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All University of South Carolina system institutions will be closed through the end of the spring semester. Columbia campus virtual instruction will continue through the end of the Summer II semester (Aug 1). Details can be found on the coronavirus landing page.

College of Engineering and Computing

McNair Center research laboratory

Aerospace Engineering

Our Research

More than two dozen University of South Carolina faculty are conducting aerospace-related research in the areas of composite and multifunctional materials, non-destructive evaluation, smart structures, additive manufacturing, condition-based maintenance, lightning response, friction stir processing, integrated design manufacturing and integrated information technology

Aerospace-related research centers and labs at USC

The McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research

Created in 2011 and located in the USC-SCRA Columbia Innovation Center, the Ronald E. McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research strives to advance South Carolina's knowledge-based economy through innovative aerospace research, interdisciplinary education, economic development, outreach and collaboration with the aerospace and allied industries and related government agencies. The main thrust areas of the McNAIR Aerospace Center’s core research include steered fiber nonconventional laminate design, automated novel structural composite part production, multi-disciplinary design optimization of composite (aircraft) structures and system and automated, fusion based, assembly. SmartStateTM Center for Multifunctional Materials and Structures (MFMS)

SmartState Center for Multifunctional Materials and Structures (MFMS)

The SmartStateTM Center for Multifunctional Materials and Structures led by Endowed Chair Michel van Tooren focueses on 3D printing with continious carbon reinforced fiber polymers, induction welding of thermoplastic composites, and steered fiber laminate optimization.

Advanced Composite Manufacturing Laboratory

The Advanced Composite Manufacturing Lab (ACML) is located in the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research. The ACML focuses on advanced fiber steering, automated manufacturing, robotics, and joining technologies.

Center for Mechanics, Materials Non-Destructive Evaluation

Areas of expertise include material characterization at the macro and nano-scale, dynamic and static mechanical testing, structural analysis, state-of-the-art non-contacting strain measurement methods, advanced numerical simulations and fracture mechanics. 

Center for Predictive Maintenance

The Center for Predictive Maintenance at the University of South Carolina is an interdisciplinary group spanning four departments and includes students at all levels of education along with faculty members and military personnel. The program combines research and implementation solutions to support the U.S. Army Aviation program.

Dynamic Behavior and Multifunctional Materials Laboratory

Our research focuses on the dynamic behavior of materials, functionally graded materials, multifunctional composite, impact and dynamic loading.


The laboratory has the state-of-the-art customized Scanning Acoustic Microscope (SAM) 300 manufactured by PVA TePla, Germany. Characterization of engineering materials (metals and composites), failure analysis of electronic chips (finding failure modes in electronic packaging), characterizing thin films, photovoltaic, MEMS devices, mechanical property determination of biological tissues and cluster of cells can be performed using SAM 300.

Laboratory for Active Material and Smart Structures

The research focus of LAMSS is on developing innovative sensor and enabling technologies for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) of aerospace, mechanical, infrastructure, and civil structures.

Virtual Test Bed

Software for virtual prototyping of large-scale, multi-technical dynamic systems.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.