Understanding the consequences of symmetry-breaking in nonlinear structures

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering


Many modern, high-performance, engineering structures are required to be lightweight and highly flexible. This flexibility often pushes these structures beyond the regimes where linearity can be assumed, and their nonlinear behaviour must be accounted for. This presents numerous challenges for modelling and understanding the dynamic behaviour of such structures. As a result, current modelling techniques are unable to account for nonlinear dynamic behaviour in large and complex models.

The primary objective of this project is to formulate an efficient and reliable method for nonlinear reduced-order modelling. This will allow the nonlinear dynamics of large and complex structures to be captured in simple models, which can then be interrogated using existing techniques. The behaviour of these reduced-order models can then be used to predict and understand the behaviour of the larger and more complex models.

The ability to accurately predict the nonlinear dynamic behaviour of complex structures will then allow the effect of small structural changes (such as those arising from manufacturing defects) to be investigated. Specifically, the effect of breaking the symmetry of symmetric structures is of interest. Symmetric structures are common throughout engineering disciplines, and it has been observed that breaking their symmetry in the presence of nonlinearity can lead to sudden changes in behaviour that are difficult to predict. Therefore, understanding this will allow nonlinear, symmetric systems to be designed more robustly.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509619/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1939314 Studentship EP/N509619/1 01/10/2017 30/04/2021 Alice Brown