Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering
University of Cincinnati

M.S., Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

B.S., Mechanical Engineering
University of Cincinnati

Contact Information

615 322 2697
267A Jacobs Hall
VU Mailbox: PMB 351831, Nashville, TN 37235-1831 USA

Douglas Adams

Daniel F. Flowers Professor
Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mechanical Engineering (secondary)

Intellectual Neighborhoods

Research Focus

Research Areas:
- Mechanics
- System identification

Research Interests:
- Nonlinear structural dynamics and vibrations
- Structural health monitoring/diagnostics and damage prognosis
- Noise and vibration control
- Applications in aerospace and automotive systems
- Applications in energy systems including wind turbines and batteries
- Applications in defense and security platforms


Dr. Adams is the Daniel F. Flowers Professor of Engineering and Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University.  He studies the health of materials and machines using sensors to reveal hidden signatures.  Specifically, his group pioneered the development of nonlinear approaches for structural health monitoring to realize intelligent structures that are self-aware to prevent failure in energy, security, and manufacturing applications. He founded and co-directs the Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability, a 20,000 sq. ft. facility that is uniquely equipped and staffed for observing how engineered systems behave in realistic experiments at a full scale making it possible to bridge research discoveries to solutions that address societal grand challenges.  For example, he leads Vanderbilt in the national $259M Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation funded by the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with lead University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory together with 122 corporate, federal and university partners.  This program establishes a composites manufacturing ecosystem that will transform the nation’s capability to economically and energy efficiently produce products ranging from fuel-efficient, safe composite automobiles to lightweight wind turbines. 

Dr. Adams has written 83 peer-reviewed journal papers and 176 other technical articles, and authored a textbook on structural health monitoring as well as 5 book chapters on topics ranging from damage prognosis of composite aerospace structures to health monitoring of wind turbines.  He has received over a dozen research awards including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, both the Society for Experimental Mechanics DeMichele and Lazan Awards, and was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  He has advised 56 M.S./Ph.D. students, supervised 42 undergraduate researchers, and now works with 5 Ph.D. students.  Dr. Adams teaches courses in mechanics and dynamics, i.e., the way things bend and move, featuring interactive, experiential learning on topics ranging from mechanics in motion pictures to present day disasters. He has won awards for classroom and online teaching and has disseminated his research findings in over 150 seminars and 30 short courses, many of which were delivered internationally to universities, research institutes, and corporations.  He has secured ~120 federal and industrial sponsored programs for over $32M in funding and has 4 patents and a number of patent applications in process. He also serves as Managing Editor of Structural Health Monitoring: An International Journal, and he serves ASME and SEM.  He serves the university as a member of the Transinstitutional Programs (TIPS) Council to help guide the implementation of the Academic Strategic Plan and works within the school of engineering in the risk & reliability and cyberphysical intellectual neighborhoods.

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