Our Research

The Marine Structures Design Lab conducts research in the marine design domain, with an emphasis on structural response and stochastic methods. The group members have performed research for many different organizations, including several multi-year Office of Naval Research funded efforts, two Ship Structure Committee projects as well as work for NAVSEA. Our current research is focused in three main areas:

  • Lightweight Structures
  • Lifecycle Structural Support
  • Advanced Design Optimization

The design of the current generation of aluminum high-speed vessels for commercial and military applications has created the need for improved aluminum structural engineering tools. The increased size of these vessels and their exposed operating environments has resulted in a corresponding increase in the wave-induced loads on these vessels. As these vessels become larger and take on increasingly challenging military missions, the safety implications of structural failure have grown as well. To effectively optimize and approve lightweight structures for such vessels, naval architects require rapid ultimate strength methods for the 5xxx and 6xxx-series aluminum alloys suitable for use in the design process. We have developed a series of new methods for rapidly assessing the tensile and compressive strength of aluminum structures. Key goals of the methods are to include alloy specific stress-strain curve in the formulation, be applicable to a wide range of extrusion topologies, and to use only rapid semi-analytical formulations so that the method is suitable for early-stage design and optimization approaches.