Sunday, July 15, 2012
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
New Scientific Article by Korkmaz et al: Configuration of Control System for Damage Tolerance of a Tensegrity Bridge
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
"Reports on Structural Engineering Findings from Ecole Polytechnique Provide New Insights":
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Civil & Structural Engineering Rankings
Chemical Engineering Rankings
Electrical Engineering Rankings
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Rankings
Computer Science & Information Systems Rankings
As expected, MIT tops in all subject rankings. On the other hand, despite all the buzz Turkish universities create in national media, no Turkish university except Istanbul Technical University (ITU) is listed in top-200 list. ITU is ranked
101-150. in Civil & Structural Engineering
101-150. in Chemical Engineering
151-200. in Electrical Engineering
151-200. in Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing
Although scientific research has become utterly more productive over the past decade in Turkey (please see the relevant statistics here), the gap between the quality of Turkish universities remains wide. Thanks to the booming economy and changing socio-cultural system, many top-notch Turkish researchers prefer to go back to Turkey. This potential has to be harnessed in a systematic way.
It would be too naive to expect ITU and a couple of other decent Turkish universities, such as Bilkent University and Sabanci University, to educate the huge army of good engineers that the quickly growing economy desperately needs. Time and again, concerns are raised on the quality of the vast majority of Turkish engineers, and for good reason. Let's face it - Among the ~170 Turkish universities, only ITU is listed in the engineering subject rankings! Turkey has potential for more, uhm, better science...
Thursday, March 31, 2011
New Scientific Article by Korkmaz et al: Determining Control Strategies for Damage Tolerance of an Active Tensegrity Structure
Friday, February 4, 2011
A "traditional" application field of biomimetics is computer science. Computer scientists have been using biomimetic approaches in subfields such as stochastic search. A new study by Yehuda Afek et al. aims to provide simple and efficient algorithms in the subfield of distributed computing using a technique inspired from the nervous system of the fly. The original paper can be accessed here.
Photo by Valter Jacinto
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
1. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL)
2. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETHZ)
3. University of Cambridge
4. University of Oxford
5. University of Lausanne (UNIL)
Further information is available here.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Engineering education matters... Here is one of the numerous disasters resulting from engineering mistakes:
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge (Gallopin' Gertie (!)) was opened in 1940 in Washington. There was apparently a problem in the design of the bridge:
Once the bridge was built and it was recognized that "there was a problem", the engineers attempted to control the bridge passively using hydraulic dampers. However, the effectiveness of the hydraulic dampers was nullified since the seals of the units were damaged when the bridge was sand-blasted before being painted.
Aeroelastic fluttering induced the failure of the suspender cables 5 days after Prof Frederick Burt Farquharson (University of Washington), proposed to give a more aerodynamic shape to the transverse section of the deck by adding fairings or deflector vanes along the deck, attached to the girder fascia, the bridge collapsed due to 64 kmh wind.
It took 10 years to build a new bridge due to material and labor shortages as a result of the involvement of the United States in World War II. The new replacement bridge was opened to traffic on October 14, 1950. Here is a panorama of the bridge, which is still in service:
Source: Wikipedia, Youtube
Friday, September 3, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering will take place in Miami next year. It could be a good opportunity to present results on the role of informatics in adaptive structures.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
At Lehigh University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering , Dr Yunfeng Zhang offered a "Smart Structural Systems" course to undergrad and grad students during the Spring 2006 semester. Here is how it went!
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Source: Wikipedia, www.bfi.org
Monday, December 21, 2009
A West Lothian-based company, Touch Bionics, announced the commercial launch of ProDigits. ProDigits is claimed to be the first powered bionic finger for people with missing digits (see the videos below). Detailed information is available here.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
“SHM aims to give, at every moment during the life of a structure, a diagnosis of the state of the constituent materials, of the different parts, and of the full assembly of these parts constituting the structure as a hole. Thanks to the time-dimension of monitoring, which makes it possible to consider full history database of the structure, and with the help of usage monitoring, it can also provide a prognosis (evolution of damage, residual life, etc.)”.
SHM is used at a variety of structures. Aircrafts and bridges are two of the typical structures at which SHM is used commonly. On the other hand, there are also some “uncommon” fields of SHM usage. In Monitoba, Canada, an SHM system is installed inside a statue: the “Eternal Youth (Golden Boy)”. According to Dr. Mufti, the SHM system for the Golden Boy comprises four types of gauges: accelerometers, electric resistance strain gauges, fiber optic strain gauges, and thermocouples. The internal stress, vibration, and inclination of the structure can be monitored and its response to loading can be examined by using these sensors. At the central control site, located at ISIS Canada SHM Lab in Winnipeg, an application program on the data server is continuously running to subscribe the data from the remote site. The new data are transferred and analyzed every 5s. Currently, around 1GB of data per day on the Golden Boy is reported. A software program uses statistical analysis to sort through and interpret the data. If data patterns remain basically the same, the software does not store the data. Data are stored when the patterns change significantly, and researchers are notified if something completely new happens.
Source: The Monitor
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
"Clustered actuation exploits the existence of cable elements in a tensegrity structure by allowing cables to be run over frictionless pulleys or through frictionless loops at the nodes".
Clustering of active cables has its strengths and weaknesses. If the active cables are clustered, the damage in one cable leads to greater displacements since all cables in the same cluster go slack. On the other hand, the disadvantages of embedded actuation such as added mass and cost, increased control complexity and energy consumption mean that grouping of active cables is preferable.
I am currently working on self-repair of a tensegrity bridge by means of clustered actuation. This is a promising subject, which has the potential to provide more efficient structures.
Reference: K.W. Moored and H. Bart-Smith, "Investigation of clustered actuation in tensegrity structures", 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Some people even deemed the project scandal:
However, these discussions are not to be taken seriously since they are based on speculations of non-engineers.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Here is a link to the engineering/technology rankings:
Saturday, September 19, 2009
“The engineering goal of artificial intelligence is to solve real-world problems using artificial intelligence as an armamentarium of ideas about representing knowledge, using knowledge, and assembling systems."
"The scientific goal of artificial intelligence is to determine which ideas about representing knowledge, using knowledge, and assembling systems explain various sorts of intelligence.”
Interest in artificial intelligence has been great since mankind envisaged robots. On the other hand, artificial intelligence methods are generally not associated with structural engineering applications. However, intelligent control methodologies such as self-diagnosis, self-repair and learning could be integrated into structural systems to provide innovative solutions that can also be applied to a range of other systems. We, EPFL Applied Computing and Mechanics Laboratory researchers, are going for a deployable tensegrity bridge that is able to take self-repairing actions thanks to an integrated active control and reasoning system. We believe that this research will be an important cornerstone toward the ultimate aim of intelligent structures.