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Nonlinear mechanics and design of prestressed stayed columns

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Abstract: Metallic columns supported by prestressed cable stays offer an efficient and aesthetic structural solution, which use highly slender structural elements, with substantially increased load carrying capacity when compared to conventional compression members. The system works by employing prestressing cables external to the main column that effectively introduce intermediate elastic lateral restraints; these act to reduce the buckling length whereby the load carrying capacity is increased. However, structures that are optimized may also be susceptible to more complex failure modes, such as interactive and cellular buckling, which can lead to a considerable reduction in the post-buckling strength and stiffness. This is confirmed by mathematical and numerical modelling, alongside full-scale laboratory experiments. In the talk, developments over the last 10 years will be discussed including analytical, numerical and experimental work that has led to detailed design procedures and recommendations for a variety of column arrangements.

Biography: Ahmer Wadee was appointed Professor of Nonlinear Mechanics at Imperial College London in 2015 having been an academic staff member there since 1999. He was educated both at Imperial, obtaining a BEng in Civil Engineering in 1994 and an MSc in Structural Steel Design in 1995. Subsequently, he obtained his PhD from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath under the supervision of Professor Giles Hunt in 1998. Professor Wadee leads the group investigating nonlinear instabilities in structural components, systems and materials. The research conducted has ranged from fundamental mathematical modelling of nonlinear instabilities in structures at various scales, right through to producing code-ready design guidance. He has contributed to over 140 articles in the leading international journals and peer-reviewed conference proceedings. He has been the recipient of prizes for his research work by the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA). He is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Mathematician, Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and the current chair of the Engineering Mechanics Institute Stability Committee organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers. He also serves on the Editorial Board of “Structures”, the recently founded research journal of the Institution of Structural Engineers. In 2014, he was recognised by The Science Council as one of the top 100 practising scientists in the UK. He was also a co-editor of the book “50 Visions of Mathematics”, published by Oxford University Press, which commemorated 50 years of the founding of the IMA in 2014.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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