Engineers of the future present their projects to industry experts

Engineering students at the University of Exeter presented on a range of innovative projects including drones, a self-propelled capsule, a knee brace and a shaking table to industry experts at a special event.

More than 100 Master of Engineering (MEng) students from across a range of disciplines showcased their group work as posters, displays and presentations, to representatives from Babcock, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Exeter College, and BSW Consulting Engineers.

The day-long event, which took place at the University’s Streatham campus, was an opportunity for students to showcase their project work and to network with industry contacts.

Professor James Brownjohn, lead academic for the module, said: “This cohort of students have created some really impressive work, and this experience will have sharpened crucial skills required by industry, such as team working, problem solving and project management.

He added: “The poster day also provides an excellent opportunity for representatives from industry to meet and engage with the engineers of the future.”

Poster day photo.JPG
The Natural Ventilation team with their project and poster

 

VES experts to run CPD course in Vibration Serviceability in June 2018

Engineers interested in fundamental vibration theory can enrol on IStructE’s CPD course run in London by our experts. To find out more about the event on 13th June 2018, visit

There is a second day of the course, covering the applications of vibration engineering, on 14th June 2018 and a discount for booking on both days. To find out more, visit https://bit.ly/2q8js0M

Check out recent testimonials about the course below:

Very good course overall. Based on the courses I have attended over the years, the speakers are the key to making the course successful or not. The combination of lecturing professors that also practice on a commercial basis was a huge benefit.

 A big thanks to the 2 presenters. Very knowledgeable people. Good presentation skills.

 Fantastic speakers, well presented course, both very personable and helpful. Thank you.

To find out more about the expertise of the professors running the course, visit Alex Pavic’s page on the VES website here and Paul Reynolds’ page on the VES website here

 

 

New paper published: Using inertial measurement units to identify medio-lateral ground reaction forces due to walking and swaying

Using inertial measurement units to identify medio-lateral ground reaction forces due to walking and swaying is now published in the Journal of Sound and Vibration.

Measurement of walking ground reaction forces (GRFs) in-situ is vital for understanding the mechanisms of human loading, including feedback effects such as observed in the London Millennium Bridge, but it is impossible to recover GRFs directly.  Following successful identification of vertical GRFs using inertial measurement units (IMUs) the technique was adapted to measure lateral components, which is a much greater challenge due to imperfect IMU azimuth identification and personal sway characteristics in human gait.

The methodology was also used to identify lateral GRFs due to on-the-spot swaying, which turns out to be a powerful approach for forced vibration of massive low frequency structures (such as tall buildings), since a single person can generate over 400 N harmonic lateral force.

A bi-product of the research is identification of ‘dynamic load factors’ for lateral GRFs, providing much better definition than decades-old guidance which underestimate them to a significant degree.

Structural Testing of a Heritage Railway Bridge with the Flying Scotsman Locomotive

A team of researchers from the Vibration Engineering Section returned to the Mineral Line Bridge in Somerset, to monitor the deflections of the bridge under different loading conditions. The bridge forms part of the West Somerset Railway (WSR), a heritage railway line with 20 miles of track in the South West of England.

The team, consisting of Farhad Huseynov, Yan Xu and Karen Faulkner, also formed part of the research group which had previously gathered strain data and rotation data of the bridge under train loading conditions.

The purpose of repeating the test was to analyse the performance of the bridge under loading from the Flying Scotsman engine.  The Flying Scotsman, one of the most well-known steam engines, was constructed in 1923 and was the first steam engine to officially record a speed of over 100 mph.

To achieve this speed, the engine itself measures 21.3 m in length and weighs 97.8 tonnes. This is significantly larger than the Raveningham Hall engine, and, with a length of 19.2 m and a weight of 76.4 tonnes, is the largest train belonging to the WSR. The aim of the testing was to measure deformations of the bridge under loading from the passing trains and to determine the effect of the larger Flying Scotsman locomotive on the bridge.

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Flying Scotsman Locomotive passes over the Mineral Line Bridge

The Mineral Line Bridge is located on the outskirts of Watchet and was originally constructed to carry the Minehead route over the West Somerset Mineral Railway. The Mineral Railway now operates as a footpath and cycle path open to the public. The bridge opened in 1862, has a single span of 14.8 m and is constructed skewed at an angle of 60° to the pathway beneath.

A series of accelerometers were installed on the bridge deck at five test points, measuring at each abutment and at quarter-span, mid-span and three-quarter-span. The angle of rotation of the bridge deck at each test point was inferred from the accelerometer data. This rotation data was then used to determine the deflection of the bridge.

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Accelerometers installed on the bridge

The Imetrum camera was used to measure deflections of the bridge under loading from the passing trains. Three Imetrum cameras were set up on tripods and targets were installed, one at mid-span on the bridge deck and two on the western abutment. The abutment deflection was monitored to gather information as part of a previous study, but the main focus of the testing on the day was to measure the deflection of the bridge at mid-span.

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Imetrum targets and cameras installed on the bridge

By comparing the results of the deflection calculated from the rotation data and measurements from the Imetrum camera, the team were able to verify the deflection measurements obtained from the accelerometers. There was good correlation between the two measurements, verifying the procedure used by the research team.

The results indicated increased deflections and rotations under loading from the Flying Scotsman, but was safely within the tolerances of the bridge.

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Raveningham Hall Locomotive passes over the Mineral Line Bridge

The weather conditions were not ideal on the day, with periods of rainfall intermixed with sunny periods throughout the day. This required the equipment to be covered with plastic bags for parts of the day, though this was found to have a negligible effect on the data.

To find out what happened when VES last tested on the bridge, look at the previous blog post Structural Testing of a Heritage Railway Bridge

Testing a simply supported bridge structure at Kyoto University

VES researcher Farhad Huseynov recently went to Japan to carry out experimental studies in collaboration with a research group at Kyoto University.

Kyoto 5
Farhad Huseynov in Japan

The test, which aimed to validate a newly developed bridge condition assessment methodology was performed in the Structures Laboratory on a 5.6 metre long simply supported bridge structure at Kyoto University. Figure 1 shows the test structure.

Kyoto 1

Test structure

The test structure was stiffened at various locations by attaching steel plates on the girder flanges, and the response of the structure to a moving 4-axle vehicle was measured using QA-750 uniaxial accelerometers. Subsequently, a developed bridge condition assessment algorithm was applied to validate the robustness of the methodology.

Kyoto 2
4-axle vehicle model
Kyoto 3
QA-750 accelerometer installed at the bridge support location
Kyoto 4
Stiffening plates attached at the bridge midspan location

The results obtained from the study prove that the developed methodology successfully identifies stiffening locations, and therefore is a promising tool for real bridge condition assessment applications. In the future, there are plans to use it to validate the procedure on a full-scale railway bridge structure.

 

New paper published on Bayesian operational modal analysis of Jiangyin Yangtze River Bridge

A paper about the testing and modal analysis of a Chinese long span suspension bridge has been published in the journal Mechanical System and Signal Processing. 

Bayesian operational modal analysis of Jiangyin Yangtze River Bridge is a result of the EPSRC project BAYOMALAW, led by Prof. Ivan Au from Liverpool and Prof. James Brownjohn from VES. 

It is the first published account of modal testing of a Chinese bridge by a western team and is co-authored by staff from Jiangsu Yangtze Bridge Co and Jiangsu Transportation Institute.

The paper describes the novel instrumentation specifically developed for the project, that allows precision synchronisation of loggers not having access to wireless or GPS signals. The paper is the first example of test planning for optimised operational modal analysis, to obtain the most reliable modal parameters. 

 

VES experts to run CPD course in Vibration Serviceability in June 2018

Engineers interested in fundamental vibration theory can enrol on IStructE’s CPD course run in London by our experts. To find out more about the event on 13th June 2018, visit

There is a second day of the course, covering the applications of vibration engineering, on 14th June 2018 and a discount for booking on both days. To find out more, visit https://bit.ly/2q8js0M

Check out recent testimonials about the course below:

Very good course overall. Based on the courses I have attended over the years, the speakers are the key to making the course successful or not. The combination of lecturing professors that also practice on a commercial basis was a huge benefit.

 A big thanks to the 2 presenters. Very knowledgeable people. Good presentation skills.

 Fantastic speakers, well presented course, both very personable and helpful. Thank you.

To find out more about the expertise of the professors running the course, visit Alex Pavic’s page on the VES website here and Paul Reynolds’ page on the VES website here

 

 

Heather Macklyne (EPSRC Portfolio Manager) Visits Vibration Engineering Section

 

 

Earlier this week, the University of Exeter and the Vibration Engineering Section (VES) welcomed Heather Macklyne, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Portfolio Manager, with responsibility for Ground Engineering, Structural Engineering, Built Environment, Infrastructure and Urban Systems.

Heather met with VES and representatives from Innovation, Impact and Business (IIB) at the University where she learnt about the opportunities for growth in infrastructure based research, building monitoring, industry engagement and the influence of Government infrastructure policy on the construction industry.

Additionally, she received an update on the EPSRC funded VSimulators facilities, soon to be built at the Universities of Exeter and Bath and the variety of interdisciplinary research which will be enabled through these unique state of the art facilities and how this will create collaborative opportunities amongst the academic and industrial communities.

Heather Macklyne visited the Living Systems Institute where she delivered presentations providing insights on the EPSRC policies around funding key areas of research and the impact of the newly formed UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). She delivered a talk on Grant Writing, including myth busting insights into how to create the perfect EPSRC funding application and tips on navigating the panel review process. This was followed by 1-1 surgeries with early career researchers, interested in gaining her insights on their proposals.

After lunch at Reed Hall hosted by Professors Ken Evans, Aleksandar Pavic, James Brownjohn, Paul Reynolds and Chris Edwards, along with Shay Sigafoos (Research Manager) and Julie Lewis-Thompson (VSimulators Commercial Manager), Heather was escorted to the VES structural laboratory. Here, she witnessed the active control of induced floor vibrations, through the use of specialist damping equipment, as demonstrated by Emma Hudson, Paul Reynolds and James Bassitt. Additionally, she enjoyed the opportunity to immerse herself in several virtual reality worlds, experiencing insights into the research and industrial based opportunities that will be enabled from building the EPSRC funded VSimulators facilities.

Julie Lewis-Thompson, Commercial Manager for the VSimuators project said: “We are extremely grateful that Heather Macklyne took the time to visit the civil and structural engineering groups at the University of Exeter and look forward to liaising with her in developing future applications to the EPSRC.”

For further information on VES and VSimulators facilities, please contact either Julie Lewis-Thompson (j.a.b.lewis-thompson@exeter.ac.uk) or Katy Manning (k.l.manning@exeter.ac.uk)