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McNAIR Center


Research Centers and Labs

Talented University of South Carolina faculty are leading our research efforts in the areas of composites, aerospace engineering, manufacturing processes and complex system molding. Under this expert guidance, our centers and laboratories can support the aerospace industry.

Laboratory for Active Materials and Smart Structures

Victor Giurtiugiu, giurgiut@cec.sc.edu

The research focus of LAMSS is developing innovativesensor and enabling technologies for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) of aerospace, mechanical, infrastructure, and civil structures. LAMSS conducts research in:

  • multidisciplinary fields of piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWAS)
  • fiber Bragg grating sensors (FBG) scanning laser Doppler vibrometry (SLDV)
  • smart adaptive and multi-functional material
  • emerging nano-sensors
  • energy harvesting
  • mechatronics

The long-term goal is to achieve the integration of mechanical, electronics and information technology into smart active “skins” and “coating” that will provide on-demand bulletins of structural health and predicted future performance. LAMSS teams up with government and industrialpartners to provide state-of-the-art solutions that will meet the requirement of military and civilian applications.


HeteroFoaM Center

Ken Reifsnider, reifsnider@cec.sc.edu

HeteroFoaMs are Heterogeneous Functional Materials that comprise an energy system. Our team is developing a greater understanding of HeteroFoaMs in order to create systems that generate power without waste by-products.


Center for Mechanics, Materials and Non-Destructive Evaluation

Michael Sutton, sutton@cec.sc.edu;   Bill Y.J. Chao, chao@cec.sc.edu

The center’s research projects span a spectrum from basic science to industry applications. Areas of expertise include:

  • material characterization at the macro and nano-scale
  • dynamic andstatic mechanical testing
  • structural analysis
  • non-contacting strain measurement methods
  • advanced numerical simulations
  •  fracture mechanics

Condition-Based Maintenance Research Center (CBM)

Abdel Bayoumi, bayoumi@cec.sc.edu

The CBM tests the performance of components, subsystems and systems of the U.S. Army Apache, Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters through measurements of vibration, speed, load, acoustic emission and temperature to develop predictive and proactive maintenance of aircrafts. Additionally, the CBM generates value engineering and cost benefit analysis models for the Army-CBM program.


Center for Friction Stir Processing

Tony Reynolds, apr@sc.edu

The center is a multi-university, NSF Industry & University Cooperative Research (I/UCRC) Program focused on research and development in the area of friction based materials processing technologies and science. At the University of South Carolina, research is focused primarily on light metals for transportation applications.


Integrated Material Assessment and Predictive Simulation Laboratory (iMAPS)

Sourav Banerjee, banerjes@cec.sc.edu

iMAPS researchers study the interaction of acoustics and ultrasonic waves with engineering and biological materials. The lab’s focus is understanding the "Acoustics & Ultrasonic Wave Propagation" in linear & nonlinear elastic, viscoelastic solids and fluent media at multiple length and time scales.


Lightning Response Laboratory

Ken Reifsnider, reifsnider@cec.sc.edu;   Prasun K. Majumdar, prasun@cec.sc.edu

The Lightning Response Lab refines understanding of how modern aircraft and other structures are affected by electrical storms. This is one of only two lightning strike facilities among all U.S. universities.


Dynamic Behavior and Multifunctional Materials Laboratory

Addis Kidane, kidanea@cec.sc.edu

The research of this lab will focus on understanding the dynamic behavior of engineering materials, such as functionally graded materials, polymer composites, ceramic/metal composites and nanocomposites under different loading and temperature conditions.

The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art, high strain rate apparatus including    

  • a tension Kolsky bar
  • a compression Kolsky bar
  • a torsion Kolsky bar
  • and a shocktube for high rate pressure loading of structural components

 The lab also uses a range of high-speed cameras and digital image correlation systems.


Virtual Test Bed

Roger Dougal, dougal@cec.sc.edu

The VTB comprises a suite of software tools for the prototyping of large-scale, multi-disciplined dynamic systems, allowing testing of new designs prior to hardware construction. The applications driving development of the software primarily relate to advanced power systems such as those for “more electric” implementations of land, air and sea vehicles, or those for Smart Grid in fixed terrestrial systems.