Adams earns Lazan Award for pioneering structural health monitoring technology

Douglas Adams, Daniel F. Flowers Professor and Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is the recipient of the 2016 B. J. Lazan Award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics. Adams will accept the award in June at SEM’s International Congress in Orlando, Florida.

Adams is being recognized for pioneering structural health monitoring technology built on nonlinear dynamic principles that aim to improve the safety of lightweight aircraft.

Douglas Adams

“It is such an honor to receive this award from the community of creative scientists and engineers who welcomed me many years ago to the first conference I ever attended. The work I get to do is fascinating because the faculty, students, staff and sponsors with whom I work are an extraordinary group of people dedicated to building a safer and more secure world,” Adams said.

His research in nonlinear system identification reveals unique signatures that characterize how materials and machines behave. Adams has developed and patented nondestructive evaluation and structural health monitoring technology to reduce the cost and improve the reliability of systems in manufacturing, energy, and defense applications.

The Lazan award honors inventors, developers or contributors to the introduction of new devices or methods. Nominations are solicited from the SEM’s general membership by its Honors Committee.

Adams is founder and co-director of the school’s super-sized Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability, which opened in August 2014. His research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Department of Defense and industry partners including several large manufacturers and defense contractors. He has secured more than 120 federal and industrial sponsored programs for over $32 million in funding and has four patents and a number of patent applications in process.

Adams teaches courses in mechanics and dynamics, 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.

Adams has written 265 technical papers, including many at SEM conferences, a textbook on structural health monitoring, and several book chapters. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the SEM’s DeMichele Award, and was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2011.

This SEM award was established in 1967 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding original technical contributions to experimental mechanics. In 1973 the award was named in honor of Dr. Benjamin J. Lazan, a pioneer in his field who achieved recognition in dynamic testing, vibration, materials damping and fatigue.

SEM is a professional society formed in 1943 by engineers and scientists involved in the validation of new designs and materials. The ever-increasing pressure to reduce the cost and development cycles has directed the work of these “experimentalists” toward the concept stage, predicting design performance and reliability. The dependence on experimental mechanics has fostered a renewed interest in experimental analysis and test methods.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering