ABOUT

our Vision

We want to revolutionise and transform the way that vibrations in floors are mitigated in modern construction.  Read on to find out more about our company!

All too often we have seen excess construction materials being used solely to control resonant floor vibrations caused by the really small forces from people simply walking around. Our vision is to stop this and save thousands of tonnes of steel and concrete worldwide helping reduce significantly global carbon emissions.  

Our alternative approach is intelligent active control systems, distributed and sensing vibrations at key points throughout the structure. These provide a similarly small force that is precisely timed to counteract human-induced forces and enable highly efficient and elegant structures. 

What you will learn about us is that we are driven to preserve and enable highly efficient, lightweight and elegant long-span floor structures which are long-term sustainable in this climate emergency. Over the next 40 years, the world is expected to create 230 billion square metres of structural flooring in new buildings to address the needs of the growing human population. Buildings and construction together account for 36% of global energy use, a huge proportion of which (40%) is energy embodied in making and erecting construction materials. 

In a multi-storey building, floors contribute about 60% of the mass of the whole building. As much as half of these materials are wasted as a result of over-specification in floor structural design to manage risks due to unknown loads and structural behaviour. The main driver in this wasteful over-design is not safety (against collapse) but serviceability, chiefly avoiding excessive floor vibrations in normal daily use due to people just walking across the floor. 

We envisage a world where advanced control technologies make lightweight and long span structures suitable for even the most vibration critical areas. We believe that wasteful structural overdesign to control vibrations is entirely avoidable and a thing of the past. Active vibration control technologies are the future of vibration serviceability in construction and we are leading the way in innovative approaches to solve the associated challenges that lay ahead. 

Company

FSD Active was incorporated in 2020 as a product development business by our four founders Paul, Emma, Alex and James. From our base in Colyton in the South West of the UK, our focus is to advance and promote the use of vibration control technology throughout the world.

We are, at heart, problem solvers. After seeing first hand for many years the often unresolvable difficulties in meeting vibration requirements in modern structures, our team developed CALMFLOOR: a revolutionary active vibration control technology for building floors which is commercially available worldwide.

Thriving on innovation and quality British engineering, we are also keen to develop bespoke solutions for structures that demand it. At FSD Active, we strongly believe in using the right tool for the job, and when that tool doesn’t exist yet – we create it.

people

We are driven to provide high quality vibration control solutions for any structure. 

Steve Kitson

Chair

Paul Reynolds

CEO

James Brownjohn

Director

Emma Hudson

COO/CTO

Aleksandar Pavic

Business Development Director

Chris Hawkins

Product Design Engineer
about steve

Steve Kitson

Chair

Steve Kitson is an entrepreneur and a physicist. In a career that spans academia, government, multinationals and start-ups, he has developed technology ranging from quantum optics to electronic displays and adaptive camouflage.  In 2013 he co-founded Folium Optics which developed a plastic display technology that is paper-thin, robust and highly efficient. In 2019 Steve successfully exited that business – he is now helping others on the same journey from the Lab into business. 

“I’m passionate about getting ground-breaking technology out of the Lab into the world where it can make a real difference to people’s lives. It’s an honour to be helping FSD Active get their technology into buildings around the world.” 

Away from work, Steve and his family love being outdoors and can often be found fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast or searching for geocaches in the countryside. 

about paul

Paul Reynolds

CEO

Paul is an internationally recognised expert in structural vibration and control who has held academic positions at Universities of Sheffield and Exeter since 1998. He is a regular consultant to industry, a founding director of expert consultancy Full Scale Dynamics Limited in 2008 and a founder and CEO of FSD Active Limited, which was incorporated in 2020 to commercialise the active vibration control technology that he has been working on for the best part of two decades. 

“Ever since getting involved in vibration serviceability in the mid-1990s, I’ve been driven to find solutions to the intractable vibration problems that have plagued the industry for decades. I’m very excited to be working to bring our innovative and effective active vibration control solution to the market, and look forward to making a significant positive impact towards efficient future structural designs that minimise embodied carbon in new buildings.” 

Paul likes to keep fit by mountain and road biking, trail running and walking with his family and dog. 

about james

James Brownjohn

Director

James started as a mechanical engineer but in 1984 was converted to studying at full scale the operational performance of extreme and unusual structures such as long span bridges, tall buildings, telecoms masts and lighthouses under the full range of time-varying loadings. He is an internationally recognised expert in structural health monitoring. He also specialises in dynamic performance of extreme low vibration structures such as experimental laser  and micro-electronics manufacturing facilities. He has a background in motion simulation and study of interactions of humans with the built environment and was principal investigator for the Exeter’s VSimulators motion and environment simulator. 

‘I believe the best way to understand how structures work and respond to loading is to go out and observe them. I love working with instrumentation technologies to learn about and then interpret structure performance data to improve the way structures work for the people that use them. I see CALMFLOOR as a brilliant technology to reduce carbon emissions while making buildings better places to live, work and play. ’ 

about emma

Emma Hudson

COO/CTO

Emma has pioneered active control of floor vibrations for the last 12 years. Her work has enabled the technical advances needed to translate academic theory into industry-suitable products. Leading on from success winning an InnovateUK Sustainable Innovation Fund grant, she is now leading FSD Active R&D, with a particular focus on developing our CALMFLOOR damper.  

“I’m a strong believer in using the right tool for the job. Active control has so many potential benefits and I’m passionate about seeing those realised in the structural engineering domain. Key to this is understanding what barriers currently exist to widespread adoption and ensuring we not only address those but exceed expectations in all we deliver.” 

Outside of the office Emma enjoys exploring Devon’s full and varied countryside by bike and wild camping in Dartmoor.  

about alex

Aleksandar Pavic

Business Development Director

Alex’s particular internationally recognised expertise is in vibration serviceability of long-span floors, footbridges and grandstands, which are occupied and dynamically excited by humans. 

“I believe that the best structural engineering laboratory is full-scale, real world with plenty of unique prototypes of large civil engineering structures. This is how we learned that active control is by far the best replacement of all other means of passive control of floor resonant vibrations, adding stiffness and mass by more structural materials being commonly used. I want to provide structural engineers with confidence to embrace the CALMFLOOR technology wholeheartedly and stop the colossal waste of construction materials just to control tiny, tiny floor vibrations.” 

Alex wrote, co-wrote or contributed to all key UK and international design guidelines pertinent to the vibration serviceability of building floors and other structures dynamically excited by humans: 

  • The Concrete Society (Technical Report 43, Appendix G: Vibration Serviceability of Post-Tensioned Concrete Floors) in 2005, 
  • The Concrete Centre (A Design Guide for Footfall Induced Vibration of Structures) in 2007, and 
  • The Steel Construction Institute (Design of Floors for Vibration: A New Approach) in 2007. 

Alex also co-authored and helped experimental validation of arguably worldwide most advanced design guidelines on crowd dynamic loading of grandstands published by the UK Institution of Structural Engineers in 2008. He sat on British Standards Institution (BS6472) and International standardisation Organisation (ISO10137) committees developing standards pertinent to vibration serviceability. 

Alex’s expertise is sought after by industry. He is also a Managing Director of Full Scale Dynamics Ltd, FSD Active’s sister company of consultants specialised in commercial state-of-the-art dynamic testing, monitoring, design and performance assessment of civil engineering structures. 

about chris

Chris Hawkins

Product Design Engineer

Chris is driven by innovation. With over 35 years of experience in the industry and owner of multiple design patents, he has a proven track record of designing highly efficient and effective electromechanical systems. His speciality is turning a blank sheet of paper into a novel working machine. 

“My passion is about creating the simplest possible solution to the problem.” 

Chris is an enthusiastic cyclist, in particular picking out and riding up the steepest hills he can find, and loves spending time with his family.