Supported Projects


Research Highlight: Aeroelastic Real-time Hybrid Simulation

NSF Award 

Project Objective:

  • nIntegration of traditional experimental testing with heuristic optimization algorithms and mechatronic building models to create a cyber-physical approach to the optimal design of structures

Team Members: 

  • University of Maryland: Brian Phillips (PI), Pedro Fernández-Cabán (Postdoc), Michael Whiteman (Ph.D. Student)
  • University of Florida: Forrest Masters (Co-PI)

Key Achievements: 

  • First cyberphysical tests conducted in a wind tunnel
  • Demonstrated the potential of a cyber-physical design approach in wind engineering

Broader Impacts: 

  • Advancing the capability to build stronger, lighter, and more resilient structures in the face of wind hazards
  • Designs will make more sustainable use of resources and ultimately have a better chance of being constructed by weighing cost-effectiveness directly in the design approach

Figure 1. Diagram of cyber-physical framework for optimal design under wind loading

Figure 2. Low-rise building model with controllable parapet wall.

Figure 3. Aeroelastic model under development


Research Highlight: Cyber-Physical Systems Approach to the
Optimal Design of Structures for Wind Hazards 

NSF Awards /

Project Objective:

  • Extend Real-Time Hybrid Simulation (RTHS) to wind engineering applications (aeroRTHS)

Team Members: 

  • Richard Christenson, Sergio Lobo-Aguilar & Yuan Yuan (UConn) 
  • Steven Wojtkiewicz & Jie Dong (Clarkson)

Key Achievements: 

  • AeroRTHS can be used to scale mass, stiffness and damping of an aeroelastic building model
  • Compensation of transfer system and pressure sensors and calculation of wind force from 128 pressure sensors is possible for real-time results
  • AeroRTHS captures wind speed dependent behavior of vortex induced vibration (VIV) and can provide physical insight into dynamic coupling

Broader Impacts: 

  • Contribute to the reliability and resilience of infrastructure by enabling the investigation of windstorm hazard mitigation approaches applied in a non-destructive, cost-effective manner
  • Workshop held in April 2019 in UF EF to facilitate the use of aeroRTHS throughout the wind and seismic research communities.

Figure 4. Calculated wind forces on the building model during vortex induced vibration

 

Figure 5. Sensing and control loop for the aeroelastic building model in the wind tunnel


Research Highlight: Behavior of Hurricane Wind and Wind-Driven Rain in the Coastal Suburban Roughness Sublayer

NSF Award

Project Objective:

  • Investigate the effects of freestream turbulence on low-rise building roofs

Team Members: 

  • University of Florida: Forrest Masters (PI) and Pedro Fernández-Cabán (Postdoc)

Key Achievements: 

  • Confirmed previous work from Akon and Kopp (2016) concerning the systematic reduction in mean reattachment length with rougher upwind terrains
  • Suggests that the spatial distribution of pressure fluctuations is mostly dominated by the interaction of the turbulent boundary layer with the structure of the separation bubble and less so by the freestream flow conditions

Broader Impacts: 

  • Ultimately support research to reduce our reliance on empiricism and physical testing to model flows over bluff-bodies

 

Fernández-Cabán PL and Masters FJ (2018) Effects of Freestream Turbulence on the Pressure Acting on a Low-Rise Building Roof in the Separated Flow Region. Front. Built Environ. 4:17. doi: 10.3389/fbuil.2018.00017


Project Highlight: Cyber-physical Design and Optimization in Wind Engineering

Researchers at the University of Maryland and University of Florida are collaborating on a project to deliver a cyber-physical systems (CPS) approach to the optimal design of wind-sensitive structures. The approach combines the accuracy of physical wind tunnel testing with the efficient exploration of a solution space using numerical optimization algorithms. The approach is fully automated, with experiments executed in a boundary layer wind tunnel (BLWT), sensor feedback monitored by a high-performance computer (HPC), and optimization techniques used to bring about physical changes in the BLWT. Anticipated outcomes include: (1) the combination of high-fidelity experimental testing and numerically-driven optimization for wind engineering, (2) the advancement of optimization in a practical engineering setting, and (3) the discovery of new design and detailing features to achieve cost-effective structures.

Initial studies focus on a low-rise structure with parapet wall of variable height, adjusted at the model-scale using servo-motors. Parapets are common on industrial and commercial buildings and have a non-monotonic influence on a structure’s wind load. The model surface is instrumented with pressure taps to measure the envelope pressure. Design objectives include the mitigation of extreme roof loading and the creation of an efficient structural system. Implications of this proof-of-concept are significant for more complex structures where the optimal solution cannot be reasonably determined with traditional experimental or computational methods.

This project is funded by NSF under Grant No. 1636039 and uses the BLWT and HPC resources of the University of Florida NHERI Site under NSF Grant No. 1520843. This project is led by PI Asst. Prof. Brian Phillips of the University of Maryland and co-PI Prof. Forrest Masters of the University of Florida. For more information on the PI’s research, please email brian.phillips@essie.ufl.edu.

 

 

University of Florida wind engineering class visits with researchers in the BLWT


Roof Suction
blue = high suction; red = low suction

BLWT model with no parapet wall, 45° approach wind angle, and a qualitative distribution of extreme roof suction

Roof Suction
blue = high suction; red = low suction

BLWT model with a 1 inch parapet wall, 45° approach wind angle, and a qualitative distribution of extreme roof suction


Completed or Ongoing Experiments

  • EAGER: Exploring Machine Learning and Atmospheric Simulation to Understand the Role of Geomorphic Complexity in Enhancing Civil Infrastructure Damage during Extreme Wind Events. Award Number: ; Principal Investigator: Forrest Masters; Co-Principal Investigator: Luis Aponte; Organization:University of Florida;NSF Organization:CMMI Start Date:08/15/2018.
  • EAGER/Collaborative Research: Aeroelastic Real-Time Hybrid Simulation for Wind Engineering Experimentation. Award Number: ; Principal Inverstigator: Steve Wojtkiewicz; Organization: Clarkson University; Co-Principal Inverstigator: Richard Christenson; Organization: University of Connecticut; NSF Organization: CMMI Start Date: 06/15/2017.
  • PREEVENTS Track 2: Collaborative Research: More resilient coastal cities and better hurricane forecasts through multi-scale modeling of extreme winds in the urban canopy. Award Number: ; Principal Investigator: David Nolan; Organization:University of Miami; NSF Organization: ICER Start Date: 08/01/2017
  • Benchmark Study of Tornado Wind Loading on Low-Rise Buildings with Consideration of Internal Pressure. Award Number:; Principal Investigator:Delong Zuo; Organization:Texas Tech University;NSF Organization:CMMI Start Date:04/28/2017.
  • Cyber-Physical Systems Approach to the Optimal Design of Structures for Wind Hazards. Award Number:; Principal Investigator:Brian Phillips; Co-Principal Investigator:Forrest Masters; Organization:University of Maryland College Park;NSF Organization:CMMI Start Date:08/01/2016.
  • EF Demonstration Project: Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure: Experimental Facility with Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel, Wind Load and Dynamic Flow Simulators, and Pressure Loading Actuators. Award Number:; Principal Investigator:Forrest Masters; Co-Principal Investigator:David Prevatt, H. Hamilton III, Jennifer Rice, Kurtis Gurley; Organization:University of Florida;NSF Organization:CMMI Start Date:01/01/2016.
  • Collaborative Research: Performance-Based Framework for Wind-Excited Multi-Story Buildings. Award Number:; Principal Investigator:Seymour Spence; Co-Principal Investigator:; Organization:University of Michigan Ann Arbor;NSF Organization:CMMI Start Date:06/01/2015.
  • Collaborative Research: Semi-Active Controlled Cladding Panels for Multi-Hazard Resilient Buildings. Award Number:; Principal Investigator:James Ricles; Co-Principal Investigator:Spencer Quiel; Organization:Lehigh University;NSF Organization:CMMI Start Date:06/01/2015;
  • Collaborative Research: Performance-Based Framework for Wind-Excited Multi-Story Buildings. Award Number:; Principal Investigator:Ahsan Kareem; Co-Principal Investigator:; Organization:University of Notre Dame;NSF Organization:CMMI Start Date:06/01/2015.
  • MRI: Development of a Versatile, Self-Configuring Turbulent Flow Condition System for a Shared-Use Hybrid Low-Speed Wind Tunnel. Award Number:; Principal Investigator:Forrest Masters; Co-Principal Investigator:Corene Matyas, Jennifer Rice, Kurtis Gurley, Kamran Mohseni; Organization:University of Florida;NSF Organization:CMMI Start Date:09/01/2014.
  • Performance-based Multi-Hazard Engineering for Seismic and Wind Loads. Award Number:; Principal Investigator:Mircea Grigoriu; Organization:Cornell University;NSF Organization:CMMI Start Date:06/01/2013.
  • NRI: Large: Collaborative Research: Fast and Accurate Infrastructure Modeling and Inspection with Low-Flying Robots. Award Number:; Principal Investigator:Sanjiv Singh; Co-Principal Investigator:Daniel Huber, Sebastian Scherer, Burcu Akinci; Organization:Carnegie-Mellon University;NSF Organization:IIS Start Date:09/15/2013.
  • CAREER: Behavior of Hurricane Wind and Wind-Driven Rain in the Coastal Suburban Roughness Sublayer. Award Number:; Principal Investigator:Forrest Masters; Organization:University of Florida;NSF Organization:CMMI Start Date:03/01/2011