Composite Structures Laboratory


Pavana Prabhakar wins the ASC PhD Research Scholarship Award....

Evan Pineda and Vincent Wang Jie take 2 of 4 student paper awards at 2012 AIAA SDM conference....

Brian Justusson takes 1st place in ARL Symposium....

University of Michigan
Aerospace Engineering Lab CTools


Mission Statement


The quest to make aerostructures lighter has resulted in a variety of structural designs that encompass a combination of different materials. These multi-material structures (MMSs), which include continuous fiber reinforced laminates, textile laminates, textile composites for high temperature applications, layered materials, sandwich structures with a variety of cores (honeycombs, foams, truss grids, functionally graded materials), and nanoparticle reinforced polymers, require advanced analysis tools for characterizing their mechanical, thermal, and electrical behavior. In many instances, we find that examples from nature, like the nacre structure in sea shells, the composite character of soft biological tissues, and the grain patterns in wood, provide us clues and guidance to improve synthetic structures. A great deal of insight can be gleaned by studying and understanding nature structures. The development of validated analytical and computational methods to understand how a structure (such as an air-vehicle wing, a fuselage, the load bearing structure of a land-vehicle, the wing of an insect, a wind turbine blade) made of MMSs responds to external environments is the overarching goal of our research group.

To achieve this goal, we perform a combination of experiments, computational modeling and analysis, and theoretical developments when necessary. Several faculty colleagues and students from the Aerospace Engineering department and from a variety of other departments at Michigan, and external collaborators from other institutions and industry are partnering with us in achieving the goals of our group.

You will find several examples of recently completed and ongoing research projects in this website. We welcome feedback about the website or about any aspects of the research projects that you will find here. Please direct inquiries to Prof. Waas (

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