Dynamics and Control

Detail from the Blade laboratory

The research group ethos involves the development of advanced analytical techniques in combination with numerical simulations and a strong element of experimental testing. The group has a variety of projects funded by the EPSRC and the European Commission, as well as projects with collaboration and funding from industry. Laboratory facilities were established in 2004 as part of BLADE, (Bristol Laboratory For Advanced Dynamics Engineering) including state-of-the-art dynamic testing capabilities.

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

Engineering Dynamics

Engineering Dynamics research spans a wide range of activities and applications. Large structures, bridges, machines, and aircraft all have dynamical properties which need to be modelled, measured and designed for. Our research activity is focused on the dynamic behaviour of these systems - particularly those with significant nonlinearity. The group hosts the University Technology Centre with AgustaWestland, and has a range of other industrial projects. The following topics are major themes of research:

  • Aircraft dynamics
  • Earthquake engineering
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Modal testing
  • Smart structures
  • Structural integrity

Control Engineering

Control Engineering research includes expertise in a wide range of topics. Recent collaborative work includes projects with the University of Bath on the energy-efficient adaptive control of servohydraulic systems, and on the adaptive control of the University of Bristol shaking-table. Current work with industry includes projects with Zwick Controllers Ltd, on the adaptive control of servohydraulic testing machines, and with BAE Systems on adaptive navigation in uncertain urban environments. Topics of research interest include:

  • Model predictive control
  • adaptive control
  • distributed control
  • unmanned aerial vehicle
  • autonomous systems
  • real-time dynamic substructuring
  • aircraft stability and control

Fluid Dynamics

The Fluid Dynamics research group has research expertise in a range computational and experimental fluid dynamics topics. A particular focus in recent years has been unsteady flows, and their interaction with engineering structures. Work is also been carried out on the dynamics and control of bubbling fluidised beds. The group have collaborative contracts with all major UK aerospace companies, and collaborative links with many international research institutes.  Please visit the link for further information on the Fluid and Aerodynamics group.

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Contacts and further information