multiple levels of design actions. Designers have to exercise their best judgement in selecting those methods that can be applied to real-life (as opposed to academic) structures and can produce a reasonable design solution that would lead to high-performance structures without being over-conservative.
The structures forming the focus of the centre present similar challenges that can be addressed in a fairly unified way; existing expertise and infrastructure at City are utilised to give a well-rounded response to problems such as performance-based structural design, use of high-performance materials, and structural monitoring.
Watch this video to learn about research in the field of bridge engineering.
Key research areas
Types of structures studied:
- Nuclear structures
- Offshore structures.
Types of 'special' loadings studied:
Types of approaches used:
- Analytical (finite element modelling)
- Experimental (laboratory and in situ testing)
- Empirical (statistical).
- Professor Andreas J. Kappos, Director
- Dr Agathoklis Giaralis, Deputy Director
- Professor Ashraf Ayoub, Core member
- Professor Cedric D'Mello, Internal member
- Mr Edmund Booth, External member (Industry)
Smart Structures and Structural Health Monitoring (SSSHM)
"The choices that we make about infrastructure enable us to shape the type of economy and society that we want for the future. Infrastructure has the capacity to unlock economic potential in individual regions and ensure that growth and opportunities are distributed across the country…"
(UK National Infrastructure Plan 2014, HM Treasury)
A well-identified Grand Challenge in Civil/Structural Engineering is to enhance the resiliency of contemporary engineering structures and infrastructure networks exposed to natural and man-made hazards and to improve sustainability in construction, operation, and decommissioning of structured facilities. Through both fundamental and experimental research, the SSSHM unit pioneers cost-effective solutions to monitor civil engineering structures using wireless sensor networks for design validation, condition assessment, and damage detection. Special attention is focused on sparse data acquisition and processing techniques and on the development and field deployment of innovative fibre optic-based sensors. Further, the SSSHM unit develops innovative passive adaptive and semi-active devices for vibration control and/or energy harvesting in tall buildings and long-span bridges exposed to dynamic loads within a multi-objective performance-based design framework in multi-hazard environments. The unit is committed to world-leading analytical/mathematical, computational, and experimental research to deliver paradigms of 'smart' engineering structures that can sense, react, and adapt to their environment to ensure fit of purpose, users' comfort and minimal environmental impact.
Members: Dr Agathoklis Giaralis (coordinator), Professor Andreas J. Kappos, Dr Panagiotis Mergos, Dr Brett McKinley, Dr Tatyana Micic, Professor Tong Sun, Professor George Halikias
Earthquake Engineering and Seismic Risk Management (EESRM)
"Earthquake engineering is to the rest of the engineering disciplines what psychiatry is to other branches of medicine: It is a study of pathological cases to gain insight into the mental structure of normal human beings.
This aspect of earthquake engineering makes it challenging and fascinating, and gives it an educational value beyond its immediate objectives".
N.M. Newmark and E. Rosenblueth (Fundamentals of earthquake engineering, 1971)
The EESRM Research Unit focuses on the seismic performance of complex or irregular buildings, bridges and other civil engineering structures. The methods used are both experimental (utilising the new facilities of the Structures Laboratory at City) and analytical, using a number of sophisticated nonlinear finite element analysis programs, some of which (ATENA, IDARC) have been substantially enhanced by researchers of the Centre and their co-workers. The Unit also addresses several aspects of Seismic Risk Management, such as prediction of future losses and development of earthquake scenarios, and pre- and post-earthquake assessment techniques for damage structures (buildings, bridges).
- Read about how earthquake effects can become the stimulus for research that is of direct benefit to society, in particular, the most vulnerable communities - an interview with Centre Director Professor Kappos.
Members: Professor Andreas J. Kappos (coordinator), Dr Agathoklis Giaralis, Professor Ashraf Ayoub, Dr Panagiotis Mergos, Dr Alfredo Camara, Professor Tong Sun, Professor Nick Karcanias, Professor George Halikias
Advanced Materials for Civil Engineering Structures
"Inventing is a combination of brains and materials. The more brains you use, the less material you need."
Charles Kettering (1876-1958, holder of 186 patents)
The past two decades witnessed the development of several new materials for infrastructure construction. These include fibre-reinforced concrete using steel or polymeric fibres; the so-called Engineering Cementitious Composites (ECC); reactive powder concrete; nano-reinforced concrete using carbon nano tubes or nano fibres; high-strength reinforcement; shape memory alloys; fibre-reinforced polymers and fibre-reinforced cementitious matrix composites; textile reinforced mortar among others. The overall behaviour of these materials has not been fully explored. In this unit, research will use experimental and analytical techniques to evaluate the constitutive behaviour of these materials under combined mechanical and thermal loading, as well as the structural behaviour under natural and man-made hazards.
Members: Professor Ashraf Ayoub (coordinator), Professor Ranjan Banerjee, Dr Brett McKinley, Dr Tatyana Micic, Dr Feng Fu, Dr Alfredo Camara
The Heavy Structures Laboratory
- £800,000 investment in equipment for education and research.
- Servo-controlled concrete testing including FRC post-peak.
- HPC, VHPC & UHPC concrete mixing in large volumes for research with moisture monitoring for repeatable mixing.
- High flow computer-controlled hydraulic loading for static, cyclic and dynamic & hybrid testing with ring-main (2014/5).
- Loading frames including strong-wall for lateral loading of tall structures.
Professor Andreas Kappos
Click an image below to view full-sized version.
Structural health monitoring
via wireless sensor networks using compressive sensing data acquisition techniques
Find out more about this project
Vibration control and energy harvesting
from wind/wave/earthquake-excited structures using the novel lightweight tuned mass-damper-inerter (TDMI) device
Seismic analysis and assessment
of ordinary and special structures using beyond-codes-of-practice Monte Carlo-based and Stochastic Dynamics-based techniques
Internally funded project
Wavelet-based stochastic modelling, representation and simulation
of extreme dynamic loads in earthquake, wind and wave engineering applications
Internally funded project
Improving the financial and environmental cost of steel-framed buildings
- Product development in composite construction
- Floor dynamics, strength, stiffness, interface strength
- Six design guides
- Two software suites
- Products account for around 7% of commercial market - Cellular beams, Ultra shadow floor beams (USFB), Bi-Steel/Corefast, Slimflor, Slimdek, Asymmetric beams (ASB)
Multi-scale analysis of nuclear structures
Comprehensive framework that utilises multi-scale modelling, high-performance materials and innovative sensing systems for sustainable design and multi-hazard risk mitigation.
Research supported through the Royal Academy of Engineering / Pell Frischmann Chair to City, University of London
Performance-based earthquake-resistant design of bridges
- Accounting for structural control options
- Use of advanced analysis tools in design
Internally funded project
Modelling of the inelastic behaviour of RC members up to physical collapse
- Development of advanced model for strength-deteriorating members
- Testing of substandard members
Internally funded project
Dr Agathoklis Giaralis
You can find out more about each member of staff, including their latest publications and their contact details by following the links below.
Senior researchers from City's Department of Civil Engineering
- Professor Ashraf Ayoub
- Professor Cedric D'Mello
- Professor Andreas Kappos (Centre Director)
- Dr Agathoklis Giaralis (Senior Lecturer)
- Dr Brett McKinley (Senior Lecturer)
- Dr Tatyana Micic (Senior Lecturer)
- Dr Feng Fu (Lecturer)
- Dr Panagiotis Mergos (Lecturer)
- Dr Alfredo Camara (Lecturer)
- Emeritus Professor Kuldeep Virdi
Senior researchers from City's Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Senior researchers from City's Department of Mechanical Engineering & Aeronautics
- Mr Edmund Booth, Chairman BSI Committe on Eurocode 8
- Professor Laurie Boswell
- Dr Bassam Burgan, Director Steel Construction Institute (SCI)
- Mr Andrew Campbell, Westinghouse Electric Company
- Dr Wilem Frischmann, Pell Frischmann Consulting Engineers
- Dr Dimitrios Pachakis, Royal Haskoning DHV
Research associates and students
- Eleftheria Efthymiou (Supervisors: Dr Camara, Professor Ayoub)
- Dipankar Das (Supervisors: Professor Ayoub, Professor Kappos)
- Faezeg Faghih (Supervisors: Professor Ayoub, Dr Giaralis)
- Samer Gendy (Supervisors: Professor Ayoub, Dr Fu)
- Seyyed Motasam Hashemi (Supervisors: Professor Ayoub, Dr McKinley)
- Majid Mohammad Tamanani (Supervisors: Professor Ayoub, Dr Fu)
- Rebin Mohammad (Supervisors: Professor Ayoub, Dr Camara)
- Eric Roger Cheilletz (Supervisors: Professor D'Mello, Dr Richard Goodey)
- Ahmad Bazgir (Supervisors: Dr Fu, Dr McKinley)
- Weimiao Lu (Supervisors: Dr Fu, Professor Qingwei Ma)
- Kyriaki Gkoktsi (Supervisors: Dr Giaralis, Professor Halikias, Professor Kappos)
- Alessandro Margnelli (Supervisors: Dr Giaralis, Dr Marco Cerini, Dr D. Vamvatsikos - NTUA Athens)
- Laurentiu Marian (Supervisors: Dr Giaralis, Professor Karcanias)
- Paschalis Skrekas (Supervisors: Dr Giaralis, Dr Micic, Professor A. Sextos - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
- Konstantinos Gkatzogias (Supervisors: Professor Kappos, Dr Giaralis)
- Dimitrios Zimos (Supervisors: Professor Kappos, Dr Mergos)
- Marios Theocharopoulos (Supervisors: Dr McKinley, Professor D'Mello)
- Alireza Ohadi (Supervisors: Dr Micic, H. Saffari)
- Milos Asenov (Supervisors: Dr Micic, Professor Sanowar Khan)
Visiting scholars and post-doctoral researchers
- Professor Chang-Geun Cho, Chosun University, Korea
- Professor Nicos Makris, University of Central Florida, USA
- Dr Bamrung Tausiesakul, EPSRC-funded research fellow
- Dr Francesco Petrini, EPSRC-funded research fellow
- Dr Mustafa Kaya, Aksaray University, Turkey
For more upcoming events, please see the foot of this page.
15 March 2017
RCCES lecture delivered by Dr Alexandros A. Taflanidis, University of Notre Dame (USA), on "Simulation-driven natural hazard risk assessment and risk-informed design through surrogate modelling applications"
8 February 2017
Prof. Y.L. Mo gave a seminar on "Development of CSMM-based shell element for reinforced concrete structures".
25 January 2017
7 December 2016
24 November 2016
13 October 2016
20 September 2016
1 July 2016
8 June 2016
Four PhD candidates of the RCCES presented their interesting research works (click on the names to download the presentation):
- Dimitris Zimos talked about the post-peak behaviour of substandard R/C members subjected to seismic loading.
- Elina Efthymiou gave a presentation on the effect of spatial variability of the ground motion on the response of cable-stayed bridge towers.
- Marios Theocharopoulos gave a presentation on moment resisting connections with composite ribbon-cut perforated beams.
- Samer Gendy presented his work on large deformation analysis of reinforced concrete elements.
4 May 2016
9 March 2016
Dr Agathoklis Giaralis, City, University of London, on: the tuned mass-damper-inerter (TMDI) for passive vibration control of multi-storey building structures subject to earthquake and wind excitations
4 February 2016
13 January 2016
10 December 2015
11 November 2015
21 October 2015
17-18 September 2015
The centre has run a two-day continuing professional development (CPD) course on Seismic design of structures to Eurocode 8.
17 June 2015
21 May 2015
26 March 2015
Professor N. Makris, University of Central Florida and Visiting Fellow, City, University of London, on Seismic protection of structures with modern technologies
18 March 2015
18 February 2015
13 January 2015
Professor Katrin Beyer, EPF Lausanne: Seismic response of core walls - open questions after the earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand
Laurentiu Marian, PhD student (write-up status), City, University of London: Weight reduction, vibration suppression and energy harvesting for tuned mass-damper-inerter (TMDI) equipped support-excited structures
12 December 2014
Presentations by four RCCES PhD students (at a relatively advanced stage)
- Faezeh Faghih: Structural behaviour of high-performance materials
- Paschalis Skrekas: Investigation of the inelastic response of structural systems via Incremental Dynamic Analysis to inform practical aseismic structural design scenarios
- Kyriaki Gkoktsi: Compressive sensing-based data acquisition and processing techniques for vibration-based structural health monitoring
- Konstantinos Gkatzogias: Performance-based earthquake-resistant design of concrete bridges
- Centre Director Professor A. Kappos, has been appointed to lead the team drafting the revised Eurocode 8 (Part 3), governing the seismic assessment and retrofitting of buildings. Find out more at: http://www.city.ac.uk/news/2015/september/city-academic-leads-in-drafting-a-key-european-construction-code.
- Centre Director Professor A. Kappos invites submission of papers to the Journal of Smart Cities (JSC); JSC is an international, peer-reviewed open access journal focused on the emerging, important area of smart (or: intelligent) cities, seen from the perspectives of urban planning, structural monitoring and use of sensors, environmental, water and waste-water management, economic and life-cycle analysis of civil structures. Find out more and make a submission.
- Centre member Dr Agathoklis Giaralis will guest edit a special issue of the International Journal of Sustainable Materials and Structural Systems on 'Data Acquisition and Processing, Uncertainty Management and Inverse Problem Techniques for Structural Health Monitorung Applications'. The call for papers for this special issue is now open until 1 May 2015. Find out more and make a submission.
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