In the Multifunctional Composites Group we are developing next-generation, structural composites that can sense, respond and adapt to their environment. Motivated by natural phenomenon, our research is focused on creating “active” materials that achieve biomimetic, regulating functions such as self-healing.
One class of our smart fiber-composites contains 3D microvascular networks, akin to blood vessels, to attain multifunctional performance (e.g. thermal regulation & magnetic modulation) via circulation of distinct fluids througout the internal vasculature. Another research direction involves the integration of microelectronic sensors into advanced composite systems for coupling structural health monitoring (i.e. self-sensing) with self-regulating functions. Our research is highly interdisciplinary spanning a variety of engineering and scientific disciplines including aerospace, materials science, chemistry, mechanics, and civil engineering.