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Symposium 4

Structures in Challenging Environments: Dynamics, Controls, Smart Structures, Health Monitoring, and Sensors

Co-Chairs: Wei Zhang, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos, Ph.D., University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL; and Gangbing Song, Ph.D., University of Houston, Houston, TX

The technical areas of dynamics, controls, and evaluation and condition monitoring of engineering structures and systems, specially designed and built to operate in challenging environments on Earth and in space, are of extreme importance. Integration of sensors into structural and material systems enables more effective and precisely tuned performance, as well as remote evaluation and control of space and terrestrial structures systems. The design and analysis of structures in challenging environments on any planetary body need special care beyond current terrestrial practice. Space environments – on planetary surfaces or in orbit – expose systems to radiation, micro/reduced gravity, vacuum, debris/meteoroid impact, and temperature extremes. Overcoming these significant challenges is imperative to the success of any structure in space and in extreme and challenging environments on Earth. In addition, educators face challenges in using emerging technology to improve the education of the engineers of the future

Special Session Topics

Title of Special Session: Tensegrity – Concepts and Applications in Challenging Environments

Session Organizers: Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos, Ph.D., University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL; and Ju Hong Park, Ph.D., POSTECH, Pohang, Korea

Tensegrity systems are reticulated structures composed of tension and compression members in a stable self-equilibrium. They are materially efficient form-found systems that provide the possibility of designing strong yet lightweight structures as well as integrating sensors and actuators that enable structural or shape adjustments according to environmental or functional requirements. Tensegrity structures are thus excellent candidates for structures in challenging environments. In this session, topics such as physical or numerical form-finding methods, physical or virtual experiments of robotic systems and active structures, control algorithms and AI developments, smart design and fabrication systems, are of special interest.

Structures Under Extreme Environments: Theory and Applications

Session Organizers: Wei Zhang, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; and Dong-Ho Choi, Ph.D., Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea

In the challenging environments, such as high wind and ocean waves for coastal infrastructures, it is necessary to design structures to respond automatically and actively to these hazardous elements that could interact actively or passively with structures. This special session deals with topics related to new and advanced concept, methods and applications on structures subjected to wind/wave hazards to improve infrastructure resilience including, but not limited to the following: wind/wave & structure interactions related vibration control and mitigation; fatigue and fracture; and structural resiliency.

Specialized Sensors-based Structural Damage Detection and Health Monitoring

Session Organizers: Gangbing Song, Ph.D. University of Houston Houston, TX; and Ramesh B. Malla, Ph.D., F. ASCE, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

For durability, safety, efficient operation and functioning of structures, effective health monitoring, damage detection, and vibration control measures are necessary. This is more important for structures built to operate in harsh and hazardous environments. Special sessions are proposed that focus on (1) Piezoceramic based structural damage detection, and (2) Fiber optic sensor based structural health monitoring.

Advanced Concepts on Renewable and Green Energy Harvesting

Session Organizer: Ramesh B. Malla, Ph.D., F. ASCE, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

To meet ever-increasing demand of energy consumption worldwide in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner, various renewable energy sources have been investigated and some already successfully used to generate electricity. This session deals with new innovative structural systems, concepts, methodologies, and their applications of harvesting green and renewable energy from wind, ocean waves, vibrations, and other sources.

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