Department of Civil Engineering
  1. Civil Engineering Structures
  2. Multi-scale Geotechnical Engineering
  3. Temporary Works & Construction Method Engineering
Department of Civil Engineering

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.

About the centre

Key research areas

Types of structures studied:

  • Buildings
  • Bridges
  • Nuclear structures
  • Offshore structures.

Types of 'special' loadings studied:

  • Earthquake
  • Blast/explosion
  • Fire
  • Wind.

Types of approaches used:

  • Analytical (finite element modelling)
  • Experimental (laboratory and in situ testing)
  • Empirical (statistical).

Steering Committee

Research units

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).

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.

Research projects

Click an image below to view full-sized version.

Structural health monitoring

via wireless sensor networks using compressive sensing data acquisition techniques

EPSRC-funded project

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

EPSRC-funded project

Find out more about this project

Lightweight tuned mass-damper-interter (TMDI) 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

Jack-up platform diagram

Wavelet-based stochastic modelling, representation and simulation

of extreme dynamic loads in earthquake, wind and wave engineering applications

Internally funded project

Hurricane wind field

Hurricane wind field

Improving the financial and environmental cost of steel-framed buildings

  • Product development in composite construction
    • Floor dynamics, strength, stiffness, interface strength
  • Industry-supported
  • Impact:
    • 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

Portrait of Agathoklis Giaralis

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

Senior researchers from City's Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Senior researchers from City's Department of Mechanical Engineering & Aeronautics

External members

  • 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

PhD 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


Upcoming events

For more upcoming events, please see the foot of this page.

Recent events

27 April 2017

Dr Carmine Galasso will give a seminar on "Some recent advances in catastrophe (CAT) risk engineering for earthquake and winds".

Download the presentation here.

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"

Download the presentation here.

8 February 2017

Prof. Y.L. Mo gave a seminar on "Development of CSMM-based shell element for reinforced concrete structures".

Download the presentation here.

25 January 2017

Dr Brett McKinley and Prof. Cedric D'Mello gave a seminar on "Large scale testing of innovative composite structures".

Download the abstract here.

7 December 2016

Prof. Abdeldjelil Belarbi gave a seminar on "Preservation and renewal of civil engineering infrastructure using fiber reinforced polymer composites".

Download the presentation here.

24 November 2016

Prof. Martin Williams gave a seminar on the seismic response of Roman concrete arches and vaults.

Download the presentation here.

13 October 2016

Dr Anastasios G. Sextos gave a seminar on "Resilience of Transportation Networks to Seismic Hazard".

Download the presentation here.

20 September 2016

Visit of a  group of Chinese academics from Ningxia University. See here the presentation by Prof. Kappos and the picture of the event.

1 July 2016

Prof B.F. Spencer gave a lecture on monitoring of civil infrastructure, from research to engineering practice

Download presentation

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.

See the event's pictures

4 May 2016

Prof Ahmed Elghazouli gave a lecture on robustness of steel and composite structures under extreme loads.

Download presentation

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

Download presentation

4 February 2016

Prof Pierfrancesco Cacciola, University of Brighton, on: Vibration control of buildings through vibrating barriers

Download presentation

13 January 2016

Prof Ashraf Ayoub, City, University of London, on: Behaviour of complex reinforced concrete structures under three-dimensional loads. Tait Building, room C300, 17:30h.

Download presentation

10 December 2015

Prof Marios K Chryssanthopoulos, University of Surrey, on: Fatigue of metallic bridges – the role of structural health monitoring in assessment and
fatigue life prediction

Download presentation

11 November 2015

Prof M. Barbato, Louisiana State University, on Performance-based hurricane engineering and its application to tall buildings.

Download presentation

21 October 2015

Prof A.J. Kappos, City, University of London, on Efficiency of different strengthening techniques in reducing seismic fragility of bridges.

Download the presentation

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

Dr P. Mergos, City, University of London, on Modelling Shear-Flexure Interaction in Equivalent Frame Models of Slender RC Walls

Dr A. Camara, City, University of London, on Innovate strategies for the analysis and control of cable-stayed bridges under strong earthquakes

Download Mergos' presentation

Download Camara's presentation

21 May 2015

Professor Brian Broderick, Trinity College Dublin, on Investigating the Behaviour & Design of Braced Steel Frames under Earthquake Loading

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

Download the presentation

18 March 2015

Professor N. Makris, University of Central Florida, on The Dynamics of Rocking Isolation

Download the presentation

18 February 2015

Professor C. Baniotopoulos, University of Birmingham, on The Use of High Strength Steel for Long Span Structures

Download the presentation

13 January 2015

Professor Katrin Beyer, EPF Lausanne: Seismic response of core walls - open questions after the earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand. Download the presentation here.

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. Download the presentation here.

12 December 2014

Presentations by four RCCES PhD students (at a relatively advanced stage)

Download the introduction notes by Prof. Kappos here.


  • 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:
  • 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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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.