Portfolio: Wind Engineering

Scope of Services

Guido Morgenthal’s experience in the aerodynamic analysis of long-span bridges goes back to his PhD at Cambridge University, as part of which he developed the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solver VXflow.

The services of our firm in wind engineering today cover a wide range of numerical and experimental techniques:

  • Analysis of Vortex-induced (VIV) and buffeting response of bridges, in final and erection condition
  • Design of damping solutions to mitigate wind-induced response
  • Investigation of guide vanes for mitgating VIV of bridges
  • Prediction of aeroelastic instabilities such as flutter and galloping
  • Analysis of the efficiency of wind shield on bridge decks, including design of shields; Prediction of increased load on bridge deck and effect on vehicle overturning effects
  • Shape optimisation of bridge decks and high-rise buildings based on performance criteria for wind excitation
  • Modelling of energy harvesting devices based on fluttering membranes (with Stanford University)

Shown below is a visualisation of a time-history buffeting simulation of Stonecutters Bridge during Erection.


Our unique VXflow solver is based on the Vortex Particle Method and allows a computationally efficient simulation of bluff body aerodynamics problems such as flow around bridge decks of arbitrarily complex geometry. After extensive recent developments it now provides the following features:

  • Multi-slice formulation for modelling the aerodynamics of line-like structures such as long-span bridge decks with varying cross sectional shape
  • Fluid-Structure Interaction simulations based on a full or a modal representation of the structural dynamics
  • Adaptive methods for balancing accuracy and efficiency
  • Solver for flexible structures such as membranes
  • Modelling of fluctuating inflow conditions to account for atmospheric turbulence e.g. for buffeting analyses.
  • Ported to GPU based on modern OpenCL language for high efficiency
  • High efficiency flow visualisation post processing tool VXviz plus other post processing in VXpost

Shown below are some images and videos showcasing the capabilities of VXflow.


Some of the projects to which we have contributed wind engineering expertise are:

  • Grenzwald Valley Bridge (2022)
  • Pattullo Bridge, Canada (2021)
  • Ponte Spada, Switzerland (2021)
  • Weiden structure Lichtenfels, Germany (2020)
  • Communication mast Bad Reichenhall, Germany (2020)
  • Fourth Bridge over Panama Canal, Panama (2020)
  • Macau Zipline, Macau/China (2019)
  • MyThuan Bridge, Vietnam (2019)
  • Gordie Howe Bridge stay cables, Canada (2019)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Bridge (Dartford Crossing)
  • Third Panama Canal Bridge
  • Elbe River Cable-stayed Bridge Magdeburg
  • Kruunuvuori Bridge, Helsinki
  • Rhein River Cable-stayed Bridge Duisburg
  • Danjiang Bridge, Taiwan
  • 3rd Orinoco Bridge, Venezuela
  • New Champlain Corridor Bridge, Canada
  • Mersey Gateway Crossing, UK
  • Misc. masts and towers
  • Stonecutters Bridge, Hong Kong, China
  • Sutong Bridge, China
  • Dolsan Watah Bridge, Korea
  • Chenab Bridge, India
  • Bukhang Bridge, Korea
  • Strelasundbrücke, Germany
  • Orinoco Bridge, Venezuela
  • Foot and Cycle Bridge Kehl-Strasbourg, Germany/France
  • River Neath Viaduct, UK

Some of this work has been carried out whilst working at Leonhardt Andrä und Partner, Stuttgart and AECOM, Hong Kong.

Related Scientific Publications:

  • Tolba, K.I., Morgenthal, G., Parallel Scalability and Efficiency of Vortex Particle Method for Aeroelasticity Analysis of Bluff bodies, accepted by Computational Particle Mechanics
  • Kavrakov, I., Morgenthal, G, Comparative Assessment of Aerodynamic Models for Buffeting and Flutter of Long-span Bridges, Engineering (2017) (in press)
  • Tolba, K.I., Morgenthal, G., Pseudo three-dimensional simulation of aeroelastic response to turbulent wind using Vortex Particle Methods, Journal of Fluids and Structures 72 (2017), pp. 1-24
  • Milani, D., Morgenthal, G., Methods for Controlling the Local Spatial and Temporal Resolution of Vortex Particle Simulations of Bluff Body Aerodynamics Problems, accpeted by Computers and Fluids
  • Chawdhury, S., Morgenthal, G., Numerical simulations of aeroelastic instabilities to optimize the performance of flutter-based electromagnetic energy harvesters, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 2017, pp.1-17
  • Abbas, T., Kavrakov, I., Morgenthal, G., Methods for Flutter Stability Analysis of Long-span Bridges: A Review, Proceedings of the ICE – Bridge Engineering 170 (2017), pp. 271-310
  • Chawdhury, S., Morgenthal, G., Flow Reproduction using Vortex Particle Methods for Simulating Wake Buffeting Response of Bluff Structures, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 151 (2016), pp. 122-136
  • Abbas, T., Morgenthal, G., Framework for Sensitivity and Uncertainty Quantification in the Flutter Assessment of Bridges, Journal of Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics, 43 (2016), pp. 91-105
  • Morgenthal G., Sanchez-Corriols, A., Bendig, B., A GPU-accelerated Pseudo-3D Vortex Method for Aerodynamic Analysis, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 125 (2014), pp. 69-80
  • Sanchez Corriols, A, Morgenthal G., Vortex-Induced Vibrations on Cross Sections in Tandem Arrangement, Structural Engineering International,  02/2014; 24(1)
  • McRobie, A., Morgenthal, G., Abrams, D., Prendergast, J., Parallels between the wind excitation and the crowd loading of bridges, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 371 (2013), pp. 20120430-20120446
  • Park, J., Morgenthal, G., Kim, K., Kwon, S., Law, K., Power Evaluation for Flutter-based Electromagnetic Energy Harvester Using CFD Simulations, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 9/2014; vol. 25, pp. 18001812
  • Morgenthal, G.,Yamasaki, Y., (Aerodynamic) Behaviour of Very Long Cable-stayed Bridges During Erection, Proceedings of ICE – Bridge Engineering, 163 (2010), pp. 213-224
  • Morgenthal, G., Walther, J.-H., An Immersed Interface Method for the Vortex-In-Cell Algorithm, Computers and Structures, 85 (2007), pp. 712-726
  • Morgenthal, G., Kovacs, I., Saul, R., Analysis of Aeroelastic Bridge Deck Response to Natural Wind, Structural Engineering International, 15 (2005), pp. 232-235
  • Morgenthal, G., Advances in Numerical Bridge Aerodynamics and Recent Applications, Structural Engineering International, 15 (2005), pp. 95-100