An expert in experimental mechanics and damage tolerance of composites, mechanical engineering professor Dan Adams received a National Science Foundation three-year companion award (along with principle investigator Dr. Joel Harley – ECE). Adams’ portion of the award, $158,579, is for their research entitled, “Big Data Structural Health Monitoring: Statistical Damage Detection.”

nasa space shipWith this award they plan to statistically identify barely visible, critically important trends in large Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) data sets. This research will also provide a unique opportunity to study environmental effects on composite guided waves. The outcomes have a broad appeal with a strong potential to improve society by improving safety and reducing life-cycle costs of structures such as pipelines, bridges, airplanes and more.

“Structural health monitoring has not been implemented in many real-world scenarios because it lacks statistical reliability under harsh environmental conditions” said Adams. “Our goal is to create a statistical, Big Data framework to overcome this challenge and enable this technology to be used in a wide variety of applications.”

Adams will focus on experimental studies to validate this framework and provide fundamentally significant information on the effects of both environment and mechanical loading on composite guided waves, particularly over long periods of time. As a result, his research will serve to demonstrate the feasibility of a functional, long-term SHM system in harsh environments.

To learn more about Prof. Adams and his research visit the Utah Composites Laboratory.