University of Cambridge > > Trinity College Science Society (TCSS) > Interacting with instabilities: Nonlinearity in structural engineering

Interacting with instabilities: Nonlinearity in structural engineering

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ruslan Kotlyarov.

Structural engineering has a rich history of landmarks and numerous personalities. It also relies fundamentally on mathematics since structural failure is inherently a nonlinear process where changes can be sudden and deformations can be large. Mathematical modelling can reveal whether structures are vulnerable to catastrophically dangerous collapse (or failures) or those that can be contained or somehow exploitable. Structural instability, or buckling, is most likely to occur in components or systems made from slender elements that are under compression to some extent, such as columns and beams. We shall discuss some recent research work concerning some practical structural engineering components that are vulnerable to complex behaviour where multiple instabilities may occur in a natural loading sequence. These works demonstrate that nonlinear mathematics provides key tools to make informed decisions about whether potential failure modes are catastrophic or where instabilities may even be exploited to enhance structural performance.

This talk is part of the Trinity College Science Society (TCSS) series.

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