Computer analysis of large civil engineering structures

  • K.H.M. Bray

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The finite element method is now well established among engineers as being an extremely useful tool in the analysis of problems with complicated boundary conditions. One aim of this thesis has been to produce a set of computer algorithms capable of efficiently analysing complex three dimensional structures.
This set of algorithms has been designed to permit much versatility. Provisions such as the use of only those parts of the system which are relevant to a given analysis and the facility to extend the system by the addition of new elements are incorporate. Five element types have been programmed, these are, prismatic members, rectangular plates, triangular plates and curved plates.
The 'in and out of plane' stiffness matrices for a curved plate element are derived using the finite element technique. The performance of this type of element is compared with two other theoretical solutions as well as with a set of independent experimental observations. Additional experimental work was then carried out by the author to further evaluate the acceptability of this element.
Finally the analysis of two large civil engineering structures, the shell of an electrical precipitator and a concrete bridge, are presented to investigate the performance of the algorithms. Comparisons are made between the computer time, core store requirements and the accuracy of the analysis, for the proposed system and those of another program.
Date of AwardApr 1973
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorK.I. Majid (Supervisor)


  • Computer analysis
  • large civil engineering structures

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