The University of Sheffield
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Applications Of Computational Limit Analyis & Design In Civil & Structural Engineering

Supervisor: Prof Matthew Gilbert

To determine the ultimate strength of a structure, structural engineers typically currently have to rely either on highly simplistic hand type calculations or on highly complex non-linear elastic modelling techniques, which can be unreliable and often require both large amounts of computer time and operator expertise. Also the initial design stage, which generally has a huge influence on subsequent project costs, tends to be carried out in an ad-hoc manner, with individual engineers' intuition typically being used to initially determine optimum member layouts for structures such as canopies and bridges (though member layouts may subsequently be modified as part of an iterative conceptual design>analysis>re-design loop, this process is time-consuming and costly). In contrast application of computational limit analysis and design methods potentially permits rapid ultimate limit-state analysis of complex structures and/or practical design synthesis of large structural frames (e.g. sports stadia roofs, transmission towers etc). Applicants wishing to study any particular topic(s) within this general field are invited to contact

This project is NOT FUNDED, although Departmental/University scholarships are available for applicants who can demonstrate strong evidence of research potential.

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