About Wanda W. Lau and the web page, which is in its early stages.
I am a graduate student in the Building Technology Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Under the advisement of Dr. John Ochsendorf, my research focuses on the structural analysis of three dimensional curved surfaces. Masonry domes are the starting point of my research. This web site presents new interactive computational tools I have developed based on existing graphical analysis methods of masonry domes. Graphical analysis has the advantage of showing how a structure's geometry impacts a structure's stability.
Masonry domes are unique from other structures in that they inherently provide internal hoop forces that contribute significantly to structural stability. These hoop forces allow domes to be constructed without the use of centering in contrast to, for example, an arch. Existing graphical, analytical and numerical analysis methods calculate hoop force values as required to equilibrate meridional forces, subsequently fixing their values. In my research, I am developing methods to determine an allowable range of hoop forces for domes of a variety of traditional geometries to determine what three-dimensional curved forms are possible to construct without centering.
I am also learning html and web design. Please be patient with the simplicity of these web pages.
Return to Analysis of Masonry Domes HomePage.
Updated: 18 May 2005