Boundary Element Modelling of Concrete Gravity Dams Under Seismic Loading with Applications 

Eliomar Delgado works at the Electricity Industry Research Laboratory in Venezuela

The PhD viva of Eliomar Delgado took place recently at Wessex Institute of Technology. His thesis, “Boundary Element Modelling of Concrete Gravity Dams Under Seismic Loading with Applications”, dealt with problems of practical importance for his employers at the Electricity Industry Research Laboratory of Venezuela.

Eliomar’s work described the formulation and numerical implementation of a procedure based on the boundary element method for the dynamic analyses of dam-water-foundation systems. The technique was developed to improve the reliability for the seismic design and safety evaluation of concrete gravity dams, both in Venezuela

A number of important factors were studied, which influence the earthquake response of concrete dams. The approach included an accurate representation of the dam, the flexible supporting foundation, the fluid in the reservoir and the sediments at the bottom. The multiple dynamic interactions among the different media were represented appropriately. Of particular significance in Eliomar’s work, was the representation of the travelling wave effects in all the domains and the accurate modelling of the topography of the site.

The technique developed by Eliomar has been validated and proved to give reliable results. It has resulted in a robust method, which has now been applied to study different types of existing gravity dams.

Eliomar’s thesis examiner was Dr Jon Trevelyan, Lecturer at the School of Engineering of Durham University. Before taking his academic position Jon was trained as a boundary element expert at Wessex Institute of Technology and worked for several years at the Computational Mechanics Inc office in Boston. He is the author of a well known book on the topic “Boundary Elements for Engineers”, WIT Press, 1994, ISBN: 1853122793; 1562522035.