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McNamara to Lead Multi-Year Collaborative Center for AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate

Thanks to funding awarded by the Aerospace Systems Directorate, Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering Jack McNamara will begin leading a new collaborative research center focused on the technical challenges that are obstructing the development of the next generation of aerospace aircraft.

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Structural Sciences Center will work in tandem with the collaborative research program to better predict the life of structures operating in extreme environments for extended periods of time. The center, which will be nominally funded for five years at $2.5 million with a possible two-year extension that would bring total funding of the center to $3.5 million, is one of only four centers established by the Aerospace Systems Directorate. 

Collaborating with McNamara will be Somnath Ghosh, M.G. Callas Chair Professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University; Marc Mignolet, Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Arizona State University; and C. Armando Duarte, Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The research led by McNamara will target platforms that include those with embedded engines, as well as ultra high-speed vehicles.  The research will broadly focus on the structural behavior of aircraft during missions with a focus on simultaneously considering evolving surface conditions, stress, deformation and damage encountered during missions and throughout the prior life of the platform.

About the Aerospace Systems Directorate 
Created last year, the Aerospace Systems Directorate, is a research organization at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio that combines the former AFRL Propulsion and Air Vehicles Directorates into one entity whose mission it is to advance Air Force science and technology. 

About the AFRL Structural Sciences Center
Formed in 2005, and directed by Dr. Ravinder Chona (ST), the Structural Sciences Center is a core team of over 10 Air Force Researchers focused on attacking critical Air Force Structures needs, in particular those for combined, extreme-environment structures.