Monday, 12 June 2017

Hello everyone,

It's quite a long time I don't write anything...but you know a PhD student life is much busier than I was expecting.

I hope you are having a nice beginning of summer...actually I'm doing my secondment in Dublin and unfortunately I start thinking that here summer will never arrive :P

So quite a lot of things happened since the last blog post...starting from the most recent one we had a workshop in Lloyd's Register in London, it was only two days but very intense. We had the chance to listen to very interesting presentation and to do that in an absolutely amazing location. I made my first poster (that I have to admit was quite good looking :)) and on the second day we had our usual presentation and panel meeting. I don't know if you can see it from the picture...but I think I'm becoming (slowly) more confident in public speaking...I look almost relaxed!

At the beginning of February I started my secondment at UCD in Dublin, where I will stay until the end of July. It was a big change to pass from a big company to university...I have to say that both of them have positive aspects, It is tough for me to say which working environment I would prefer...fortunately for now I don't have to decide :)
Since I arrive here I started focusing on dynamics, something I never thought I could really like, but actually I was wrong. The first approach was tough for me (especially switching from time domain to frequency domain way of thinking) but I start liking it a lot...sometimes I realize my thoughts are really far from the reality...better late than never, right?!

Future plans? Of course there are...and the next adventure will be an international conference in Slovenia. The conference paper I will present is about location-based dynamic amplification first step towards the 'dynamic world'. There will be a special TRUSS section within the conference so all of us will be there.

So I will keep updated on the response from the conference and on my public speaking skills. Finger cross for my presentation...

See you soon.

Enjoy the nice weather if you can ;)


Monday, 4 July 2016

Hello everybody,

I hope you are enjoying the summer, if there it is J

June was such a nice month, with the TRUSS meeting in Santander and the international conference (ICONHIC2016) I attended in Greece. So in this post I want to tell you a bit about these constructive experiences and with a lot of fun as well ;)

The meeting in Santander was with the other PhD students and some supervisors and professors involved in the TRUSS network. The first day was dedicated to the presentation of our projects. A smaller panel followed that presentations, so that every PhD student had the chance to receive advises and suggestions about the project, main goals to achieve and how to do that. This first day took place in ENSA (Equipos Nucleares S.A.), and we also had the chance to have a tour around and see how they manufacture the NSSS (Nuclear Steam Supply System) components. It was an amazing opportunity, since it does not happen often that you can see steam generators, fuel casks, fuel racks etc. After the hard part of the meeting we deserved some relaxing time…and we had a great one! A boat trip along Santander coast followed by a superb dinner in the city centre J.

The second day was dedicated to a cultural event: the cave of Altamira. Even though the weather was closer to a typical English day than that one could expect from Spain in June, we had great time and a nice lunch all together in the town. That was an opportunity to see new places and make stronger the group connection that I have to say is surprisingly strong after only two meeting…probably also because of these events.

Once I was back to Southampton, I had only a few days before leaving again for the conference in Greece; just in time to prepare the presentation and package my stuff.
The international conference I attended is ICONHIC2016, the 1st International Conference on Natural Hazards & Infrastructure, in Crete, Greece. It dealt with protection, design and rehabilitation of infrastructures regarding extreme events such as earthquakes, extreme wind, tornados etc.

Before going I have to admit that I was quite scared since I was going alone and public speaking is not exactly my favourite activity...but finally it was worth. The sessions were very interesting and I attended also some presentations that I believe could help me in my research project. In addition, I do not know if you have ever been to Crete, but if the answer is 'no' I suggest you to go as soon as possible. The sea, the beaches, the sun, the food...what else? Ah of course also friendly people and the night life!
So yes, June was an exciting month, and now that I am back I will try to make in practice all the suggestions and ideas that came from these experience...I will keep you updated on the results!
See you soon!

Friday, 29 April 2016

Hello everyone,

I have to admit that I was not really good at respecting my 2016 resolution to keep the blog updated…but you know, time flies!

Anyway I’ll try to do better in future.

The first 7 months are gone very fast, and honestly I still don’t realize that. In these months, in addition to get use to a new city, environment and weather (I’ll speak about that in a future post…maybe when I’ll be able to post some ‘spring’ pictures), I’ve carried out literature review mainly on fatigue assessment and structural reliability. How do you say, provide the basis for the following steps?!

This week I have submitted the last of the two reviewing papers I have written for two conferences. The deadlines have been respected; now I have to wait for the response, so finger cross! With these two papers I would say that the state of the art has been left behind; that is, I know that I will deal again and again with literature reviewing, but I like to think that the majority of it is done.

Before pointing out the most interesting aspects found out with this literature review, a picture of a common ship unloader with the name of the elements could be useful to understand what I am speaking about…

Results from recent fatigue assessment carried out showed that a full dynamic analysis would be useful in order to better model the physical behaviour of the structure and to take into account some stresses that have shown to be highly dynamic. Therefore, as soon as the model is built a dynamic analysis will be carried out.

It is interesting to note that the end pins at the front tie members are not free to rotate as they should be, and consequently unexpected bending stresses arise leading to safety problems. This phenomenon will be taken into account in the model with rotatory springs modelling the connections between elements.

So I hope in the next post I’ll be able to show you a bit about this model…

See you soon and for whose of you in UK enjoy the long weekend!


Friday, 29 January 2016

Hello everyone, and welcome on my first blog!

I hope you started this 2016 in the best way. One of my New Year’s resolutions is this Blog…so let’s start with the first post!

Probably a brief introduction would be a good idea to start. Well, my name is Giulia Milana and I’m 27 years old. I am from Italy and in particular from Rome, where I’ve lived almost all my life. Of course my opinion is a little bit partial, but if you have never been there you should definitely go! It’s amazing! =)

I graduated in Civil Engineering from University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ and after that I did my Master in Structural Engineering at the same University. After my studies, I did an Internship with StroNGER, mainly focusing on steel structures and FEM analyses; and at the meantime I was working further on my thesis with my Master’s supervisor in order to research additional aspects that resulted in publishing some papers. I think this period led me to the decision to pursue a PhD program; indeed, I believe it is a great opportunity to deal with challenging aspect of a particular field developing critical thinking and being able to see the big picture. After some research I bumped into this extraordinary opportunity with TRUSS ITN. I applied for the PhD position, and fortunately after a few days a pleasant news came: I was selected as one of the 14 Early Stage Researcher in TRUSS ITN.

TRUSS (Training in Reducing Uncertainty in Structural Safety) is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN). Involving 4 leading Universities and 11 companies from 5 different counties, TRUSS is able to provide an international and multi-disciplinary dimension, giving us the opportunity to thrive in an exciting environment.

My project, ESR6, is entitled ‘Residual life assessment and management of ship unloaders’. During this research project I’m hosted by Lloyd’s Register, at the Global Technology Centre in Southampton, and also a secondment of 6 months at University College of Dublin is planned. This is an exciting project that involves multiple aspects, such as failures, fatigue design assessment and structural reliability for critical steel infrastructure like port’s cranes. I will deal in particular with structural reliability, in order to reduce uncertainties related to more traditional methodologies currently employed to identify residual life of ship unloaders. The Finite Element model of the ship unloader will play a major role in the structural analyses, for this reason different models will be developed, reducing gradually the gap with the real structure. Dealing with existing structure, the first step is to identify the current condition, mainly in terms of loading and environment, and collect all the data from load testing and modal survey. Once this step is completed it is possible to build up the model, analyse the structural behaviour and carry out residual life assessment.

I started this project in September 2015, and during the first months I have conducted mainly a review of the existing literature, to enter the field and understand better the methodologies available. I'm starting to build the model, and I hope I'll be able to give you exciting results soon. I hope you will enjoy my project as much as I do!

See you soon!