Challenging innovative and optimal designs of structures
Date & Time

28 March 2024
18:00 for 18:30 start

Location

Mercure Chester Abbots Well Hotel, Whitchurch Road, Christleton, Chester CH3 5QL
View on Google Maps

Price

Free

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Challenging innovative and optimal designs of structures

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Author
Date published
Price
Lecture
Date & Time

28 March 2024
18:00 for 18:30 start

Location

Mercure Chester Abbots Well Hotel, Whitchurch Road, Christleton, Chester CH3 5QL
View on Google Maps

Price

Free

Availability

Places available

Technical lecture reviewing iconic structures commenting on their cost and sustainability aspects.

Sustainability and durability concerns receive an increasing amount of attention, with calls for a transformative change in design and planning of our future infrastructure. This leads to re-examining of our current design philosophy that relies on stressing structures to safe maximum limits, but often within ill-chosen geometric configurations.

As structures’ geometry (centre line profiles and cross-sections) are responsible for stress variations within them, this has implication for their durability. It is against this background that Professor Lewis will carry out a critical review of some iconic structures, such as: the Sydney Opera House, the ‘Nest’ stadium in China, the London Millennium Dome (O2 Arena), the London Millennium Bridge, to name a few, commenting on their cost and sustainability aspects.

Parts of the Scottish Parliament, the Education Centre in Eden Project, as well as the failure of the tunnel at Gerrards Cross in 2005, illustrate the importance of structural form and the need for good understanding of form- force interaction.

Examples of pleasing and durable structures resulting from a ‘form-finding’ approach shaping structures according to the applied load and the natural principle of constant stress will be given to contrast conventional designs. This will be followed by Professor Lewis’ latest research into shaping natural forms of arch structures, and comparisons with the Gateway Arch in St. Louis will be given.  Her arch work challenges the criterion of ‘minimum weight‘, universally adopted as an optimisation principle.

Speaker

Wanda Lewis, Emeritus Professor, School of Engineering, University of Warwick 
Having obtained a diploma in economics and a civil engineering degree in Poland, Wanda obtained an MSc degree in Foundation Engineering and then a PhD in the UK.

After a short spell in industry, Wanda has been working at the University of Warwick since 1986. She is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her extensive research experience culminated in a monograph Tension Structures, numerous research articles, short films, and press releases.

Wanda's interests focus on computational and analytical modelling of optimal structural forms using a process of form-finding. It is a process of shaping structures by applying, or controlling, stresses developing in them, as observed in Nature. Recently, she pioneered analytical form-finding techniques for predicting natural forms of arch structures.

Wanda has led a number of national and European research projects in collaboration with industry (Arup, Jaguar Cars, Roll-Royce, SL-Rach, Canobbio, ESI) and was a principal Investigator in across-disciplinary project: Designing for the 21st Century, in collaboration with the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Her recent work was sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust for the project Analytical Form-finding applied to Arch Structures. 

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Additional attendee information

Hot and cold buffet will be served from 18:00 for a meeting start at 18:30.

There is ample free parking at the hotel.

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