2022 - Finacial support to a relevant PhD project within concrete construction

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2022 – Grant for the best MSc theses within sustainable concrete construction

The Family Thomas Foundation (Familjen Thomas forskningsstiftelse) is a foundation with the aim to fund research on sustainable concrete construction as the overarching theme. We will give a grant for the best MSc thesis in any of the following two categories, first one focusing on design and second on material level:

 

  1. Smart, resource-efficient design solutions which increase the competitiveness of concrete from a sustainability perspective
  2. Resource-efficient concrete that reduces the concrete's climate footprint, including alternative binders and proportioning to reduce binder or clinker

 

THE WINNING THESIS 2022

We congratulate the authors of the thesis that has won a grant of 50 000 SEK!

Optimization of Cable Placement in Post-Tensioned Continuous Concrete Bridges
Development of Guidelines using Genetic Algorithms to Reduce Cost and Environmental Impact

⇒ Master’s Thesis in Master Program Structural Engineering and Building Technology
⇒ Authors: William Mjörnestål, Benjamin Pettersson
⇒ Examiner: Professor/Head of Division Mario Plos, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Concrete Structures
⇒ Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY Master’s Thesis ACEX30

Gothenburg, Sweden 2022

Abstract
Design of prestressed concrete bridges is a complex and iterative process and have a lot of influencing factors to consider and requirements to fulfil. Even though some attempts at recommendations, engineering practices and software exists, either computation time, efficiency in design or availability may be an issue. As there is a desire in the industry to find more cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions, a need for simple and efficient guidelines in bridge design exists. The aim of this study was to compile general guidelines that can be applied to a varying set of continuous post-tensioned bridges to minimize the cost and environmental impact. The guidelines have been generated from optimization of a bridge beam with varying span length using a genetic algorithm solver. For the structural analyses, a finite element solver was implemented into the optimization script.


When comparing bridges designed with both the proposed guidelines and the conventional solution, load balancing, it was found that significant improvements in cost and notable reductions in global warming potential (GWP) could be achieved with the guidelines. On average, the cost was reduced by almost 7% and the GWP by 5%for the examined cross-section. Other sections were also tested and similar trends could be observed though it was noted that the improvements were considerably smaller for bridges with a slightly wider section. A case study of the road bridge, Halvors länk, showed again that the guidelines were able to reduce the cost by 5%. Due to constraints in cross-section geometry, greater improvements could not be achieved. However, reductions of 11% in prestressing steel amount were obtained for both the original cross-section and the case study, suggesting a more efficient layout.


The study also showed that the use of genetic algorithms can be beneficial in structural design. Implementation of genetic algorithms could, however, increase the computational effort to unreasonable levels depending on the complexity of the problem. Therefore, it could be recommended to compile guidelines from the results of several optimizations utilizing genetic algorithms to be used for more generic problems. With this method, results like that of the genetic algorithm optimization could be achieved but the need for long computations is reduced.

2021 - Grant for the best MSc theses within sustainable concrete construction

for The Family Thomas Foundation (Familjen Thomas forskningsstiftelse) is a recently started foundation with the aim to fund research on Sustainable concrete construction as the overarching theme.

We would like to thank you all for submitting the MSc thesis!

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS 2021!

We congratulate the authors of the three theses that each has won a grant of 50 000 SEK! 

 

Rune Malthe Knudsen & Anne Sofie Hyldtoft Olsen
”An experimental study of changes of microstructure of cement based materials with fly ash on chloride ingress”, DTU Lyngby

 

Jørgen Klokkervold & Lauritz Aure
”Integrated structural strength calculations and optimization of CO2 emission for flat slabs with different reinforcement solutions”, NTNU Trondheim

 

Nemir Chaudhry & David Bohman
“Enhanced 3D strut-and-tie method for design of discontinuity regions”, Chalmers Göteborg

 

 

The grants were given for the best MSc theses in two categories:

  1. Smart, resource-efficient design solutionswhich increase the competitiveness of concrete from a sustainability perspective
  2. Resource-efficient concretethat reduces the concrete's climate footprint, including alternative binders and proportioning to reduce binder or clinker