By Abe Danaher | October 29, 2019
Sourav Banerjee, an associate professor in the UofSC Department of Mechanical Engineering, has received the Structural Health Monitoring Person of the Year Award for 2019 from the Structural Health Monitoring international journal. This award is given to an “outstanding contributor” in the field whose work has advanced the discipline and benefited society as a whole.
“Receiving this award has given me the opportunity to reach out to more people, and hopefully more people will now understand my research,” he says. “Also, it has given me a self-confidence that what I am doing is helpful for the larger community.”
Banerjee’s research focuses on using ultrasonic acoustic waves and sensors to understand the well-being of structures’ materials, such as the composites used to make new generation aircrafts and space vehicles, concrete used to make bridges and the metal used in numerous mechanical engineering systems. He has developed a way to detect the impending failure of structures before they show any physical signs of wear, like cracks. Using physics, deep learning and machine learning through ultrasonic signal processing, he has tapped into these structures’ “material memory.”
The entire field of structural health monitoring continues to grow ever-more important as the world’s infrastructure is strengthened and aspirations for aerospace exploration are heightened. Banerjee predicts that sensors such as the ones used in his research will be used on all structures in the future, and that the field will also be “key” in developing the next generation of technology for aerospace missions.
He is the second faculty member at the UofSC College of Engineering and Computing to receive the People of the Year Award, as Victor Giurgiutiu received it in 2003. Banerjee is also a 2019 Breakthrough Award recipient.
“This esteemed award recognizes Dr. Banerjee’s leading research in this ever-more important field,” says Hossein Haj-Hariri, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing. “It speaks to the impactful research carried out by our faculty, who leverage their deep theoretical knowledge into advancing the state of the art in engineering and computing, while educating the future innovators in their fields.”