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Harne selected as Air Force Research Lab summer fellow

Ryan HarneSummer “vacation” offers Ryan Harne time to delve even deeper into his research. Harne’s newest honor, sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, will allow him to conduct his observations at the Air Force Research Laboratory within the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Harne, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was selected as a fellow for the 2017 Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Summer Faculty Fellowship Program. With this fellowship, Harne will extend his current efforts to advance the fundamental understanding of the intricate, coupled influences of extreme thermal, mechanical and acoustic loads on the time-varying dynamic responses of built-up structural systems.

“Future generations of aircraft will be significantly lighter in weight, which raises concerns for structural integrity when they are excited by diverse loads, such as mechanical vibrations, aeroacoustic perturbations and thermal gradients,” said Harne.

“For these scenarios, the current state-of-the-art practice of simulation methods for air vehicle certification and maintenance will be too time-consuming. Our research establishes a rigorous theoretical approach that greatly accelerates aerostructure response prediction for such nonlinear flight states while maintaining high-fidelity for insights to guide aircraft development and operation.”

Harne will be joined by his student advisee Ben Goodpaster, a mechanical engineering graduate student. Together, their efforts will provide the analytical tools needed to help realize new generations of lightweight aerospace structural systems capable of withstanding significant distress in their operating states.

Harne’s fellowship, which will last for 10 weeks, will work directly with AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate. This Wright-Patterson directorate offers Harne access to world-class facilities, including a fuel research facility, rocket testing facility and a subsonic wind tunnel.

The fellowship has five aims: To stimulate the professional relationships among program participants and engineers at Air Force research facilities; to enhance the research interests and capabilities of faculty; to elevate the awareness of Air Force research needs; to provide participants with opportunities to perform high-quality and meaningful research; and to deliver nationally accredited mentoring for academic researchers at directorates of the AFRL, Air Force Test Center, the United States Air Force Academy and the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Harne’s summer research will tie in directly with the work being done at Ohio State’s Laboratory of Sound and Vibration Research, where Harne serves as director. In this unique lab, Harne and his team advance the fields of vibrations, acoustics, mechanics and nonlinear dynamics.

“Our lab undertakes a wide range of multi-disciplinary research, while the skillsets of our student researchers share many underlying principles despite the eclectic research portfolio,” said Harne.

“This illustrates the breadth of outlets for researchers in the areas of sound and vibration, and it is a reason for our daily enthusiasm to continue making breakthroughs for society and the scientific communities.”