Structural Engineering, Mechanics, and Materials

Faculty Research: Hyperbolic Paraboloid Origami Harnesses Bistability to Enable New Applications

Glaucio Paulino, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, demonstrates hyperbolic paraboloid origami

While perhaps not as iconic as the paper crane, the hypar origami with its sweeping opposing arcs and saddle shape has long been popular for artists working in the paper folding tradition.

Now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Tokyo are looking at the shape with an eye toward leveraging its structural properties, hoping to find ways to harness its bistability to build multifunctional devices or metamaterials.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Dashing the dream of ideal ‘invisibility’ cloaks for stress waves

Roman arenas have survived in many earthquake-prone regions. Did the Romans inadvertently build seismic wave cloaks when they designed colosseums? Some researchers believe they did due to the arenas' resemblance to modern experimental elastodynamic cloaking devices. (Photo: Paolo Costa Baldi via Wikimedia Commons)

Whether Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, which perfectly steers light waves around objects to make them invisible, will ever become reality remains to be seen, but perfecting a more crucial cloak is impossible, a new study says. It would have perfectly steered stress waves in the ground, like those emanating from a blast, around objects like buildings to make them “untouchable.”

Friday, June 7, 2019

New tool will give large concrete structures what amounts to an ultrasound, finding tiny cracks before they grow

A researcher measures the width of a crack in a reinforced concrete column after testing the strength of the column. A new project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency will develop a field-deployable tool to detect cracks far smaller than this — and inside rather than outside — thick reinforced concrete structures. (Photo: Chris Kiser)

Imagine giving large concrete structures something similar to an ultrasound and getting images so detailed you can see cracks just a tenth of a millimeter long. That level of detail just isn’t possible now. Yet such capability could revolutionize how engineers assess the health of thick reinforced concrete infrastructure like dams and power plants and bridges.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

New origami can morph from one pattern to another, unlocking possibilities for new structures and materials

A new type of origami can morph from one pattern into a different one, or even a hybrid of two patterns, instantly altering many of its structural characteristics. (Photo: Allison Carter)

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a new type of origami that can morph from one pattern into a different one, or even a hybrid of two patterns, instantly altering many of its structural characteristics.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Johnston, Zhang produce two of Georgia Tech’s best Ph.D. dissertations this year

Former Ph.D. students Shelly Zhang and Eric Johnston, who have won the Sigma Xi Best Ph.D. Thesis award for 2019.

Sigma Xi has recognized the work of two recently graduated civil and environmental engineering doctoral students as some of the best of the year at Georgia Tech.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Jacobs’ nondestructive evaluation work earns lifetime achievement honor

Professor and Associate Dean Laurence Jacobs, left, accepts a lifetime achievement award in nondestructive evaluation from Tribikram Kundu at the SPIE Smart Structures and Nondestructive Evaluation Symposium in early March. (Photo Courtesy: Laurence Jacobs and SPIE)

An international organization dedicated to advancing light-based research and technology has given Laurence Jacobs a lifetime achievement award for his work on nondestructive evaluation.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Kurtis receives Concrete Institute’s Anderson Medal for excellence, creativity, leadership in concrete

Professor and Associate Dean Kimberly Kurtis (Photo: Christopher Moore)

Kimberly Kurtis didn’t know cement and concrete would become such an important part of her working life until she was a junior in college.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Shape-shifting origami could help antenna systems adapt on the fly

Silver dipoles are arranged across the folds of a Miuri-Ori pattern to create a radio frequency filter that’s tunable. By adjusting the dimensions, the filter can block a wide range of frequencies. (Photo: Rob Felt)

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have devised a method for using an origami-based structure to create radio frequency filters that have adjustable dimensions, enabling the devices to change which signals they block throughout a large range of frequencies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Yavari elected a fellow of the Society of Engineering Science, only the 2nd from Tech

Professor Arash Yavari, who has been elected a fellow of the Society of Engineering Science. (Photo: Amelia Neumeister)

Arash Yavari joins a fairly exclusive club in 2019, one that includes giants of science and engineering, National Academies members, and National Medal of Science winners.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

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