PhD dissertation on bicycle wheels
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PhD Dissertation: The Bicycle Wheel

Author: Matthew Ford

Institution: Northwestern University

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Copyright 2018 by Matthew Ford - All Rights Reserved

How to build the thesis document (thesis.pdf)

  1. Install a LaTeX distribution such as TeXLive
  2. Install Inkscape and make sure that the inkscape command is available from the command line
  3. Download or clone this repository to your local computer
  4. Open your favorite command line in the same directory as thesis.tex
  5. Run latexmk -pdf -quiet --shell-escape thesis.tex

Alternatively, use your favorite LaTeX distribution and build with bibtex support. Make sure that your build system allows the latex command \write18, which is required to convert the figures from .svg to .pdf_tex.

How to reproduce the analysis

Most of the analysis in this thesis including some analytical derivations, plot generation, and numerical calculations is written in Python. Most of the code is in the form of Jupyter notebooks in the code/ directory.

1. Install Miniconda

Make sure to download the Python 3.7 version.

2. Create a new environment with the necessary dependencies

Open an Anaconda Prompt or equivalent command line application in the directory containing environment.yml and execute the following command:

$ conda env create -f environment.yml

This creates the thesis environment with all the necessary dependencies to run the code.

3. Activate the thesis environment and launch Jupyter Notebook

$ conda activate thesis
$ jupyter notebook

Now you can run the notebooks in code/ in Jupyter!

Note regarding ABAQUS simulations

Some of the Jupyter notebooks will generate ABAQUS input files under the data/ directory. If you have ABAQUS installed, you can run the simulations by navigating to the directory containing the ABAQUS input files and executing all of the _run_[i].bat files (on Windows). After all the simulations have completed, run the _postproc.bat script to extract the relevant output. This will create a set of .csv files from each ABAQUS simulation. If you are running ABAQUS on Linux, you may need to convert the batch files to shell scripts.

If you are unable (or unwilling) to run the ABAQUS simulations, you can still run all of the plotting and analysis code in the code/ directory. The .csv files produced by the postprocessing scripts are included in the repository.