Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Institute of Engineering (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 5201-5210
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Recent infrastructure development in Mexico has involved the construction of sensible-wind structures, as is the case of cable-stayed bridges, commemorative monuments and tall buildings. Many of these structures have required wind tunnel tests that have been carried out abroad because of the lack of competitive laboratories in the country to carry out such tests. Also, because of the scarcity of meteorological stations, which are only used for environmental purposes, most of these studies lack the full wind information needed to provide input to laboratory tests or wind risk studies. This situation emphasizes the need of investment in laboratories, wind stations, and the training of human resources specialized in wind engineering. With the aim of achieving these goals, a group of researchers at the Institute of Engineering of the National University of Mexico, IIUNAM, has been working in three specific areas: design of a new wind tunnel, monitoring of wind velocities in special bridge structures and teaching/training of human resources.
Regarding the wind tunnel design, since 2007 a new wind tunnel project for the IIUNAM was developed. Its fundamental purpose will be to develop basic and applied research, mainly oriented to the solution of problems of national interest. The new facility will exceed the capabilities of the old wind tunnel and will provide a field of experimentation and learning for students and researchers; also the facility will be used to run most of the wind tunnel test of structures that are nowadays carried abroad, and will benefit areas such as civil, environmental and aeronautical engineering, architecture and meteorology, among others.
With respect to wind stations, as part of a recent very ample program with health monitoring purposes, several main bridges in our national highway network will be instrumented with different kind of sensors, including anemometers. Wind records will be recorded continuously in at least one location of each bridge. In this way we will increase the number of wind stations along the country, information which not only will be useful for monitoring bridge responses but also for meteorological purposes.
On the other hand, a new didactic tool, for teaching and computing is being developed and will be used at the Graduate School of Engineering. This tool will be provided to students of a new wind engineering course; it is developed in Excel and illustrates the concepts of atmospheric turbulence in terms of power spectral density functions and turbulence intensities. It also illustrates how records of turbulent wind forces are generated, and depicts the response when those forces are applied to single degree of freedom systems. The wind-induced response of the single degree of freedom systems under the simulated records of turbulent wind forces are presented graphically for easy reference.
The main objective of this paper is to provide an extensive description of the tasks described above, emphasizing the impact of these activities on the education.