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Resilient designs for bridges subjected to seismic loads



Staff, Students, Academics

Speaker: Dr Stergios A Mitoulis, University of Surrey

Research Centre: Centre for Civil Engineering Structures

Title: Resilient designs for bridges subjected to seismic loads


Bridges are important components of the transportation infrastructure that should maintain mobility and accessibility even after earthquakes. The current design philosophy for earthquake-resistant bridges requires the disastrous seismic energy to be dissipated in hinges that are formed within the piers, whilst the deck should remain essentially elastic. However, post-earthquake restoration of damaged piers is challenging, time-consuming, and causes traffic disruptions.

In this context, this lecture will present resilient bridge designs, which are cost-effective, have minimal damages during earthquakes and promote Accelerated Bridge Constructions (ABC), as their construction is based on the use of prefabricated and precast components. These resilient designs are versatile substructures that dissipate energy through the yielding of easily replaceable steel bars (dissipators), thus offering rapid restoration times, whilst they are designed to have recentering capabilities. The concept is initially tested for the piers with the so-called resilient hinges and is then tested for bridge foundations, where high damping elastomeric pads are used for the seating of the footing in combination with external dissipators. Numerical models of single-column piers with the proposed resilient designs, i.e. resilient hinges and foundations, were studied and compared against conventional reinforced concrete piers. It was found that the piers with the resilient designs exhibit a significant reduction in residual drifts when compared to the ones of the conventional piers. Application of the proposed philosophy in irregular bridge models enables a more rational and even distribution of ductility requirements along the bridge piers.


Dr Stergios Mitoulis graduated with a 5-year Diploma from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He subsequently received a MSc on Earthquake resistant structures in 2003 and a PhD in 2008 from the same University. He is the leader of the Bridge Engineering Research Group (BERG @ Over the last nine years he has supervised and co-supervised five doctoral and postdoctoral students, as well as research visitors. He has published extensively with a publication record exceeding 80 papers in leading scientific journals, international conferences and books. His expertise is the design of transportation infrastructure assets and in particular bridges subjected to extreme dynamic loads, creep, shrinkage and thermal effects. He is a member of the BSI B/525/10 CEN/TC 250/HG Bridges, the BSI Mirror Group of Eurocode and UK delegate of the BSI (CEN/TC 250/SC8 Work Group 6, Bridges) for the design and retrofit of bridges, the BSI committee B/525/8 and B/538/5 and the Workgroup 11 of the EAEE. He has worked extensively on consulting and research projects on the design and retrofit of precast and prestressed structural components, whilst his main teaching activity focuses on the analysis, design and retrofitting of bridges. He has been the Principal Investigator (PI) of one KTP (Innovate UK) project and also a proof-of- concept project with Network Rail-UK on the monitoring of environmental hazards on infrastructure. He also supervises a Marie Skłodowska-Curie project on the vulnerability of transportation systems of assets exposed to geo-hazards. SM has worked as Co-PI and researcher for another 11 research projects. He has editorial and reviewing responsibilities for more than 25 journals. SM has served as expert and reviewer for EPSRC and EU proposals. He is an active consultant for industries in the UK and Belgium. He delivers lectures/seminars at consultancies and he also participates in CPD activities as an official lecturer of the ICE-UK.

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When & where

5.45pm - 6.45pmThursday 16th November 2017

C310 Tait Building City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom