University of Cambridge > > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > The effect of geometry and topology on the mechanics of grid shells

The effect of geometry and topology on the mechanics of grid shells

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Abstract: The use of grid shell structures in architecture and structural engineering has risen in the past decade, yet fundamental research on the mechanics of such structures is lacking. A grid shell is a long-span structure comprised of a single-layer lattice of members that forms a curved surface. They can be adapted to existing spaces as in the Great Court at the British Museum or to create new structures like the Weald and Downland Museum. This talk will present the change in the buckling capacity as the following design parameters are varied: the grid topology, spacing, and the global curvature. The buckling capacity of two typical grid shells – the spherical cap and the corrugated barrel vault – is evaluated both analytically, using the concept of the equivalent continuum, and numerically, using the finite element method. Lastly, design guidelines aimed to maximize a grid shell’s capacity and efficiency and to facilitate the discussion between architect and engineer are proposed. Biography: Samar Malek is a structural engineer who completed her Ph.D. in Structures and Materials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is the 2012 Marshall-Sherfield Fellow which is awarded to one American scientist or engineer by the UK Marshall Commission. She is currently completing her fellowship at the University of Bath, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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