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"Instabilities in structural membranes" Marie Curie PhD position @ University of Trento (Italy)

Francesco Dal Corso's picture

1 PhD position (36 months) within the EID-ITN Marie Curie project LIGHTEN, funded by European Union, is available at the University of Trento (Italy).
The student will be supervised by my colleague Diego Misseroni and myself (Francesco Dal Corso), and two engineers at the English company Tensys (where the student will spend 18 months). If you are interested, please read the below description and the attached announcement before to apply.

PhD subject: Instabilities in structural membranes under extreme conditions 

Dates: starting from May 2021, 36 months duration with secondment periods in UK (18 Months) and Germany (2 Months) 

Research Supervisors: Prof. Francesco Dal Corso (UNITN), Prof. Diego Misseroni (UNITN), Dr. David Wakefield (Tensys), Eng. Adam Bown (Tensys) 

Objective: Failure in building skins and highly deformable structural elements results from subsequent material instabilities and from the loss of stability due to changes in geometric or loading conditions caused by extreme events. As such instabilities affect the structural safety and resilience, unveiling their governing mechanisms is essential for the design of lightweight membrane structures. The aim of this research is to disclose the failure mechanisms of ductile materials and soft systems through the analysis of material and structural instabilities. Although strain localization and necking as material instabilities have been studied for the process of metal forming, the equivalent analysis for polymeric thin sheets has never been developed and it is crucial for the rational understanding of the processes leading to failure. Mechanical models for material instabilities occurring in structural membranes will be developed. Snap-through instabilities of inflated membranes will be experimentally studied, thus highlighting multi-stable structural configurations [at UNITN for 16 months]. Through this analysis, the critical conditions that trigger instabilities of inflated cushions in facades of lightweight buildings will be revealed, especially under severe environmental events caused by climate changes, as the tempest and high wind loads. Wrinkling, another structural instability that likely develops in thin films in response of heatwaves or long-term viscous effects (creep, relaxation), will be numerically modelled and analysed in the context of real design cases [at Tensys-UK for 18 months]. The PhD student will also investigate the ponding stability of tensioned structures and will define safety factors associated with it [at SBP-Germany for 2 months]. Through the offered training, the young researcher will become a world-leader in the theoretical and applied analysis of structural and material instabilities that occur in thin films and lightweight structures. 

Application deadline: January 18, Italian noon, 2021 

Please, read the attached pdf announcement and follow the instructions therein to apply.

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