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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N017897/1
Title: Uncertainty Quantification and Management in Ambient Modal Identification
Principal Investigator: Mottershead, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Au, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Arup Group Ltd CPP Wind JIANGSU Transportation Institute
Strainstall UK Ltd WSP Buildings Ltd
Department: Civil Engineering and Industrial Design
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 May 2016 Ends: 05 October 2019 Value (£): 567,770
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
25 Nov 2015 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 25th and 26th November 2015 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The modal properties of a structure include primarily its natural frequencies, damping ratios and mode shapes. Their information is indispensable for design against dynamic loads such as wind, earthquake and human excitation. Uncertainty arises due to the lack of knowledge and modelling limitations and this generally increases project risk. Modal identification has long been recognised as an effective means for uncertainty mitigation in structural dynamics. Theoretically it is possible to identify the modal properties based on only the 'output' vibration response of structures without knowing the 'input' excitation. This type of test, called 'ambient vibration test', has now become the primary and most sustainable means for its high implementation feasibility, robustness and economy. In the absence of loading information and with data collected under uncontrolled field environment, however, the identification results have significant variability and low repeatability. This has limited the economic benefit of ambient vibration tests and undermined the scientific significance of their identification results. This has been well-recognised but there has been no quantitative account for its origin or how to control it.

This project aims at developing a comprehensive fundamental methodology for quantifying and managing the uncertainties of the modal properties of civil engineering structures identified from ambient vibration data. At the scientific core is a set of 'uncertainty laws', analogous to the laws of large numbers of data in classical probability, that expresses fundamentally the identification uncertainty of modal properties explicitly and quantitatively in terms of test configurations such as measurement noise, environmental load intensity and the number and location of sensors. Due to complexity of the problem, it is unlikely to obtain insightful results for general situations. The project aims at fundamental expressions with insights governing the dominant behaviour of the remaining identification uncertainty under realistic situations. The project objective is achieved through a comprehensive programme comprising fundamental theory development, extensive verification with synthetic, laboratory and field data, and knowledge transfer with industry. A practical guide for planning and performing ambient vibration test shall be produced incorporating scientific findings of the project and experience of the team members with input from industry partners.

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Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk