Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-14-2021


This thesis investigates the uncertainty in the experimental context of structural dynamics. This thesis proposes a method to estimate both the effect of boundary conditions, as well as two different methods to detect the location of sensors on a specimen. Firstly, this thesis proposes a technique to predict the dynamic behavior of any point along a cantilever beam with an uncertain transverse elastic restraint. Secondly, this thesis investigates the estimation of the location of a sensor given the output data of a physical experiment with two different methods. Small errors in the sensor location may go unnoticed in the frequency domain but can however have an effect in the system identification and generate significant errors in the model accuracy. If these small errors in sensor location could be evaluated and corrected, the experiment could be updated to match the model more accurately. This thesis investigates experimental uncertainties in sensor placement with two separate approaches. One approach investigates the effect of sensor misplacement in the context of modal contributions to find a location error with experimental outputs. The other approach uses a model-matching process similar to a Finite Element Model Update (FEMU) to recognize and estimate a sensor location error. These two methods allow the operator to know if a sensor location should be corrected, and if it should be moved up or down.


Structural Dynamics, Experimental Uncertainties, Finite Elemement Models, Boundary Conditions, Sensor location

Document Type




Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Fernando Moreu

Second Committee Member

John Pott

Third Committee Member

Tang Tat Ng