Dynamics and Control

The Dynamics and Control Research Group focuses on capturing, understanding, and controlling the dynamic behaviour of structures and systems. Through fundamental developments in analytical and numerical methods and in experimental testing techniques, the Group provides tools to model and optimise the dynamic behaviour of structures. Experimental testing is conducted in the state-of-the-art BLADE, (Bristol Laboratory For Advanced Dynamics Engineering) facilities.

The group has a variety of projects funded by the EPSRC and other funding bodies, as well as projects with collaboration and funding from industry.

The Group’s research activities span fundamental engineering science, where new insights are developed and experimentally tested, to applied research. These activities are split into four overlapping themes:

Nonlinear dynamics

The Group is developing and applying new analysis tools for understanding the complex dynamic behaviour exhibited by nonlinear structures.  In addition to giving new insights into the mechanisms behind these complex behaviours, this work is allowing system identification methods to be developed allowing models to be refined and validated using experimental data.

Vibration suppression

The work in this area involves developing vibration suppression devices for a range of applications including suspension systems and building dynamics. The use of inerters, which generate a force proportional to a relative acceleration within suppression devices, is being investigated.  This work has, for example, led to the proposal of a tuned-inerter-damper to overcome some of the limitations of the commonly used tuned-mass-damper. In addition novel damping devices are being developed.

Experimental testing

In addition to validating new theoretical insights made by the Group, there is also development of new experimental testing methods. These techniques include developing real-time dynamic substructuring (or hybrid testing), a method for testing part of a structure experimentally and the remainder numerically and novel modal testing methods.


Control research centres around automotive and aircraft dynamics and control for advanced dynamics testing. Techniques employed include model predictive, H-infinity, adaptive control strategies and work is also conducted on distributed control setups.


A further major activity within the group, and in collaboration with the Fluids and Aerodynamics Group, is aeroelasticity, where the interaction between the aerodynamic loads on an aircraft and structural deflections are considered.

About the group

The dynamics and control research activity is concerned with research problems relating to modelling, simulation and control of civil, mechanical and aerospace engineering systems.