CEE professor is chair of AIAA’s 51st aerospace structures conference

Sankaran Mahadevan, professor of civil and environmental engineering, is General Chair of the 51st Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference (SDM) sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as the ASME, ASCE, AHS, and ASC.

This annual conference – held in 2010 at the Rosen Center in Orlando, Fla., April 12-15 – is a widely acknowledged event that provides an established forum dedicated to the latest developments in the collective disciplines of aerospace structures, structural dynamics, materials, design engineering, and survivability.

The 51st Conference will also host the 18th Adaptive Structures Conference, the 12th Non-Deterministic Approaches Conference, the 11th Gossamer Systems Forum, and the 6th Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Specialist Conference. The keynote speaker is Frank Cappuccio, executive vice president and general manager of Advanced Development Programs, Lockheed Martin Corporation. The awards luncheon speaker is Robert D. Braun, NASA’s Chief Technologist. Thomas A. Cruse, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering and former associate dean in the School of Engineering, is one of the speakers.

This year’s presentations will be organized around the potential applications of structures, structural dynamics, and materials in future generations of air and space vehicles, focusing on innovative solutions and enhanced performance.

In addition to significant participation from U.S. and some foreign universities, corporate and government attendees include Boeing, Lockheed, Honeywell International, General Electric, General Dynamics Corporation, Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, NASA, Canadian Space Agency, Bombardier Aerospace and others.

Mahadevan has received an Outstanding Professional Service Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for sustained service to the Aerospace Division over the past two decades. He also served Technical Program Chair for the 46st SDM conference in 2005, and as Technical Program Chair and General Chair of the 9th and 10th AIAA Non-Deterministic Approaches Conferences in 2007 and 2008. He is currently serving as Associate Editor of ASCE’s Journal of Structural Engineering, and as Chair of the Probabilistic Methods Committee in ASCE’s Engineering Mechanics Institute.

Mahadevan co-founded and directs Vanderbilt’s Multidisciplinary Doctoral Program in Reliability and Risk Engineering and Management, the first National Science Foundation-funded graduate program that trains students to predict the performance and reliability of complex systems and equipment. It is the premier program in the world to study and develop multidisciplinary computational approaches to assessing and managing risk and reliability.

His research activities focus on probabilistic computational mechanics, random vibration, reliability and risk assessment, and optimization.

Mahadevan came to Vanderbilt in 1988. He received his doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology, his master’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology.