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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J004081/1
Title: Advanced Technologies for Mitigation of Human-Induced Vibration
Principal Investigator: Reynolds, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Jacobs UK Limited WSP Buildings Ltd
Department: Civil and Structural Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Leadership Fellowships
Starts: 01 October 2011 Ends: 30 April 2013 Value (£): 1,056,999
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Jun 2011 Fellowships 2011 Interviews - Panel D PES Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is an inexorable trend for civil engineering structures to become more slender and lightweight, as engineers strive to design more efficient structures with reduced economic cost, reduced carbon footprint and increased flexibility of usage. Unfortunately, due to their reduced mass and stiffness these structures are inherently lively and there is a desperate need for advanced technologies that are capable of ensuring satisfactory vibration performance when people walk, run and jump on them. There are two key issues to address:

(1) Technologies are required to deal with existing vibration problems, which are increasingly and widely observed in structures such as floors, footbridges, sports stadia and staircases. Currently available technologies are insufficient to deal with the majority of these problems, which means that extensive and low-tech structural modification schemes have to be employed that are both expensive and highly disruptive.

(2) If the ambitions of structural engineers for ever more slender and efficient structures are to be realised, it will be necessary to 'design in' advanced methods of vibration control when developing new structures. This is because many contemporary structures are already being designed at their limits of vibration acceptability. Unfortunately, the new technologies required for this transformative design approach are not yet available.

In the last five years, the applicant and his team have carried out exciting research into active control of vibration in floor structures, in which large reductions in vibration have been achieved that are not possible using other floor control technologies. They have also demonstrated that significant material savings may be made using this technology, which has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of new buildings. This is the main vision for this fellowship and the future, where advanced and intelligent vibration control strategies will become commonplace in structures subject to human dynamic loading.

However, a solution that works for floor vibrations from a single person walking is not necessarily going to work for a sports stadium with many thousands of people jumping during a rock concert. Hence, what is required is a required is a complete 'suite' of control technologies, from which the most appropriate solution may be chosen and implemented for any particular vibration problem. In these days of active noise cancelling headphones and semi-active vehicle suspension systems, it is time for these advanced technologies to find their place in civil structural engineering, to solve the unique problems of human-induced vibration.

Hence, in this research a comprehensive framework of technologies will be developed, so that the most appropriate technologies may be selected for a particular application. This will be the first time in the world that such a holistic approach has been taken to mitigation of human-induced vibrations. Fundamental research into a range of these technologies, including active, semi-active and hybrid vibration control techniques will be carried out to prove their viability in the civil engineering sector through analytical modelling, laboratory testing and in-the-field implementation. Finally, extensive industrial liaison and public outreach activities are planned to ensure the take-up of these technologies, which is the key way in which this research will benefit UK plc.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk