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Base isolation is well known within the seismic community as a means of protecting buildings from earthquake damage. A related technique, also known as base isolation, is known to the noise and vibration community as a means of limiting the disturbance in buildings caused by groundborne vibration, such as that caused by busy roads or railways. The technique has been employed since the 1960s, and across a wide range of buildings. In all cases, the objective is to reduce internal levels of perceptible vibration and re-radiated noise, with the most common sources of concern being nearby surface or underground railways.
Despite the extensive use of base isolation, there is a significant lack of guidance on all aspects of design, from the selection of bearing type and their location within a building, to questions such as how performance should be evaluated, and the most fundamental question of all: is isolation necessary? This talk will review current practice in base-isolation design, and highlight some of the challenges and future research efforts in moving towards a performance-based design approach for controlling groundborne vibration.
James Talbot graduated from Cambridge with a BA and MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering, having been a sponsored student with Westland Aerostructures. He went on to spend two years with the engineering consultancy Atkins, before returning to the department to complete his PhD on the vibration isolation of buildings. This was followed by his post-doctoral research within the EU project CONVURT on the control of noise and vibration from underground railways. After CONVURT, Dr Talbot returned to Atkins where he spent a further nine years working primarily in the fields of vibration engineering and structural integrity. His experience covers experimental work, theoretical analysis and design, from across a wide range of industries.
Dr Talbot returned to Cambridge in 2013 as a University Lecturer in the Structures Group of the Civil Engineering Division. He was elected an Official Fellow of Peterhouse, where he is Director of Studies for first-year undergraduates in Engineering. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and a Member of the Institute of Acoustics and the International Institute of Acoustics & Vibration.