Department of

Aerospace Engineering


Structures and Materials











    George A. Lesieutre
    Edward C. Smith
    Farhan S. Gandhi

  • Activities

    The Structural Dynamics/ Structures and Materials Program is one of two closely-related graduate programs offered by the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Penn State, emphasizing education in classical structural mechanics and modern composite materials. An interdepartmental Composites Manufacturing Technology Center serves as the focal point for related research.

    Current and proposed research activities in the area of aerospace structures and materials are driven by aerospace vehicle requirements and encompass experimental, analytical and computational investigations of the mechanical behavior of advanced composite structures. Ongoing work is addressing the effects of the mechanical couplings inherent in unbalanced and unsymmetric composites on various aspects of structural behavior, including buckling, post- buckling, and vibration. The impact of automated manufacturing techniques such as braiding, pultrusion, and filament winding on composite mechanical properties is also under investigation. In the area of smart structures, studies are addressing the application of embedded optical fibers and piezoelectric films in advanced composite materials for deflection sensing, damage detection, health monitoring, and vibration control.

  • Specializations

    • Advanced Composite Materials
    • Structural Mechanics
    • Smart Structures