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Ben Franklin Center of Excellence in Structural Health Monitoring

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SHM Center Newsletters January 2010 December 2008

Members: Sikorsky, Intelligent Automation, Impact Technologies, GE Sensing and Inspection Technologies, Siemens Energy, FBS Inc, KCF Technologies, National Instruments, Quest Integrated


CoE SHM Brochure (pdf) This colorful brochure briefly highlights the CoE in Structural Health Monitoring and features recent projects on vibration monitoring and ultrasonic tomography (2 pages).



Download charter as pdf This document concisely outlines the mission, objectives, vision, strategy, scope of operations, and membership opportunities for the CoE in Structural Health Monitoring.


Advance the state-of-the-art in structural health monitoring (SHM) to improve public safety, reduce maintenance costs, improve readiness, and foster a paradigm shift in design by leveraging and fostering collaborative R&D efforts between academia, industry, and government entities. Provide a means for transferring technology to member companies, agencies, and institutions.


  • Spur the research and development of new SHM technologies
  • Transfer SHM technologies to member companies to give them a competitive advantage
  • Make PA a hotspot for structural health monitoring, creating a new high tech job market that will provide jobs for residents and draw people and SHM industries to PA
  • Train students to provide an outstanding workforce pool in the SHM technology areas

What is SHM?


The Center hosts meetings with the aims of:

  • Bringing designers and owners of platforms that benefit from SHM technology together with researchers and developers of SHM systems
  • Growing the Center by building relationships that lead to fruitful multidisciplinary collaborations between industry, academia, and government

Viewing the meeting presentations requires a USERID and PASSKEY. Contact Cliff Lissenden if you are interested in the Center and viewing the presentations

Click here for presentations

CoE SHM Meeting Programs: August 2011 June 2010 Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Spring 2008 Fall 2007 Spring 2007

The next SHM Meeting will be in June 2012, plan to attend!

SHM Short Course

The Center has developed a 3-day short course on structural health monitoring that is taught at Penn State. Center members can attend the course for free, while others can attend for a registration fee.

Course Objectives: Students will be able to…

  1. describe and compare various types of diagnostics for SHM applications
  2. select a viable SHM methodology for a given application based on available technology
  3. apply the mechanics of guided waves for SHM applications to detect structural defects
  4. analyze vibration data from a complex system and use it to predict remaining fatigue life

Next course offering: 20-22 June 2011

Photos from June 2010 offering:

Prof Tittmann and Cliff Searfass demonstrate AE capabilities Teams discuss SHM system design

Tour of rotorcraft icing chamber Demonstration of ultrasonic guided wave features


The first Center funded project, “New Sensors for Improved Ultrasonic Guided Wave Tomography in SHM,” is led by Professor Joseph Rose. The project addresses the need for new, more robust and efficient, sensor technology to enable self diagnostic aircraft structures. Recent development of ultrasonic guided wave tomography and imaging potential for defect detection are leveraged to create new geometric sensor designs. These new sensors enable advancement of physically based defect imaging. Progress reports were given at the Spring 2008 and Fall 2008 meetings. Project Summary

The Siemens membership project, “The Origin of Unpredictability in Damage Evolution Dynamics: Fundamental Limitations on SHM System Performance” is led by Professors Joseph Cusumano and Francesco Costanzo. The project aims to bridge the gap between the microscopic phenomena responsible for damage accumulation, and the macroscopic observables needed for SHM. Acknowledging that true, real-time remaining life predictions will only be as useful as the uncertainty estimates associated with them are sharp, to effectively design next generation SHM systems with true predictive capabilities, we require a fundamental understanding of:

  1. The origin of observed stochasticity in damage evolution processes: how can one explain the probability density functions of macro observables, such as failure times, in terms of microstructural dynamics?
  2. The dimensionality of damage evolution as a function of the fraction of remaining life: what factors determine how much data is needed to make an adequate assessment of life and remaining life?
  3. The sensitivity of damage evolution to uncertainties in the knowledge of initial microstructural states: what are the theoretical limits to the prediction time horizon for remaining life, given a specified degree of accuracy?

A latest Center funded project was conducted in 2009. The project, “Probabilistic Fatigue Life Prediction from Guided Wave Ultrasonic Technology SHM,” was led by Professor Cliff Lissenden. Hwanjeong Cho is the graduate student who worked on the project. The objective is to develop a quantitative guided wave ultrasonic technology that can size a fatigue crack, and autonomously provide input to a prognostic model to predict future fatigue crack size given loading and environmental conditions. Furthermore, the prognostic model must be probabilistic and provide an estimate of the confidence level for the prediction. Work in progress was reported at the June 2009 center meeting and the Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation conference in July 2009. QNDE Paper


Sikorsky Aircraft, Stratford, CT, Contacts: James Cycon and Mark Davis; Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of military and commercial helicopters; fixed-wing aircraft; spare parts and maintenance, repair and overhaul services for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft; and civil helicopter operations. Sikorsky helicopters are used by all five branches of the United States armed forces, along with military services and commercial operators in 40 nations. Our well known rotary wing products include the BLACK HAWK, SEAHAWK, H-53 and Schweizer light helicopters. Our fixed wing aircraft include Schweizer reconnaissance airplanes as well as the PZL Mielec Sky Truck and Dromader airplanes.

Sikorsky Aerospace Services, provides full-spectrum service solutions to fixed and rotary wing, commercial and military customers worldwide. SAS comprehensive support is designed to minimize operator downtime, improve ease of use, and reduce cost of ownership. From newly engineered logistics programs to industry-recognized maintenance, repair and overhaul services and parts requisition, Sikorsky Aerospace Services keeps you flying.


Intelligent Automation Inc, Rockville, MD, Contact: Xiaoliang (George) Zhao; Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) is a woman owned firm founded in 1987. Headquartered in Rockville, Maryland and with over 100 researchers and technical staff, IAI has maintained its character as a diverse R&D “think tank.” Our current areas of research, applications, and products focus on distributed intelligent systems, networks, signal processing, controls, robotics, artificial intelligence, communications, health monitoring, electro-mechanical systems, forensics, and educational & training technology. Key application areas include defense, transportation, law enforcement, space, communications, and training. IAI has twice been honored with the prestigious “Tibbetts Award” from the Small Business Administration and the Small Business Technology Council for excellence in technology research and commercialization.


Impact Technologies, LLC, Rochester, NY, Contact: Carl Byington; Impact Technologies, LLC is a world-class engineering firm that provides a wide range of products and services for analyzing, predicting, and managing the health of critical systems. We are recognized experts in product development and implementation using our suite of advanced diagnostic and prognostic solutions that can be applied across the aerospace, land-based equipment, power, and defense industries.

With a highly experienced team of scientists, project managers, and applications engineers, Impact is committed to helping our customers realize the value of improved equipment monitoring and truly predictive health management.


GE Sensing and Inspection Technologies, Lewistown, PA, Contact: Paul Meyer; GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies is part of GE Enterprise Solutions, a $5 billion business helping customers compete and win in a changing global environment by combining the power of GE’s unique expertise and intelligent technology to drive customers’ productivity and profitability.

GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies is a leading innovator in advanced measurement, sensor-based and inspection solutions that deliver accuracy, productivity and safety to its customers. The company designs and manufactures sensing instruments that measure temperature, pressure, moisture, gas and flow rate for demanding customer applications. It also designs, manufactures and services inspection equipment, including radiographic, ultrasonic, remote visual and eddy current, that monitors and tests materials without disassembly, deforming or damaging them. Its products are used in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, power generation, aerospace, transportation and healthcare. The company has 4,700 employees at more than 40 facilities in 25 countries worldwide.


Siemens Energy, Inc., Orlando, FL, Contact: Paul Zombo; As one of the world's leading power engineering companies, Siemens delivers innovative and environmental-friendly solutions. The company develops and builds fossil fuel power plants and power-generating components as well as wind turbines. Instrumentation and control systems, fuel cell technology and extensive services round out the portfolio.


FBS Inc. Guided Wave UT Solutions, State College, PA, Contact: Steve Owens; Efforts at FBS Inc. are focused on being the preeminent ultrasonic guided wave technology transfer and product development company for all aspects of Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) applications in pipeline, rail, aviation, power generation, manufacturing, civil infrastructure, and military products.


KCF Technologies, State College, PA, Contact: Jeremy Frank; KCF Technologies is a privately-held research and product development company, founded in 2000. KCF delivers solutions to customers in industrial, research and defense markets with products and technology development solutions in our three business areas of Navigation, Energy Systems, and Devices. Our mission is to develop technologies and products that safeguard lives, save energy and conserve resources.


National Instruments, Austin, TX, Contact: David Potter; National Instruments transforms the way engineers and scientists around the world design, prototype, and deploy systems for test, control, and embedded design applications. Using NI open graphical programming software and modular hardware, customers at more than 30,000 companies annually simplify development, increase productivity, and dramatically reduce time to market. From testing next-generation gaming systems to creating breakthrough medical devices, NI customers continuously develop innovative technologies that impact millions of people.


I & T Nardoni Institute, Brescia, Italy, Contact: Giuseppi Nardoni; The I&T NARDONI INSTITUTE was established in 1988 by G. Nardoni and Pietro, his son, with the aim to introduce advanced techniques in the traditional NDT field. The main activity of the Company is NON DESTRUCTIVE TESTING. The NDT methods applied include: X-Ray, Ultrasonic test, Eddy current, Magnetic particle, Penetrant test, Acoustic emission, Stress measurements strain gages, Barkhausen method, Visual test, AC field. The intangible value of the Company is based on 42 years experience of the founder in NDT, examinations applied to the following fields: Chemical, Petrochemical, Nuclear, Fossil, Hydro power plant, Civil structures, Aircraft, Automotive, Steel plant, Machinery, etc.

I & T Nardoni Institute

Quest Integrated, Inc., Kent, WA, Contact: Giovanni Nino; QI2's primary mission is to provide quality inspection, measurement and instrumentation systems for its worldwide customers. QUEST offers a wide variety of standard systems as well as the capability to design and manufacture custom instrumentation to meet our customer's specialized needs. QI2 is considered by its peers as the world's leader in providing products and services for dimensional mapping of the inside surfaces of tubular components.



Contact Info

Center Director: Cliff Lissenden

212 EES Bldg, Penn State, University Park, PA 16802

(814) 863-5754

research/cjl9/structural_health_monitoring.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/28 18:17 by

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