El puente de Hradecky, en Liubliana (Eslovenia)

Puente de Hradeck, en Liubliana (Eslovenia). Imagen: V. Yepes (2018)

Con motivo de la Conferencia Internacional HPSM/OPTI 2018, que tuvo lugar en Liubliana (Eslovenia), tuve la oportunidad de visitar la ciudad y sus puentes. Me llamó la atención el puente de Hradeck.

Se trata de uno de los pocos puentes de hierro fundido que sobrevive en Europa. El primer puente de este tipo, el de Coalbrookdale (Inglaterra), se construyó entre 1777 y 1779. Este puente, construido después, se inauguró el 18 de octubre de 1867, aunque a lo largo de los años se ha cambiado hasta dos veces de su posición original. Este puente, que sustituyó al antiguo Puente de Zapatero de madera, presenta una longitud total de 30,8 m y un ancho de 6,42 m. Su proyectista fue Johann Hermann. El puente está compuesto de elementos prefabricados de perfil triangular, que se transportaron a Liubliana y se conectaron en obra con tornillos. En el año 2011 se trasladó el puente a su ubicación actual, siendo su uso actual sólo para peatones y ciclistas.

Os dejo un vídeo sobre el puente, que espero que os guste.


Necrológica: Ha fallecido el Profesor Carlos A. Brebbia

Carlos A. Brebbia (1948-2018)

Tengo que hacerme eco del fallecimiento del profesor Carlos A. Brebbia (1948-2018), hecho acaecido el pasado sábado 3 de marzo de 2018. Tuve la oportunidad de coincidir con él en varios congresos donde me invitó a formar parte del Comité Científico, como el “International Conference on High Performance and Optimum Design of Structures and Materials HPSM/OPTI“, organizados por Wessex Institute. Junto con el Profesor Santiago Hernández y los profesores Kravanja y De Wilde, formaban parte de la presidencia de estos congresos. Os dejo a continuación un breve obituario sobre su persona. Descanse en paz.

Carlos was born in Rosario, Argentina, where he completed his first engineering degree, after being educated at Military Colleges in Santa Fe and Buenos Aires. He spent two years after graduation as part of a small team setting up an Institute of Applied Mechanics. Following this he registered at the University of Southampton in England for a higher degree, arranging to carry out his research partly at MIT.  This experience set up the basis for his long and close association with the USA.

After obtaining his PhD at Southampton University he worked for the Central Electricity Research Laboratories in the UK, a leading research establishment at the time. He left the Laboratories to take up an academic position at the University of Southampton where he rose from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer and Reader. During his time at Southampton he took leave to become Visiting Professor at many other Universities, including an academic year at Princeton. After having been appointed Full Professor of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, he decided to resign his position and return to the UK to set up the Wessex Institute, of which he was the Founder and Director.

Carlos is renowned throughout the world as the originator of the Boundary Element Method, a technique that generates important research work at the Wessex Institute. He has written many scientific papers, been author of 14 books, co-author of numerous volumes and editor or co-editor of over 500. He also published two non-scientific books, “The New Forest. A Personal View” and “Patagonia, a forgotten Land”.  A book on the Paraguayan War in the 19th Century was a work in progress at the time of his death.

He founded several successful international Journals including the International Journals of Safety and Security, Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Sustainable Development and Planning, Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements, Energy Production and Management, Heritage Architecture, Transport Development and Integration, and the new International Journal of Environmental Impacts.

He established two International prizes, the highly regarded Prigogine Medal for Ecological Systems Research, co-sponsored by the University of Siena; and the George Green Medal, supported by Elsevier and co-sponsored by the University of Mississippi.

Carlos ran a successful WIT programme of international scientific conferences in different locations throughout the world. He helped the Institute to develop academic links with first class institutions around the world, which has resulted in many more research programmes and collaborative projects.

Carlos held many special honours, including the Medaille de la Ville de Paris, Echelon Argent; Medaille of the Masonnet Foundation, University of Liege, Belgium; Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the UK; Fellow, and Founding President of the American Society of Civil Engineers UK Chapter; Honorary PhD at the University of Bucharest; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts;and Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

In parallel with his academic career, Carlos was a highly successful entrepreneur and founded the Computational Mechanics International Ltd group of companies in 1976. This group’s activities have grown to include software development, engineering consultancy, property investment and publishing. The group works closely with WIT and is responsible for the publishing programme of the Institute which includes, in addition to the conference proceedings, a series of monographs and edited books by some of the foremost scientists in the world.

Whilst we grieve the enormous loss of our Founder and Chairman, whose hard work, determination and achievements during his career are truly inspirational, we know that his earnest desire was for all that he has worked tirelessly to build over many years, to continue to flourish. To this we are firmly committed and so we welcome the continued and future collaboration of our friends and colleagues around the world.

Carlos is survived by his wife, Carolyn, his son Alexander and daughter Isabel, and six grandchildren.

International Conference on High Performance and Optimum Design of Structures and Materials HPSM-OPTI 2018

The use of novel materials and new structural concepts nowadays is not restricted to highly technical areas like aerospace, aeronautical applications or the automotive industry, but affects all engineering fields including those such as civil engineering and architecture.

The conference addresses issues involving advanced types of structures, particularly those based on new concepts or new materials and their system design. Contributions will highlight the latest development in design, optimisation, manufacturing and experimentation in those areas. The meeting also aims to search for higher performance sustainable materials.

Most high performance structures require the development of a generation of new materials, which can more easily resist a range of external stimuli or react in a non-conventional manner. Particular emphasis will be placed on intelligent structures and materials as well as the application of computational methods for their modelling, control and management.

The conference also addresses the topic of design optimisation. Contributions on numerical methods and different optimisation techniques are also welcome, as well as papers on new software. Optimisation problems of interest to the meeting involve those related to size, shape and topology of structures and materials. Optimisation techniques have much to offer to those involved in the design of new industrial products.

The development of new algorithms and the appearance of powerful commercial computer codes with easy to use graphical interfaces has created a fertile field for the incorporation of optimisation in the design process in all engineering disciplines.

This scientific event is a new edition of the High Performance Design of Structures and Materials conference and follows the success of a number of meetings on structures and materials and on optimum design that originated in Southampton as long ago as 1989. As the meetings evolved they gave rise to the current series, which started in Seville in 2002, and followed by Ancona in 2004, Ostend in 2006, the Algarve in 2008, Tallinn in 2010, the New Forest, home of the Wessex Institute in 2012, Ostend in 2014 and Siena in 2016.

The meeting will provide a friendly and useful forum for the interchange of ideas and interaction amongst researchers, designers and scholars in the community to share advances in High Performance and Optimum Design of Structures and Materials.

More information: http://www.wessex.ac.uk/conferences/2018/hpsm-opti-2018

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