Student Author(s)

Anne O'Donnell

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Courtney Peckens, Engineering

Document Type


Event Date



Civil infrastructure is constantly at risk for failure due to unpredictable high impact loadings such as earthquakes and high winds. Over the course of the last decade, a bio-inspired wireless sensor node has been developed for the purpose of more effective structural monitoring and control. This node draws inspiration in its functionality from the mammalian cochlea found in the inner ear and benefits of the node include its real time frequency decomposition capabilities as well as its ability to compress high amounts of data. In this study, a bio-inspired control algorithm, which draws inspiration from the mechanisms employed the biological central nervous system for sensing and control, was applied to a single story structure in order to produce more effective methods of control. Specifically, the structure’s performance when subject to control was simulated using Newmark’s method and the effectiveness of the control was quantified. It was determined that this algorithm produced effective displacement control by reducing the maximum displacement of the single story structure by 42.90%, as well as reducing the normalized displacement over the entire time period by 32.33%.


This research was supported and funded by the Hope College Engineering Department and the Hope College Dean Start Up Fund.