University of South Carolina

Faculty Experts: Aerospace

Proximate to the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner assembly plan in Charleston, S.C., and Gulfstream jet manufacturing facilities in Savannah, Ga., the University of South Carolina is actively working with those aerospace companies and others, including Airbus, Lockheed-Martin and Sikorsky as well as the U.S. Army Aviation Engineering Directorate.
Many faculty in the College of Engineering and Computing and the Darla Moore School of Business are engaged in important research that relates to the aerospace industry. Their interests and research foci follow:

Return to Faculty Experts home page

Aerospace - College of Engineering and Computing

Dr. Kenneth Reifsnider, Educational Foundation University Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of USC’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Program
Reifsnider’s current work focuses on materials for airframes (including a program for Boeing) and the durability and damage tolerance for aerospace composites. He was appointed by the White House to serve on the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Committee, and his appointment to the National Academy of Engineering was based on his work in aerospace materials. Before arriving at USC, Reifsnider held the Pratt & Whitney Chair in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Anthony Ambler, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing
Ambler has expertise in system design, test and quality of electronic systems, safety-critical electronic systems and condition-based maintenance (CBM) applied to electronics. Contact:

Dr. Michael A. Sutton, Carolina Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Sutton is the director of the State of South Carolina Center for Mechanics, Materials and Non-Destructive Evaluation and conducts research on a wide range of aerospace-related issues. Sutton has focused on the mechanics of aero-structures, development and application of non-contacting measurement methods, including 2-D and 3-D Digital Image Correlation, characterization of metallic and composite material response under dynamic and static loading conditions, and static and dynamic fracture of metallic and composite material systems.

Dr. Tony Reynolds, professor of mechanical engineering
Reynolds directs a group of researchers whose projects address issues related to aerospace applications. The group focuses on friction-based processes for joining and production of metallic structures with special emphasis on friction stir welding of high strength aluminum and titanium alloys. Friction stir welding is a solid-state joining process with enormous potential for use in the production of unitized metallic structure, which leads to lower cost, lower weight, reduced part count and improved performance. The group is also developing a friction-based process that will improve the recyclability of metallic machining waste and provide low-cost feedstock for near-net shape, free-form fabrication processes offering further potential for improved structural performance at reduced cost. Current and recent sponsors from the aerospace industry include Spirit Aerosystems, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Lockheed-Martin, NASA, EADS-Airbus and Bombardier. Contact:

Dr. Victor Giurgiutiu, professor of mechanical engineering, director of the Laboratory for Active Materials and Smart Structures (LAMSS)
Giurgiutiu's current research interests span adaptive materials, smart structures, structural health monitoring and mechatronics. His expertise includes aerospace structures, structural dynamics and vibration control, aeroelasticity and fluid-structure interaction.

Dr. Bill Y.J. Chao, John Ducate Sr. professor of mechanical engineering
Chao works on assessment of the integrity of aerospace structures, including fracture, fatigue and life prediction; high temperature and pressure sensor development; life prediction of seals in aerospace structures and fuel line systems; and PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) fuel cell applications.

Dr. Abdel Bayoumi, professor of mechanical engineering
Bayoumi conducts work in manufacturing processes; design for manufacturability and assembly; machinery diagnosis and prognosis; testing and reliability analysis; condition-based maintenance (maintenance when needs arise); and Health Monitoring Systems (HUMS).

Dr. Roger Dougal, professor of electrical engineering
Dougal investigates methods to integrate fuel cell power sources into aircraft systems. His work on multidisciplinary system design tools for ships also has applicability to aircraft systems.

Dr. Paul Ziehl, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering
Ziehl’s research focuses on structural health monitoring and non-destructive evaluation of composite and metallic aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters). His work’s emphasis is on damage algorithms and prognostics with piezoelectric sensing.

Dr. Yong-June Shin, associate professor of electrical engineering
Shin’s expertise is in advanced signal processing theory, such as time-frequency analysis and wavelet analysis. He is applying the advanced signal processing theory to the technical issues in the structural health monitoring of aircraft and is conducting research with faculty in the department of mechanical engineering. One of his research areas is condition-based maintenance (CBM) of helicopters, and he is developing an advanced algorithm that can capture the health status of the drive train in order to prevent aircraft failures by use of vibrations, acoustics and electrical signals. Shin is also collaborating to develop smart sensors that can detect and locate structural damages in critical infrastructures, such as airplanes and nuclear power plants.

Dr. Jinkyu “JK” Yang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering (starting summer 2011)
Yang developed a structural health-monitoring system for carbon-carbon composite thermal protection panels of space operation vehicles for his Ph.D. thesis in aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University. He has conducted research on aerospace composite structures at Think Composites. He specializes in novel materials structures and sensor devices based on non-linear mechanics for aerospace, biomedical and civil applications.

Dr. Prasun K. Majumdar, assistant professor of mechanical engineering (starting fall 2011)
Majumdar has more than a decade of experience on heterogeneous structural composite materials for aerospace, civil infrastructure, naval and other applications. His research encompasses broad areas of mechanics, manufacturing and characterization, finite element analysis, stiffened structures, joints and interfaces, multi-physics, multi-functional composites, and long-term behavior (degradation mechanisms, durability, prognosis, and life prediction). Majumdar is leading a research program (in collaboration with Boeing) to investigate the synergy of structural, electromagnetic and thermal effects. Contact:

Aerospace - Darla Moore School of Business

Dr. Sanjay Ahire, professor of operations management and associate director of the Center for Global Supply Chain and Process Management 
Ahire is an expert in applied research and consulting in the areas of quality management, supply chain modeling, sourcing and logistical strategies and business process improvement. As a consultant, Ahire has worked with numerous manufacturing and service firms, including Cummins, Eaton, GE-Aviation, GM, Johnson & Johnson, MeadWestvaco, NCR, Walmart and Westinghouse Nuclear Fuels. Ahire's research in quality management has been widely cited, and his research is published in top journals including Management Science, Journal of Operations Management, Production & Operations Management, EJOR, and Decision Sciences. 

Dr. Nancy Buchan, associate professor of international business
Buchan examines how to build trust and cooperation in cross-cultural business relationships.  She also has developed a tool to assess communication and social interaction styles across cultures, which enables managers to work and communicate more effectively with their international partners.

Dr. Tim Carroll, assistant professor of management
Carroll's areas of expertise are in competitive strategy formulation and strategy implementation. His research centers on issues in organization design and strategy, such as organizing for innovation, managing fast-track project teams, and the emergence of new organizational forms. He has provided consulting and executive education services to companies in the aerospace, banking, computer, construction, energy, engineering services, insurance, media, petroleum, pharmaceutical, railroad and restaurant industries, as well as several government agencies

Dr. Michael Galbreth, assistant professor of management science 
Galbrethis a leading researcher in sustainable supply chain management. His current research focuses on the decision-making involved in taking back used products, which links pollution to a firm’s financial risk and its pricing of products with sustainable attributes. Galbreth, who was a 2010 Fulbright Scholar, has had numerous articles published in leading scholarly journals. 

Dr. Jayanth Jayaram, Moore Research Fellow and professor of management science
Jayaram has worked extensively in the area of supply chain integration, addressing the challenges and problems that firms face in aligning their business processes with those of the supplier firms and end customers. In his latest research, he examines the effects of supplier risks on buyers’ operations. Both streams of his research have important implications for the aerospace industry because of the strong need for integration of products and processes as well as the need to evaluate risks of suppliers that firms in this industry tend to rely on heavily for their short-term and long-term strategic needs.

Dr. Jack Jensen, managing director of the Center for Global Supply Chain Management
Jensen is the managing director of the Center for Global Supply Chain and Process Management at USC. He consults regularly with public and private sector organizations on Lean and Six-Sigma process improvement projects, as well as capacity management, benchmarking and resource planning issues. Jensen’s research focuses on shop floor control, supply chain modeling and teaching innovation.

Dr. Tatiana Kostova, Buck Mickel Chair and Professor of International Business
Kostova's work focuses on management of multinational corporations. Her most significant scholarly contributions to the international business field are in the study of the institutional embeddedness of multinational firms. Her research examines how institutional and cultural differences impact important management outcomes such as cross-border transfer and diffusion of knowledge, global collaboration in research and development, "reverse innovation," legitimization of multinational firms and building productive social networks in complex organizations.

Dr. Manoj Malhotra, Jeff B. Bates Professor and chairman of the management science department
Malhotra is the founding director of the Center for Global Supply Chain and Process Management at USC. His research and teaching interests lie in the areas of supply chain design, operations strategy, supply chain integration and globalization of operations. He has led several executive education seminars as well as supply chain and process improvement projects with multinational corporations including Cummins, Metso, Sonoco, Verizon and Westinghouse.

Dr. Gerald McDermott, associate professor of international business
McDermott analyzes the co-evolution of institutions and industrial networks, with special emphasis on innovation systems and high-performance networks. Much of his work focuses on developing countries. He also studies the development of transnational regulatory systems in a variety of industries (finance, food, autos) in Europe and Latin America.  More information about his work can be found at:  

Dr. Kendall Roth, J. Willis Cantey Chair for International Business and Economics
Roth’s research focuses on the strategic positioning of multinational corporations and the management of cross-border coordination and integration.  His particular interest is examining models for how businesses successfully adapt to local economic, cultural and sociopolitical conditions.

Dr. Marty Roth, chief innovation and assessment officer and professor in the Sonoco International Business Department Roth’s areas of expertise include global corporate and marketing strategy. He teaches global marketing management, foreign market entry and growth and strategy courses in USC’s top-ranked international business graduate and undergraduate programs. He has led executive education programs on global strategy, scenario planning, marketing strategy, customer service, market research and program evaluation, customizing programs for companies such as BMW, Enodis, Fiberweb, Hillenbrand, Metso, Milliken, Nissan, Verizon and Xerox. Contact: