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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K036378/1
Title: Advanced Measurement, Modelling and Utilisation of Bouncing and Jumping Loading Induced by Groups and Crowds
Principal Investigator: Racic, Dr V
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Civil and Structural Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 01 November 2013 Ends: 01 June 2015 Value (£): 98,913
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Eng. Dynamics & Tribology Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 May 2013 Engineering Prioritisation Meeting 7/8 May 2013 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Prediction of dynamic loads induced by groups or crowds of people remains one of the most significant problems faced by designers of vibration-sensitive structures such as footbridges, dance floors, grandstands and staircases. Structural engineers understand other key dynamic loads, such as seismic and wind, comparatively well due to decades of research leading to comprehensive and robust guidance, but understanding of dynamic loads due to multiple active people lags by several decades. The lack of understanding and resulting inadequate guidance not only leads to economic costs and unnecessary carbon emission but also results in safety concerns related to crowd panic due to unexpected and unfamiliar structural motion induced by occupants. Moreover, design mistakes of highly visible landmark structures, such as sport stadia and footbridges in urban environments, attract significant publicity (e.g. London Millennium Bridge and Cardiff Millennium Stadium) and a bad reputation for their designers and the construction industry.

The aim of this project is to improve the fundamental understanding of group and crowd loading due to bouncing and jumping. This will be addressed through the following three developments:

1. Establishing a unique database of bouncing and jumping loads generated by groups of various sizes. The project aims to address this challenge by a novel experimental approach which combines laboratory and field studies of directly measured loads and tracking motion of each group member. This requires a cross-disciplinary approach, with deep understanding of motion tracking, computing and a comprehensive range of hardware.

2. Developing a new generation of data-driven, statistically reliable and practicable models which can predict reliably the effect of jumping and bouncing groups and crowds on civil structures. As vibration serviceability criteria governs modern design, a key goal of the project is to provide analytical tools for a time efficient probability based vibration serviceability assessment of a structure at the design stage. Such tools will help to achieve a perfect balance between dynamic performance, associated risk and uncertainty, aesthetics, cost and carbon footprint of a future structure.

3. Providing a solid platform for development of scientifically rational design guidance for vibration serviceability assessment of structures under jumping and bouncing crowd excitation, which is not overly conservative as a result of uncertainties in the loading. The latest design guidance on crowd dynamic loading of grandstands was published in 2008, so the timing of the project is perfect. The UK leads internationally in design for vibration serviceability with growing international acceptance of UK-originated guidance and the ultimate aim of the project is to maintain this leadership.

Results will impact not only understanding of how active people affect dynamic performance of structures but will also benefit the wider communities where human periodic activities are important, such as psychology of mass behaviour and public safety.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk