Terrence Weisshaar

Terrence A. Weisshaar

1980 - Professor Emeritus


Ph.D., Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, January 1971.
S.M., Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, August 1966.
B.S. (Highest Distinction), Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, June 1965.


Office Fax: +1 765-494-0307
Email: weisshaar@purdue.edu


Aircraft structural mechanics
Integrated Design

Awards and Major Appointments

AIAA Fellow

The Department of Defense Outstanding Achievement Award (August 2006) to recognize his efforts in developing morphing air vehicles for the U.S. military.

The AIAA Structural Dynamics and Materials Award (April 2005)

Research Areas

Primary research areas include optimization of structural concepts for smart aeroelastic structures and efficient multidisciplinary design. Currently, two primary areas are of interest:

  • Aeroelastic tailoring and active flexible wings. This includes using conventional articulated surfaces such as ailerons and leading edge devices for roll control, as well as using smart materials to change the camber of advanced wing concepts for aircraft control. Objectives also include aeroelastic design for reduced drag and optimization of smart wing flutter suppression systems for micro-air vehicles. We are also developing innovative techniques with advanced composite structure design to find optimal designs and reduce time to develop new concepts.

  • Design methodology. - developing new methods and algorithms to improve the ability of a design team to generate innovative, creative concepts for aerospace vehicles. This includes examining how the external aerodynamic and internal structural topology of lifting surfaces can be addressed simultaneously in the design process. This also includes introducing manufacturing concerns and decisions early in the design process and creating, through the early use of finite element models, more feed-forward/feed-back paths.

We have been examining how to use new modeling software to generate and present accurate, useful information to designers by displaying load paths and theoretically optimal designs. This leads to an improved conceptual design process for airplane structures that begins with a few participants and quickly proceeds to a high level with diverse technical groups represented. We are involved in the creation of an object-oriented system, using Adaptive Modeling Language (AML), to provide a natural, integrated, virtual environment for modeling, linking and simulating the aircraft design process from its earliest conceptual phase into preliminary design. When completed, this system will allow an integrated product team access to a virtual environment that scientifically simulates the iterative, collaborative process required to design an airplane in a short amount of time.


Books and Book Chapters
T.A. Weisshaar, “Static and Classical Dynamic Aeroelasticity,” Volume 3, Structural Mechanics, Section 3.2.2, Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering, John Wiley, 2010.

Journal Articles
R. M. Taylor, T. A. Weisshaar and V. Sarukhanov, "Structural Design Process Improvement using Evolutionary Finite Element Methods," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2006, pp. 172-181.

T.A. Weisshaar and D. K. Duke, "Induced Drag Reduction using Aeroelastic Tailoring with Adaptive Control Surfaces," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2006, pp. 157-164

Weisshaar, T. A., Livine, E., and Sanders, B. L., "Aeroelasticity of Nonconventional Airplane Configurations - Past and Future," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 40, No. 6, pp. 1047-1065, Nov. - Dec. 2003.

Conference Proceedings, Presentations, Invited Lectures

D.E. Bryson, T.A. Weisshaar, R.D. Snyder and P.S. Beran, “Aeroelastic Optimization of a Two-Dimensional Flapping Mechanism, 51st AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, April 2010.

T.A. Weisshaar, “Morphing Aircraft Research Trends and Evaluation,” NATO-AVT-168, Morphing Aircraft Research and Technology Symposium, Evora, Portugal, April 2009.

J. Bowman, B. Sanders, B. Cannon, J. Kudva, S. Joshi, T. Weisshaar, "Development of Next Generation Morphing Aircraft Structures," 48th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Waikiki, HI, April 2007.

T.G. Ivanco, R.C. Scott, M.H. Love, S. Zink, T.A. Weisshaaar, "Validation of the Lockheed Martin Morphing Concept with Wind Tunnel Testing," 48th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Waikiki, HI, April 2007.

T.A. Weisshaar and Brian Sanders, "Morphing Wing Technology," NATO RTO conference on Advanced Flight Concepts, Vilnius, Lithuania, October 2006.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Shaping the Change and Changing the Shape of Aeronautical Structures and Materials," SDM Keynote Lecture, 47th AIAA Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Structural Dynamics and Materials Lecture, Newport, Rhode Island, May 2006.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Changing Shape and Shaping Change in Aeronautical Structures," RPI Distinguished Lecture Series, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, April 2006.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Morphing Aircraft Systems," AIAA 5th Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations (ATIO) Forum, Arlington, Virginia, November 2005.

D. Lee and T.A. Weisshaar, "Aeroelastic Studies on a Folding Wing Configuration," 46th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference & 13th AIAA/ASME/AHS Adaptive Structures Conference, Austin, TX, April 2005.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Critical Technologies for Shape Changing Aircraft," Keynote talk, 46th AIAA Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Structural Dynamics and Materials Lecture, Austin, Texas, April 2005.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Development of Morphing, State Changing Aero-Structures," DoD Future Aero Structures Symposium, Hilton Head, South Carolina, November 2004.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Morphing Aircraft Systems," AIAA 4th Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations (ATIO) Forum, Chicago, Illinois, September 2004.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Morphing Aircraft Technology-New Shapes for Aircraft Design," Plenary Session, AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference, Providence, Rhode Island, August 17, 2004.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Winging it ??? Developing New Metrics and Methods for Re-shaping Future Aircraft," AIAA Multi-disciplinary Design and Optimization Conference, Albany, New York, September 1, 2004.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Reconfigurable Space Systems ??? Vision for the Future," U.S. Air Force Space Command Conference on Reconfigurable Space Systems, Colorado Springs, October 2003.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Making the Case for Morphing Aircraft," Keynote, AIAA SDM, Norfolk, Virginia, April 2003.

T.A. Weisshaar, "Changing the Shape of Aeronautics - the Case for Autonomous Morphing Aircraft," Keynote, SPIE, San Diego, California, March 2003.

Manage Faculty and Staff