Prof Santiago Hernández from University of La Coruna, Spain visited WIT to present a short course entitled Cable Supported Bridges: Design, Analysis and Construction.

Cable supported bridges is the common denomination for suspension and cable stayed bridges. They are one of the most challenging bridge typologies and constitute a main topic in structural engineering. They are able to span long distances and therefore are commonly used to overcome difficult crossings.

Many landmark bridges belong to this kind of structure and the finest bridge designers, present and past, have been involved in projects related to them.

This course contained a comprehensive survey of the history of cable supported bridges, the state of the art of the conceptual design of each major component of the bridge.

Over a period of three days lectures were presented on the following topics:

  • Historical evolution: Suspension bridges.
  • Historical evolution: Cable-stayed bridges.
  • Types of cross-section.
  • Towers and Pylons.
  • Cables.
  • Anchorages and connections.
  • Construction of suspension bridges.
  • Construction of cable-stayed bridges.
  • Structural model.
  • Wind loads and effects.
  • Computational aeroelasticity.
  • Future prospects.

It also presented the current methodologies for dynamic and aeroelastic analysis of this type of bridge and multidisciplinary approaches combining structural analysis, design optimization and advanced computer graphics were described in the course.

Common construction methods were explained and a set of videotapes showing the erection of important bridges such as Akashi, Tatara, Kurushima, Ting-Kau or Yongjong bridges were incorporated in the lectures.

The course enabled the participants to:

  • Obtain a general knowledge about the historical evolution of cable supported bridges.
  • Be aware of the current trends in the design of towers, pylons, deck, cable systems or anchorages for this type of bridge.
  • Have an overview of the common construction procedures, with emphasis in specific techniques used in important bridges such as Akashi, Tatara, Kurushima or Ting Kau bridges.
  • Estimate the comparative efficiency of different structural models elaborated for these structures.
  • Understand the wind loads and effects in cable supported bridges, the set of instabilities induced by wind forces, and the different approaches to carry out aeroelastic studies.
  • Obtain information about several ambitious crossings projected for a near future in Europe and Asia.

Professor Santiago Hernández is a Professor of Bridge Engineering at the University of La Coruña in Spain and a member of the Academic Board at WIT. He was a visiting researcher in 1984 at the University of Southampton (UK) and in 1989 at the University of California in Santa Barbara (USA). He is in charge of the aerodynamic wind tunnel of the University of La Coruña.

Professor Hernández has been involved since 1990 in the design of cable stayed and suspension bridges and has written numerous papers on that topic. He has been deeply involved in the competition for the construction of the world record bridge with a main span of 3300m over the Messina Strait in Italy. He has set up a pioneering approach for the innovative design of ultra long span bridges by linking aeroelastic analysis, optimisation techniques and computer animations.