Nanoengineered composites for damage detection and load monitoring of mechanical and aerospace systems

Interdisciplinary Areas: Engineering and Healthcare/Medicine/Biology

Project Description

This project will explore the design and fabrication of nanoengineered composite materials and their application to multiphysics tomographic imaging for damage detection and load monitoring. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems have the potential to revolutionize the life cycle and the maintenance approach of a wide spectrum of mechanical systems by drastically increasing their safety, reliability, and sustainability. The current maintenance approach is based on “pre-scheduled” operations that do not account for the actual status of the structural component. Despite much progress in the SHM field in recent years, almost none of the most advanced SHM technologies have yet made the transition to real-world applications. When considering composite materials the applications are even fewer. This project will explore the concurrent design of novel composite materials and monitoring systems in order to develop composite structural systems exhibiting unprecedented monitoring and self-assessment functionalities. 
The postdoctoral researcher will perform theoretical, numerical, and experimental work at the interface between continuum mechanics, imaging and inverse problems, and material fabrication. The selected candidate will utilize the state of the art facilities at Purdue’s TNT Laboratory, Structural Health Monitoring and Dynamics Laboratory, and Ray W. Herrick Laboratories in order to perform computations, material fabrication, and experiments.

Start Date

August 15, 2019

Postdoc Qualifications

PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, or closely related fields. Experience in computational and experimental continuum mechanics, dynamics and vibrations, nanocomposites and material fabrication is preferred. 


Tyler N. Tallman
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering
TNT Laboratory

Fabio Semperlotti 
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering (courtesy)
Structural Health Monitoring and Dynamics Laboratory


1. Hassan H., Semperlotti, F., Wang, K. W., Tallman, T. N., “Enhanced imaging of piezoresistive nanocomposites through the incorporation of non-local conductivity changes in electrical impedance tomography,” J. Intell. Material Syst. Struct., 29, 1850-1861, 2018.

2. Tallman T. N., Wang K. W., “Damage and strain identification in multifunctional materials via electrical impedance tomography with constrained sine wave solutions,” Struct. Health Monit, 15, 235-244, 2016. 
3. Tallman, T. N., Gungor, S., Koo, G. M., Bakis, C. E., “On the inverse determination of displacements, strains, and stresses in a carbon nanofiber/polyurethane nanocomposite from conductivity data obtained via electrical impedance tomography,” J. Intell. Material Syst. Struct., 28, 2617-2629, 2017. 
4. Buonocore S., Semperlotti, F., “Tomographic imaging of non-local media based on space-fractional diffusion models”, J. Appl. Phys., 123, 214902, 2018.
5. Zhao L., Yang J., Wang K.W., Semperlotti F., "An application of Impediography to the high sensitivity and high resolution identification of structural damage", Smart Mat. Struct. 24, 065044, 2015.