Smart Materials Laboratory


Current Projects

Piezoelectric Intracranial Pressure Sensor

This project uses the acoustic coupling between the human skull, head and eye as a means of monitoring intracranial pressure in a non-invasive manner using piezoelectric transducers. In order to accurately detect pressure changes the working frequency of the sensor will have to range between 30 - 60kHz.  

Piezoelectric Composites

This area of research explores the behavior of composites manufactured with piezoelectric materials.  Mechanical and dielectric properties are characterized and analyzed numerically and experimentally for their use on specific applications.  Some of the applications of these composites under study are on energy harvesting and flow control applications. 

Recycled Material Composites

This project in cooperation with Dr. James McLeskey, EOS, and the National Science Foundation, looks for the use of recycled aluminum cans for construction.  Statistical analysis tools and FEM is used to design optimum composites for construction.

Vibration Energy Harvesting

Piezoelectric composites (as either actuators or Thin films) are ideally suited for energy harvesting applications because of their inherent durability.  Studying their performance as energy conversion mechanism from the environment to a usable form of energy is one of the goals of this area.

Synthetic Jet Actuators

Synthetic jet actuator is a device used for flow control in aerospace, automotive and medical applications. Small localized changes in the flow field lead to major changes in the device performance such as higher life coefficients and low drag coefficients in the aerial devices. 
NASA LaRC Air Force Research Lab Dominion Trek Inc. VCU CTE NSF VCu Emerging Technologies EOS Inc. VCU Engineering NextGen Aeronautics

Some pictures on this webpage are courtesy from NASA
Virginia Commonwealth University, Mechanical Engineering
Smart Materials Laboratory, 401 W. Main St., Room E3237, Richmond, Virginia, 23284-3015
804-827-5275,, 11/13/2008