University of Exeter PhD student Nimmy Abraham will be using the VSimulator and Exeter Bridge facilities at Exeter Science Park to explore the vibration comfort of a person walking, bobbing and jumping on a vibrating structure.
This study concentrates on active rather than the more frequently researched passive (i.e. sitting or standing) humans, as it aims to establish which vibration amplitudes can be sensed and which are considered tolerable by moving people. Nimmy is conducting her research under the supervision of Prof Stana Zivanovic and Dr Genevieve Williams.
As well as the vibration factors, the study will investigate the additional influence of visual stimulus and psychological factors on the human experience of the vibrating structure.
Nimmy said: “A particularly exciting part will be the use of VSimulators to simulate vibro-visual effects from as-built structures and collect both subjective and objective parameters of human experience of the structure.”
To validate findings from VSimulators, Nimmy will use the Exeter bridge, a lightweight and extremely lively (see the video below) glass fibre-reinforced-polymer structure.
Prof Stana Zivanovic said: “At Exeter, we are lucky to have a diverse range of expertise, ranging from structural via human dynamics to psychology, as well as state-of-the-art experimental facilities, which make studies such as this possible.”
Dr Genevieve Williams said: “Understanding the experience of the person, as well as quantifying changes in the forces and movement patterns they create in response to moving structures is fascinating from a motor control perspective.”