Nanomaterials lab

Multifunctional Structures and Nanomaterials

Multifunctional Structures

Multifunctional structures have become critical components of many technologies used in aerospace engineering. Active materials such as piezoelectric materials, shape-memory alloys (SMA), and electro- and magneto-theological fluids are introduced into a structure for structural vibration control, damping augmentation, and morphing applications. When multifunctional structures are coupled with control algorithms, “smart” structures able to adapt to changing environments are created, increasing the operation envelope of vehicles.

Our faculty is actively engaged in the design, fabrication, and testing of multifunctional trailing edge flaps and trim tabs, as well as active leading-edge non-destructive evaluation and ice-protective piezoelectric structures.

Multifunctional Nanomaterials

Multifunctional nanomaterials, or advanced materials, research is the study about how material structures determine their properties, including their design and manufacturing. Materials can be engineered at nano and micro scales to tailor their properties, but the why and how to make them consistently work are still not well understood.

This research area is of high interest to academic, industry, and defense communities of aerospace, civil, and biomedical applications, because, if successful, engineering at small scales can improve performance, multifunctionality, and durability of materials: mass-specific strength and toughness, actuation and sensing, and stability in harsh environment (thermal, chemical, and radiation).

Key Faculty:



The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 16th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

Department of Aerospace Engineering

229 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2569