The ability to monitor a structure, to detect the presence of damage and to estimate the progression of the damage in the structure at the earliest possible stage is critical. The objective of this research area is to investigate the damage detection methods that can be applied to structures by developing algorithms based on acoustics characteristics of the structure. The application areas of this research are extensive including automotive, white goods and wind turbines.
The identification of damping in structural systems is of great importance for predicting vibration levels and transient responses. While a broad literature exists on damping, systematic analysis of dissipation sources in structures is not fully understood. In this research, mechanisms that contribute to damping in structures is aimed to give a better insight into the physics of dissipation. Understanding of the damping mechanics will enable the optimization of the overall performance of the system. Damping characterization of the damping pads and sandwich materials is the main focus of the research.
DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED SIMULATION / TESTING / AUTOMATION TOOLS
Mathematical modeling of dynamic systems has become an integral part of the design cycle. The ability to model and accurately predict the behavior of an existing design or a design concept allows the engineer to modify a products performance through design changes and controller development without having to run as many tests or build as many prototypes both of which can be expensive and time consuming. However, verification of requirements in the product development is still mostly based on physical testing, which is a significant amount of money / time. One of the important objective of the laboratory is to grow virtual toolset in terms of capability that will enable efficiency and therefore eliminate prototype tools and reduce physical testing. The tools include computational (CAE) and testing (such as modal testing).
MID AND HIGH FREQUENCY VIBRATION / ACOUSTICS
The design of body structure and sound-package of an automobile is critical as it separates the occupants from the noise sources such as powertrain, road and wind noise. As a result, the body structure must be carefully engineered for low to mid-frequencies (20 Hz-500 Hz) and high frequencies (up to 10000 Hz) to block incoming noise and vibrational energy. This research focuses on the understanding the basic mechanisms for structure-borne and airborne noise transmission in the body. Methodologies in the area of Finite Element (FE) and Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) algorithms are researched to improve the capability of analytical methods.
MULTI-DISCIPLINARY OPTIMIZATION (MDO)
MDO is a formal design methodology for complex/coupled systems in which the synergistic effects of coupling between various interacting disciplines/phenomena are explored and exploited at every stage of the design process. MDO plays a key role in the development of complex engineering systems. Modeling engineering problems and using computational methods to solve these models are two important tasks. These tasks will lead to dramatic enhancements in the performance of engineering systems in terms of more reliable, lower cost, higher performance, and more flexible electronic, optical, mechanical and biomedical devices.
DEVELOPMENT OF LIGHT WEIGHT DESIGN TOOLS
Good design is key enabler for light-weighting and high fidelity multi-physics simulation tools are needed to address the optimum design. For example, a 10% reduction in vehicle weight can result in a 6%-8% fuel economy improvement. Therefore, there is pressure on the automobile industry to make the automobile design lighter and lighter to meet these requirements. However, this demand is in conflict with the NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) performance. The main objective of this research is to understand the effect of system level characteristics of various materials such as composites on the vibration and acoustics and address the complex relationship between the trade-offs between light weight and vibration performance.
Areas of interest include the development of methods and tools on vehicle ride and handling simulation, tire dynamics, vehicle structural dynamics, driver-vehicle dynamics interaction and vehicle control systems.