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SOM Partners with Lancaster University on Net Structures Research


Gridshell and cable net structures are impressive-looking features in many prominent civic buildings, including NYCís Moynihan Train Hall. Aside from their visual prominence, they also have many important structural properties, such as being lightweight as well as material and energy-efficient.

To pursue new design applications for gridshell roofs and net structures, SOM is collaborating with Lancaster Universityís Dr Bernd Schulze, Reader in Pure Mathematics, on a 12-month research project. Funded by the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, the project will involve applying mathematical methods from Geometric Rigidity Theory and Graphic Statics to help develop new design tools.

SOMís William Baker, Cameron Millar and Toby Mitchell will work with Dr Schulze to explore how the engineering of these structures can be more sustainable. The project will also see a workshop held to encourage knowledge exchange between mathematicians, applied scientists and industry professionals

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