Author: Dr Jie Wang
A soundbite by Dr Jie Wang, Lecturer in Structural Engineering Design from the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering.
Her research involves optimising the design of thin-walled steel structures, which addresses the pressing issue of high level of material wastage in the construction industry.
To make this happen, Jie has been working closely with the Additive Manufacturing team at our Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as fellows from Imperial College London.
Discover how her work has optimised materials use and facilitated the application of 3D printing technology among Civil Engineers:
My name is Jie Wang. I'm a Lecturer of Structural Engineering Design in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering. My research mainly focuses on the design of thin-walled steel structures.
As we all know, the world is facing the challenge of ecological and resource crisis, and steel consumption in the construction sector accounts for the highest share of the total finished steel demand in Europe. Steel construction nowadays is still not achieving its best performance because of the limitation of our traditional manufacturing method, where only prismatic members can be produced and the shape is not optimised for its function, resulting in significant waste of materials.
My research aims at developing a comprehensive understanding of structural steels and utilising new 3D printing technology to achieve efficient design. Basically it means using the least materials to realise the function of the structure. The 3D printing technology is there, but the designers and civil engineers are not confident in using it, because the technology still needs to be developed further to aim at civil engineering design.
Now the technology mainly lies in the mechanical engineering sector. My research will provide confidence to structural engineers and promote the use of the 3D printing technology in construction. And also, the associated design guidance will also be an important output from the research.
Seeing my work being directly implemented in Eurocodes, which can be used by thousands of designers and civil engineers in the world is really exciting. Also, making my small contribution to push forward even just a little bit of material saving in the construction industry is very rewarding.