Overview of Research

My primary areas of scholarly interest are theoretical and computational methods in non-homogeneous materials, solid mechanics, and in engineering education. Currently, I am also pursuing research in the area of computational biomechanics.

Engineering Education

Students often struggle with applying course concepts from one class to related courses. In order to address this issue, I have collaborated with the other engineering faculty to study and introduce intra-disciplinary teaching techniques in the engineering studies curriculum.
In addition, I have been working on the development of virtual laboratories and teaching modules to be used as supplements in several engineering courses:
Project VIEW: Virtual Interactive Engineering on the Web
Project MATLAB Marina: Navigating the high seas of progamming using MATLAB

Biomechanics

Recently, I have also been studying the characteristics and principles of the human bone structure. My primary focus in this area is the interaction (both positive and negative effects) of the human bone with internal fixation devices such as plates, screws, etc. which are used to mend bone fracture and deterioration. The research objective is to improve the life and performance of these fixation devices. I am currently working with Dr. C. Coates, Associate Professor, Engineering Studies, Armstrong Atlantic State University, on the effects of impact loads on the human ulna bone with and without an internal fixation device using computational, finite element methods.

Structural health monitoring

Structural health monitoring refers to the ability to monitor structural issues in machines ranging from oil drills, automobile engines to aircraft internal and external structures. This work incorporates a combination of sensor technology, computer programming and engineering theory to allow real time data regarding the structural health to be available for processing as soon as a structural event occurs. Flight load identification for structural health monitoring is becoming increasingly important in aerospace applications. My work in this area is primarily on flight load identification for structural health monitoring using inverse interpolation and experimental methods.

Non-homogeneous materials

There are many materials that exist in nature with properties that vary continuously as a function of position within the material. These are known as continuously non-homogeneous materials. A few examples are animal tissues (e.g. bone, cartilage), plant structures (e.g. wood, cellulose) and geological materials (e.g. rocks, soil). When these materials are designed as man-made materials graded for specific engineering applications, they are known as functionally graded materials (FGMs). The main advantage of such materials is that we can tailor most of their properties according to the needs of our application. My work in this area involves the use of computational modeling to study the propagation of damage in FGMs under impact loads.