Ellen Marsh

PhD updates

14/01/20 Project update

January 01, 2020

Since converting to part-time, Ellie's project has changed topic to focus of layout optimisation of concrete framed buildings for multiple slab types. Ellie has spent the last 12 months using multiple case studies to better understand carbon assessment methodologies and identifying uncertainty and gaps in prediction. In addition, a comparative study was performed for multiple slab technologies to investigate the effect of span length and massing on both cost and carbon. A literature review of optimisation in concrete structures. This review discusses the impact of new technologies and construction methods and how can they can be utilised to reduction carbon in concrete elements. For further information on her project hypothesis and reesearch questions, see the attached document. 

In December 2019, Ellie also attended the Zero Carbon Hackathon at Lafarge Holcim in Lyon. Ellie formed a team with researchers and practitioners and won the competition with a design that reduced the carbon emissions in the reference building by 45%. For more information about the event, please visit http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/news/zero-carbon-hackathon-encourages-students-rethink-material-use-construction.

19/10/17 Project update

October 18, 2017

Peridynamics for the analysis and optimisation of concrete structures


The first year of the PhD project has involved a literature study of existing applications of peridynamics, particularly with respect to brittle materials, and secondly, the optimisation of concrete structures and its challenges. In addition, computational work has involved the setup of a concrete-only peridynamic analysis model within a CAD environment, considering a simple uniaxial cube test.  The CAD environment is well suited to the geometry definition of unconventional, fabric-formed elements and allows for an integrated model incorporating geometry/constructability requirements, analysis and a structural optimisation procedure. This process will allow for improve material reductions, and therefore embodied carbon, in the design and construction of un-conventional concrete structures.

Current work includes expanding the capabilities of the analysis model to additional analyse fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcement bars. This will be validated using a simple pull-out test and will be compared to real test data. Additional studies regarding the discretisation and parallelisation of the model are also taking place.

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