Skip to main content

Dynamic loading by individuals and crowds on grandstands

Researcher: Madison McDonald
Project duration: 2011-2015
Supervisors: Dr Stana Zivanovic
Funding body: EPSRC DTG

Project Description

All structures experience some form of dynamic loading within their lifetime; in most structures this dynamic loading is not significant and is sufficiently accounted for by design codes.

Certain structures, such as stadiums which host large events, could undergo significant dynamic loading due to crowd activities. Dynamic loading from crowds is not well understood due to large variations in people’s activities and differences in their individual capacities to dynamically excite the structure.

This project investigated dynamic loading and specifically individual and crowd movements and synchronisation, with the aim of quantifying it, for use in future stadium design. This was achieved by measuring human kinematics during jumping and bobbing activities by using reflective markers attached to the human body, and tracking them using motion capturing infra-red cameras.

The collected data were then used to investigate dynamic forces produced by individuals and groups of people and the levels of synchronisation seen. Influence of both visual and audio stimuli was considered. The synchronisation coefficients and dynamic loading in groups of up to eight people were reported in detail in a PhD thesis (McDonald, 2015).


McDonald, M. G. and Zivanovic, S. (2016) Measuring Ground Reaction Force and Quantifying Variability in Jumping and Bobbing Actions (free download). ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 143 (2). [Data in form of CSV files are available here].

Zivanovic, S., McDonald, M. G. and Dang, H. V. (2016) Characterising Randomness in Human Actions on Civil Engineering Structures. IMAC-XXXIV, Orlando, Florida, 25 - 28 January.

McDonald, M. G. (2015) Experimental Characterisation of Jumping and Bobbing Actions for Individuals and Small Groups. PhD thesis, School of Engineering, The University of Warwick, UK.

McDonald, M. G. and Zivanovic, S. (2013) Measuring Dynamic Force of a Jumping Person by Monitoring their Body Kinematics. In Proceedings of 11th International Conference RASD 2013, Pisa, Italy, 1 - 3 July.