Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Research Thrust Areas
My research interests are primarily in the area of solid mechanics as described below.

(1) Modeling of Composite Materials and Systems: Over the last two decades I have been working on developing constitutive models for composite materials such as dry fabrics and polymer-based composites. These research projects have been sponsored by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The constitutive model for dry fabrics has been implemented in LS-DYNA, a finite element program, as *MAT_DRY_FABRIC (*MAT214). Currently, my research team is working with NASA-GRC, FAA, GMU and LSTC to develop an elasto-plastic orthotropic generalized composite material model as *MAT_COMPOSITE_TABULATED_PLASTICITY_DAMAGE (*MAT213). We have built and validated impact models using experimental data generated by NASA-GRC. These material models are being used by several companies such as Boeing, Honeywell, General Electric, Pratt and Whitney, etc. who are members of the LS-DYNA Aerospace Working Group and are members of the NASA Advanced Composites Program.

Constitutive Model for Composite Materials: To verify and validate material models requires use of experimental data. Typically, the starting point is a suite of material tests to characterize the behavior of the material. We use the Structural and Material Testing Laboratory (ISTB2-155) to obtain the stress-strain curves and other material properties for a variety of materials including composites.

Click here to learn more about building constitutive models for composite materials.

Engine Containment Systems: High strength woven fabrics are ideal candidate materials for use in structural systems where high energy absorption is required. Their high strength per weight ratio and the ability to resist high speed impacts enable them to be very efficient compared to metals. One of the more widely used applications for woven fabrics is in propulsion engine containment systems. As a part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aircraft engine certification regulations, an engine must demonstrate the ability to contain a fan blade released at full operating speed

Click here to learn more about dry fabrics as composite materials.

(2) Development of High-Performance Software: My team and I develop high-performance sequential and parallel processing software using OpenMP and MPI and C++/FORTRAN. These software are typically finite element-based design optimization software that can be used in the obtaining the optimal design of structural systems. We have a small 4-node cluster in the Computational Mechanics Laboratory that is used for software development and ASU’s Research Computing Facilities (massively parallel clusters) for production type executions.

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(3) Design Optimization: It is possible to create semi-automated and automated design tools by combining numerical optimization techniques with finite element analysis methods. My colleagues and students have created both sequential and parallel numerical optimization software libraries for design optimization. These libraries have both gradient-based techniques (e.g. Method of Feasible Directions) and population-based techniques (e.g. Genetic Algorithm, Differential Evolution).

Click here to learn more about design optimization.

(4) Ballistic and Blast Mitigation Solutions: With funding from Department of Defense and local armor companies, my team and I have developed solutions for both ballistic impacts (body and vehicular armor) and blast loading.

Click here to learn more about ballistic and blast mitigation solutions.