Robustness in Tall Buildings: Earth, Wind & Fire

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Dr Mark O’Connor, UK
Technical Director, WSP

Mark is the head of advanced structural analysis in WSP’s UK structures business. The advanced analysis group are responsible for the more specialist aspects of a building’s design such as assessment of static and dynamic structural performance of buildings under extreme events such as wind, earthquake, fire and blast. The group also provide early input into the conceptual design of the lateral stability systems of tall buildings. Since joining WSP in 2004, Mark has successfully led analysis inputs into a variety of tall building designs including the Shard at London Bridge - currently Europe’s tallest building. These analyses range from aspects of normal static design to nonlinear structural dynamic modelling. The design of buildings to avoid general progressive collapse and to enhance performance against specific extreme events, such as fire and blast, is a particular speciality. Mark also has extensive seismic design experience through his involvement in many overseas projects and the design of UK nuclear facilities. Prior to working for WSP, Mark had over 18 years experience in consultancy and research & development - applying and calibrating advanced analysis methods against real scale testing of structures and details. This background has been a major cornerstone in giving the confidence that the models developed to represent real structural behaviour adequately capture the detailed structural effects that are so important in ensuring robust structural design.

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