Research Challenges

C1.  To accurately analyse the structural response of reinforced concrete structures of any geometry under any loading condition including shear and cracking behaviours;

C2.  To combine the novel analytical method with an optimisation routine that can propose the external geometry and internal steel arrangement required for a given structure to meet defined serviceability and ultimate limit state criteria with minimum material use;

C3.  To appropriately vary the element density in the analytical model of any structure to maximise computational efficiency (time to results);

C4.  To gain global acceptance in industry and academia for the new analysis method that puts the minimisation of embodied energy and a reliance on structural mechanics at the centre of the design process for concrete structures.

Work Packages

Work Package 1 (WP1) – Material model development.

WP1 addresses C1 to provide a new computational approach to material modelling that will result in a full model for 1) mass concrete, 2) high yield steel reinforcing bar, and 3) the steel-concrete bond. WP1 is mainly numerical.

Work Package 2 (WP2) – Optimisation

WP2 addresses Challenge 2 to provide an optimisation routine for any concrete structure that minimises material use against predefined serviceability and ultimate limit state performance criteria. WP2 is mainly computational.

Work Package 3 (WP3) – Verification of the combined model

WP3 will address C3 to provide a computationally efficient tool for analysis and optimisation of reinforced concrete elements. RA2 will undertake structural testing to verify the computational results and provide any required adjustments to the computational methodology.

Work Package 4 (WP4) – Dissemination, collaborations, industrial involvement, impact plan

WP4 will be undertaken across the fellowship period to engage with the global construction industry, disseminate the research outputs, and ensure that the novel analysis and optimisation methods can be adopted.