Enhancing Safety and Security

Our faculty develop non-invasive methods to monitor the structural health of materials and to predict how and when structures and materials are likely to fail. This can help design protective materials, and enhance the safety of engineered structures.

Jack Edwards

Dr. Edwards studies hypersonics. His research emphasizes safety, security and defense, contributing to the development of weapons and countermeasures against the weapons of others.

Landon Grace

Dr. Grace studies the interaction between aerospace materials and their operating environment. His research focuses on determining how this interaction affects these materials over time and how the nature of these interactions can shed light on how materials fail. The goal of this research is to understand and predict failure in aircraft, spacecraft and automotive applications before they happen.

Xiaoning Jiang

Dr. Jiang researches biomedical and biological systems along with nanoscale science and engineering. He investigates micro/nano-engineering of smart materials and their integration in advanced electromechanical devices with the goal of improving the health of biological and structural systems.


Dr. Lyons researches many topics related to combustion, such as flow control for propulsion applications, industrial burner design, flame stabilization and spray combustion. He works to develop benign methods of combustion and he studies flame threats for firefighters and soldiers.


Dr. Pankow works to understand how materials behave in extreme environments. His work includes includes ballistic and blast testing to better to improve safety and security across multiple disciplines.


Dr. Peters studies structures and materials. Her research focuses on building sensor networks into advanced structures to identify damage that could lead to failure at an early stage with the goal of building safer aircraft and naval structures. she also works to understand the behaviour of advanced composite materials in extreme environments to enable high-performance body armour to protect military personnel and space structures to advance space exploration.


Dr. Rabiei studies advanced materials, manufacturing and solid mechanics. She strives to make life safer for human beings while saving energy and raw material by developing novel materials used in devices like blast protection devices, armours and radiation shielding materials.


Dr. Silverberg’s researches dynamics and applies it to several disciplines, including enhancing safety and security. He studies how and why things move and his theoretical research focuses on the formulation of the equations that govern the laws of physics.

Liming Xiong

Dr. Xiong performs atomistic and multiscale computer simulations to understand how structure materials deform and fail through dislocation plasticity, twinning, phase transformation, crack initiation and growth. He primarily focuses on developing computational methodology and simulation tools for predicting the plastic deformation behavior and failure of materials applied in safety-critical infrastructures, such as steel, Ti-/Mg-alloys, Inconel 718, and alloy 709 applied in automobiles, oil pipelines, aircrafts and nuclear plants. The alumni who were trained on such topics in his group work for either DoE national laboratories or oil industries, such as Schlumberger.


Dr. Xu researches manufacturing, ceramic materials, sensing and controls. Her research contributes to improving turbine engine efficiency as well as developing aeronautics spacesuits and a bio-compatible bone-substitute implant.


Dr. Yuan researches structural health monitoring and management. He works to provide effective and reliable information to detect structural damage at an early stage of deterioration and track the evolution regarding damage states that include damage presence, location and severity of a structure.


Dr. Zikry’s research focuses on multiscale modeling and experiments. He works to rectify modeling defects in materials that range from dislocations to cracks in crystalline materials, smart polymers, additive manufacturing, materials for energy systems and high-temperature materials to make structures more safe and secure.