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H2020-MSCA-IF-2018: Researcher needed for the development of novel methodologies for analysis and design of steel and timber joints




A research group of a university located in the North of Spain seeks a researcher to be candidate for HORIZON 2020 MSCA / Individual Fellowships (H2020-MSCA-IF-2018). She/he will be asked to prepare a proposal aimed at developing a novel methodology for analysis of 2D joints based on advanced computational techniques and metamodels, which will exceed the accuracy and reliability of both the component and semi-empirical methods currently in use.


The research group related to automated analysis and design of structures at a Spanish university focuses its research on the development of design, analysis and prototyping methods for building structures. The main activity consists of the development of new design techniques for structural analysis, including joints.

The team has an extensive experience in the area: they have proposed design methods for structures, developed calculation and finite element models for structural joints, and carried out numerous experimental programs in joints and other structural elements. They also work on the development of computational methods for structural analysis, mainly in 3D web applications. Several of the team members also collaborate in the development of European structural regulations, Eurocode 3 (design of steel structures) and 5 (design of timber structures).

The analysis and design of steel and timber joints (simple, rigid and semi-rigid) constitute an essential aspect of the global design of these types of structures. Their characterization is currently based on the component method and/or semi-empirical methods.

As a consequence of the previous research carried out in the research group, it has been found that the component method has serious limitations when modelling 3D and complex 2D joints, since it does not capture the interactions among the individual components. On the other hand, the semi-empirical methods lack both generality and accuracy.

The technology based on advanced metamodels and databases will result in an entirely new way of modeling steel and timber connections. It is envisioned that this new technique will be much more general, reliable and accurate than the currently available component and semi-empirical methods.

The objectives of this research project can be summarized as follows:

- Develop advanced finite elements based on deformation modes and specialized extrapolations algorithms that will allow the complete characterization (stiffness and resistance) of 2D joints without the need for the component or semi-empirical methods: metamodels. These metamodels can be added to structural analysis programs in a direct way thus facilitating the work of the designer.

- Offer the structural profession a much more efficient and sustainable way of designing these joints.

The research group is looking for a PhD (or equivalent) researcher interested in participating in these activities development.

Official deadline for the call: 12 September 2018
Deadline for expressions of interest: 15 June 2018
Anticipated duration of the project: One or two years.

Partner expertise sought:

- Specific area of activity of the partner: - Type of partner sought:
Researcher with a PhD degree or equivalent research experience in the field of the project. She/he should not have resided of carried out the main activity in Spain for more than 12 months in the last 3 years before the 12th of September of 2018.

- Specific area of activity of the partner:
Design techniques for structural analysis, including joints.

- Task to be performed:
Develop the activities of the research project for 1-2 years.

- EU / International project experience:
Desired but not compulsory.

Development Stage:

Proposal under development

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