Date of Thesis



As lightweight and slender structural elements are more frequently used in the design, large scale structures become more flexible and susceptible to excessive vibrations. To ensure the functionality of the structure, dynamic properties of the occupied structure need to be estimated during the design phase. Traditional analysis method models occupants simply as an additional mass; however, research has shown that human occupants could be better modeled as an additional degree-of- freedom. In the United Kingdom, active and passive crowd models are proposed by the Joint Working Group as a result of a series of analytical and experimental research. It is expected that the crowd models would yield a more accurate estimation to the dynamic response of the occupied structure. However, experimental testing recently conducted through a graduate student project at Bucknell University indicated that the proposed passive crowd model might be inaccurate in representing the impact on the structure from the occupants. The objective of this study is to provide an assessment of the validity of the crowd models proposed by JWG through comparing the dynamic properties obtained from experimental testing data and analytical modeling results. The experimental data used in this study was collected by Firman in 2010. The analytical results were obtained by performing a time-history analysis on a finite element model of the occupied structure. The crowd models were created based on the recommendations from the JWG combined with the physical properties of the occupants during the experimental study. During this study, SAP2000 was used to create the finite element models and to implement the analysis; Matlab and ME¿scope were used to obtain the dynamic properties of the structure through processing the time-history analysis results from SAP2000. The result of this study indicates that the active crowd model could quite accurately represent the impact on the structure from occupants standing with bent knees while the passive crowd model could not properly simulate the dynamic response of the structure when occupants were standing straight or sitting on the structure. Future work related to this study involves improving the passive crowd model and evaluating the crowd models with full-scale structure models and operating data.


human-structure interaction

Access Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Kelly Salyards