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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K037161/1
Title: Mid- and High-Frequency Vibroacoustics of Built-up Structures -- A Wave Approach
Principal Investigator: Renno, Dr J
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Airbus Operations Limited Bombardier Lloyd's Register Group
Department: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 October 2013 Ends: 30 June 2015 Value (£): 489,871
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 Sep 2013 Engineering Fellowships Interview Meeting - 10/11 Sept 2013 Announced
07 May 2013 Engineering Prioritisation Meeting 7/8 May 2013 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Noise and vibration are important performance aspects in many mechanical systems. High noise and vibration levels can be detrimental to structures (e.g. causing damage) and to the human operators (e.g. causing fatigue or injury). Thus, it is important to be able to understand how structures vibrate and emit noise, i.e., their vibroacoustic behavior. Traditionally, engineers would try to describe the vibroacoustics using analytical methods. However, these are only possible for very simple structures. Structures that engineers confront in the aerospace, railway or maritime sectors are often made of composite panels that are connected together using complicated structural joints. The analysis of the vibroacoustics of such complex built-up structures cannot be performed analytically.

Over the years, researchers have developed numerical techniques to solve this problem. Element-based methods (such as the finite element method) are well-developed and well-established methods with many commercial/in-house codes that can be used. However, aerospace, railway and maritime structures are relatively large. For example, a typical railway car can be modelled using the finite element method up to 500 Hz. Above this frequency, the size of the finite element model becomes too large, impractical and the associated computational cost becomes prohibitive. However, the audio frequency range is 20 Hz-20 kHz. At high frequency (above 10 kHz), the railway car can be modelled using energy-based methods such as the statistical energy analysis method. Energy-based statistical methods are valuable, but less well-established than element-based methods. The railway car example points to a frequency gap, indeed a mid-frequency gap, where neither element-based nor energy-based methods can be used.

I am proposing to use wave methods to bridge the mid-frequency gap and to further strengthen energy methods. Waves provide a unifying, intuitive approach to vibroacoustics. The computational cost of a wave model is substantially small (especially when compared to a full finite element model), and the wave properties of structures can be obtained by post processing the finite element model of a small segment of an arbitrarily large structure.

Thus, the goal of this programme is to develop a wave-based toolbox for modelling the vibroacoustics complex built-up structures. Industrial examples from the aerospace, railway and maritime sectors will be used to demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of the developed methods.
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk