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Research Area: Structures

Aerospace structures are designed to be strong, lightweight, and robust.

They can be made to withstand extreme conditions, such as large strains, rapid temperature changes, and variable environments while safely transporting precious cargo (including humans) through the atmosphere or into space. Weight, performance, and profitability are closely linked in this field, spurring the use of composite and other advanced materials that have replaced many of the metallic structures previously found in air and spacecraft.

The widespread adoption of composites - combined with advances in additive manufacturing, robotics and automation - has expanded our capacity to manufacture new forms and build unusual flight structures.  Our faculty explore new design, test, and manufacturing methods and look at how novel materials are performing across the industry, in a variety of applications. Current research includes design of engineered materials systems (e.g. nanocomposites and metamaterials), structural design, material characterization, non-destructive testing and evaluation, certification and structural health monitoring. In these activities, state of the art computational modeling methods are utilized and new methodologies are developed.

At UW A&A, undergraduate students have the opportunity to design, build, and fly new aircraft concepts in our senior-level Aircraft Design Capstone; the new capstone design class teams, which include personnel from industry, allow students to work on a variety of structural concepts that impact spacecraft, aircraft and UAS systems. The teams make use of our on-site machine shop, composite layup lab, and 3D fabrication facility. Graduate students work closely with prominent faculty and collaborative industry partners on contemporary cutting-edge research problems.

Affiliated centers include: AMTAS, CCAM, and BARC.


Structures Faculty

Research Topics

  • Aeroelasticity - Livne
  • Aero-servo-thermo-elasticity - Livne
  • Aerospace Structures - Livne, Salviato, Yang
  • Aircraft Design - Livne
  • Bio-Inspired Materials – Yang, Salviato
  • Composite Materials - Salviato, Yang
  • Fatigue - Salviato
  • Finite Element Methods - Livne, Salviato, Yang
  • Fracture Mechanics - Salviato
  • Mechanics of Aerospace Structures and Materials - Salviato, Yang
  • Mechanics & Dynamics of Structures - Yang
  • Mechanics of Metamaterials - Yang
  • Nanocomposites - Salviato
  • Nondestructive Testing & Evaluation - Yang
  • Structural Optimization & Multi-Disciplinary Design Optimization - Livne
  • Solid Mechanics - Salviato, Yang
  • Structural Analysis - Livne, Salviato, Yang
  • Structural Dynamics - Livne
  • Structural Health Monitoring - Yang
  • Wave Propagation and Dynamics - Yang