Improvement and validation of the integrity of a novel commercial software for utility pole design

The conventional utility pole design methodologies used a decade or so ago produced poles that would be considered “safe” but in most cases they were not cost-effective solutions. This is because the resulting poles were usually over-designed, mainly due to several simplifying assumptions and incorporation of various rules-of-thumbs in the design procedures. Such design practices were, however, challenged by various regulators and legal/public agencies. In response to the contested situation, in 1994, the industrial partner (Sonideft Inc.) developed a robust and user-friendly design software based on solid engineering fundamentals, commercially known as “Quick Pole”. However, there are two immediate sets of efforts required to complement this effective software: (i) further scrutiny and testing of the options and results produced by the software by comparing its results against those obtained through two different commercially used finite element (FE) software; and (ii) addition of a new module to the software, so it could design poles using today’s lightweight and environmentally resistive fiber-reinforced composite materials.

Faculty Supervisor:

Farid Taheri


Qianjiang Wu




Engineering - mechanical


Professional, scientific and technical services


Dalhousie University



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