What We Publish

On this page, you can find links to our internal MSDL report publications, as well as abstracts and bibliographic information for publications in peer-reviewed journal articles and conferences. Older publications by Dr. Collette before he founded the MSDL are also included. Where allowed by copyright, full text downloaded or pre-prints of articles are also provided. Papers where source code and data is provided for provenance will have a link below the abstract to access the code or data. Zotero metadata is also provided for the publications. 


Department of Naval Architecture 
and Marine Engineering
210 Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
2600 Draper Dr., Ann Arbor MI 48109
Linkedin picture

201720162013 unselected
2013 unselected
2013 unselected
2012 unselected
2011 unselected
2010 unselected


Collette, M., X. Wang, and J. Li. 2009. "Ultimate Strength Optimization of Aluminum Extrusions." In SNAME Annual Meeting, Paper 035. Providence, RI: SNAME

Recent large aluminum high-speed vessels have made use of custom extrusions to efficiently construct large flat structures including internal decks, wet decks, and side shell components. In this report, general methods for designing and optimizing such extrusions to minimize structural weight are investigated. Strength methods for aluminum plates and panels under in-plane and out-of-plane loads are reviewed, and are compared to the available experimental test data published in open literature. Good agreement was generally found for in-plane compressive strength of aluminum plates and panels. However, the current state-of-the-art methodology for assessing out-of-plane loading on plate components, and for plates and panels acting under combined loads, is not as advanced. Further research in these areas is recommended. A multi-objective optimizer using a genetic algorithm approach was developed; this optimizer was designed to quickly generate Pareto frontiers linking designs of minimum weight for a wide range of strength levels. An engineering approach to estimating the strength of arbitrary extrusions under combined in-plane and out-of-plane loading wad developed, and linked to the optimizer to create a complete design method. This method was used to develop Pareto frontiers for panels for a main vehicle deck and strength deck location on a nominal high-speed vessel for three different types of extruded panels – plate and stiffener combinations, sandwich panels, and hat-shaped stiffened panels. Finally, conclusions and recommendations for future research are presented. In general, all three types of panels performed well over a wide range of strengths, though the sandwich panel was slightly heavier than the other two for certain applications. This combination of an engineering strength estimation approach and the multi-objective genetic algorithm optimization approach proves to be practical for the design of such extrusions, with generation times for complete Pareto frontiers of a few minutes on a standard desktop PC.


Lua, J., J. Shi, M. Collette, and P. Liu. 2008. "Curvilinear Crack Growth and Remaining Life Prediction of Aluminum Weldment Using X-FEM." In 49th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference. SDM-16: Fatigue and Fracture I. AIAA. 

This study is on the development of an advanced fracture and fatigue analysis tool of aluminum weldments in the presence of 1) an arbitrary initial defect; 2) material heterogeneity and nonlinearity; and 3) an initial residual stress field. An extended finite element (X-FEM) solution module is implemented in ABAQUS via its user-defined element. A 2D representative welded T- joint is selected with a prescribed transversely cyclic loading. Three distinct elastoplastic material models are used to characterize the mechanical behavior of the base material, the heat affected zone, and the welding zone. Given the stress distribution at the potential crack initiation site, an S-N curve is used to determine the crack initiation life. The effects from the welding induced residual stress on the propagation life are characterized using a stress-ratio dependent fatigue crack growth law. Numerical studies are performed to explore the effects of the material heterogeneity, weldment geometry, and the residual stress field on the crack growth rate and path.


Collette, Matthew. "Impact of Fusion Welds on the Ultimate Strength of Aluminum Structures", in 10th International Symposium on Practical Design of Ships and Other Floating Structures (PRADS 2007) , Houston, Texas, 30 September-5 October 2007.

In the quest to minimize lightship weight, structural researchers and engineers are turning to limit-state design techniques for aluminum high-speed vessels (HSVs). In adapting techniques used for other materials for use on aluminum, one of the central problems faced is how to account for the reduced strength region in and around fusion welds in aluminum structures. The common marine aluminum alloys in both the 5000 and 6000 series alloys lose a significant portion of their strength when fusion welded. The properties of fusion welds in common marine alloys are reviewed in this paper, and previous work in this field is summarized along with new investigations into the tensile strength of such welds. Examples of loss of strength in tensile loading are given along with the implications for limitstate formulation and structural strength.

Collette, Matthew; Lin, Woei-Min; Li, Jun; Yu, Han and Allen Engle. "Automated Long-Term Motions and Loads Analysis for the Design of Novel Vessels", in 10th International Symposium on Practical Design of Ships and Other Floating Structures (PRADS 2007) , Houston, Texas, 30 September-5 October 2007.

This paper describes the development of a distributed computational system to implement a semi-automatic calculation of the long-term motions and loads for novel vessels using nonlinear time-domain motions simulation. The system is designed to make such calculations feasible at the end of the preliminary design stage, with the aim of reducing program risk associated with late changes in motions and load spectra. The distributed system is structured using the LAMP motions and loads prediction software, a high-performance computing resource, and a central data server. Information management is achieved through the adaptation of open-source software developed for commercial interactive websites. Methods are discussed for fitting statistical distributions to time-domain load data. A separate rainflow-counting based approach for analyzing fatigue data is presented. A sample calculation for an innovative high-speed sealift vessel is offered, including a comparison of different statistical approaches and brief analysis of the impact of varying simulation time on the predicted responses.

Lin, W.M., M. Collette, D. Lavis, S. Jessup, and J. Kuhn. 2007. “Recent Hydrodynamic Tool Development and Validation for Motions and Slam Loads on Ocean-going High-speed Vessels.” In 10th International Symposium on Practical Design of Ships and Other Floating Structures (PRADS 2007), 2:1107–1116. Houston, Texas.

The marine community continues to push the boundaries of high-speed marine transportation, with both commercial and military operators seeking potential solutions for the safe and economic transportation of time-sensitive cargos on trans-oceanic routes. The design of such vessels becomes more complex when operational requirements dictate the use of shallow-draft ports with minimal supporting infrastructure. To provide the naval architect with a set of practical tools to design this type of vessel, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) commissioned, in 2005, several development and validation research projects as part of a high-speed sealift (HSSL) program. This paper presents the results of several key studies covering hullform development, prediction of unsteady motions and hull structural loads, model tests, and code validation undertaken by the SAIC-led HSSL research team.

2006_2003 unselected