EPSRC to fund project on uncertainy quantifcation for ambient vibration testing

The Vibration Engineering Section is pleased to announce that the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will fund a research project EP/N017803/1 ‘Uncertainty quantification in ambient modal identification’ – or BAYOMALAW.

The project is part of a dual-institution proposal EP/N017897/1 between the University of Exeter and the University of Liverpool.

For super-tall and super-long structures (buildings, towers, bridges), vibration serviceability is often the governing design criterion. There is significant economic risk in this area, resulting from uncertain knowledge of the modal properties that control dynamic response, such as natural frequencies and damping ratios.

The only feasible method for mitigating such risk is direct measurement of prototype operational structures through ‘ambient vibration tests’.

The benefit of this type of field identification is limited by significant variability and low repeatability in parameter estimates. So, BAYOMALAW (Bayesian operational modal analysis uncertainty laws) will develop a fundamental methodology and practical guidance for quantifying and managing the uncertainties.

Ivan Au and John Mottershead at the University of Liverpool will develop the theory and run controlled laboratory trials. Meanwhile, James Brownjohn and James Bassitt at the University of Exeter will support Liverpool with field trials on extreme structures structures, such as tall buildings and long span bridges in China and Japan.

These trials will use instrumentation for wireless dynamic measurement, to be specially developed for the challenging operational environments of these extreme structures.

The 3-year project is supported by Arup, WSP, Strainstall, Jiangsu Transportation Institute and Cermak Peterka Patterson.

EPSRC funding for Exeter is £263k.