Structural Dynamics Research Facilities

Facilities for structural dynamics research include:

Structural Dynamics Laboratory

Our main testing lab uses a range of servo-hydraulic actuators which can be mounted on re-configurable test frames. Brief specification:

  • A dedicated hydraulic power-pack and ring-main serving the laboratory, comprising of three motors, five large accumulators in series and two sub-stations
  • Six Instron servo-hydraulic actuators (two of 250 kN capacity, two 100 kN and two 10 kN) with strokes of 125 mm
  • Instron 8800 controller with RS Plus control software
  • Microstar DAP system for real-time control
  • Data Translation 32 channel data acquisition system
  • A range of transducers (accelerometers, LVDTs, load cells)
  • A 7.5 m x 3.5 m strong floor
  • 2 tonne overhead crane with 3.5 m clearance

A new facility under development will use Oswald linear electric motors to provide dynamic excitations.

Field Testing

We have extensive experience in the field testing of bridges and building floors. Equipment available:

  • Rotating mass shaker
  • Dytran instrumented impact hammer
  • Force plates for measuring the input force time history due to a heeldrop
  • A wide range of accelerometers
  • Advantest R9211C spectrum analyser


Numerical work is mostly PC-based, though access to more powerful computation is possible. Structural analysis is performed using Sap2000, Drain2DX and Abaqus. Much of our work uses purpose-written software developed using C, Matlab and Simulink.