Structural Engineering

Structural Engineering is about employing scientific principles tempered by engineering pragmatism to conceive, design, construct, maintain and decommission civil infrastructure ensuring the safety of users and occupants over its design life.

Research Aims

Quantification of structural resistance or "capacity" of a structure under a broad range of "demands" is a challenging problem given the diversity of materials, structural systems and loading environments a structure may have to experience over its lifetime. However modern structural engineering benefits from an expanding array of established and emerging technologies offering unprecedented opportunities for creativity and innovation under the increasingly generic label of "performance based engineering".

Research Challenges and Targets

ERPE Researchers are contributing to this worldwide effort through:

  • Developing a better understanding of the performance of structural systems under extreme loading (such as fire, earthquake, blast, impact and their combinations) through experiments, modelling and simulation
  • Development of systematic performance based engineering methodologies accounting for uncertainties in loads and corresponding structural response to properly estimate the robustness and resilience of a structure over its life cycle
  • Devising new and sustainable materials of construction and extending the life of existing structures through research on repair and rehabilitation of civil infrastructure
  • Addressing challenges arising from use of novel materials in construction (such as bio-based composites, FRPs, high strength and customised concretes with novel reinforcements); novel and complex structural systems (such as super tall buildings and thin-walled containment structures); and climate change
  • Development of computational tools for simulation of structural response to complex loading conditions

Research Impacts

Structural engineering is responsible for the very fabric of human society, i.e. Urban Infrastructure. ERPE Structural Engineering Research impacts the design of structures (e.g. for fire and blast resistance, shells and containment structures and rehabilitation and retrofitting) through our excellent links with leaders in the construction industry. Our research also routinely finds its way into national and international standards.