Eugenio Oñate, director of CIMNE, has been recently interviewed by Espazio, Indexed magazine of textile architecture, tensile structures and tents at its section "Events". CIMNE is co-organizer, jointly with the Technical University of Munich and TAO GmbH, of the international conference Structural Membranes 2017.
Structural Membranes is a specialized conference with an emphasis on presenting the state of the art on computational methods for analysis of tensile and inflatable structures for a variety of applications in engineering and architecture. As such Structural Membranes is complementary to other conferences in the field, being the only conference that blends the world of tensile structures and inflatable structures at academic and practical levels.
The objectives of Structural Membranes 2017, as Eugenio Oñate explains in the interview, are to collect and disseminate advanced research and technology for design, analysis, construction and maintenance of textile and inflatable structures. The conference, that will take place in Munich from 9th to 11th October, 2017, will address both the theoretical bases for structural analysis and the numerical algorithms necessary for efficient and robust computer implementation. A significant part of the conference will be devoted to discuss advances in new textile composites for applications in membrane and inflatable structures, as well as in innovative design, construction and maintenance procedures.
CIMNE has a long standing experience in the development of numerical methods for analysis and design of membrane-type structures for a variety of applications. Researchers at CIMNE have developed innovative finite element methods for analysis of shell and membrane structures under static and dynamic loads. Among those we note the 3-noded rotation-free shell triangular element that allows the analysis of thin shell and membranes using displacement degrees of freedom only as nodal variables. The first version of this finite element was published in 2000 (Oñate E. and Zárate F., Rotation-free triangular plate and shell elements, Int. Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Vol. 47, pp. 557-603, 2000). Since that date, the 3-noded rotation-free shell triangle has evolved to become a reference for finite element analysis of shells and tensile structures.
Since 2011, CIMNE Tecnología participates in the company BuildAir, emerged after the successful experience of a group of CIMNE and UPC researchers in designing and building an inflatable pavilion that was set at the European Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering and Applied Sciences held at the World Trade Center in Barcelona on September 2000. This pavilion was an out-put of the research project INFLAST sponsored by the European Commission and coordinated by CIMNE. In this project CIMNE was the responsible for the design of a new generation of inflatable structures for ground applications.