Skip navigation

2005 Purdue–Silicon Valley Symposia

Prognosis for Managing the Health of Engineered Systems

Radically new safety and performance requirements for mechanical and electrical products are transforming the way we engineer those products. For example, manufacturers of gas-turbine engines for airplanes now sell “time on wing” to airlines, instead of engines. In this new ‘‘pay as you go” business environment, manufacturers—instead of airlines—pay the costs for servicing and fixing engines. If engine health is poorly managed, a manufacturer’s profits can plummet.

Manufacturers of cars and trucks are also leasing vehicles rather than selling them as they seek new ways to effectively manage vehicle health in order to reduce warranty costs and increase aftermarket profits. In addition, federal agencies are implementing sweeping changes in product requirements. For example, government officials are addressing emissions standards for engines, durability standards for tires, readiness requirements for weapon systems, security requirements for terrestrial power and transportation systems, and reliability requirements for exploratory space systems.

These trends in consumer, commercial, and defense applications make it critically important for manufacturers to embed technologies inside their products to help manage them. Prognosis is a set of tools and methods embedded in products to identify how they are used, develop faults, and fail. Thus, prognosis is the key to managing the health of engineered products. Sensors and processors for monitoring products over their life-cycles—from conception to retirement—are the building blocks of prognostic health-management architectures.

This presentation will demonstrate the advantages of prognosis in a wide range of mechanical, electrical, and other products through the use of case studies from consumer, commercial, and defense applications. Key technical and socioeconomic issues at the systems level and system-of-systems level will also be highlighted.

Douglas E. Adams

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University

Douglas E. Adams received his MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT (1997) and his PhD from the University of Cincinnati (2000) in the area of nonlinear system identification. He joined the Purdue University faculty in July 2000 and received a 2001 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President George W. Bush, plus the 2001 Army Young Investigator Award for research in structural diagnostics and prognostics.

Additional honors Adams has received include the Purdue Mechanical Engineering Research Discovery Award (2002), the Schools of Engineering Young Faculty Researcher Excellence Award (2003), and the Structural Health Monitoring Person of the Year Award (2003). He has also received the Mechanical Engineering Solberg Award (2003), the Purdue University Murphy Award (2004) for excellence in teaching, and is listed in the Purdue Book of Great Teachers.

Adams works with nine graduate and two undergraduate students in structural health monitoring and noise and vibration control, and has established an experimental facility to support this work. He has launched a NSF-sponsored roving laboratory for engineering students in vibrations, incorporating field projects in structural health monitoring. Adams has also led numerous short courses in nonlinear vibration and diagnostics and prognostics. In addition to publishing 75 papers, he has presented more than 28 seminars worldwide, including a keynote address at the 2003 European Defense Manufacturing Summit in Switzerland.