The University of Washington is a one of largest public institutions of higher education in the USA, with a student population of 43,000 and its programs are ranked highly for their quality and content. In the College of Engineering, the Composites Structures Laboratory (CSL) is unique in that it acts as a conduit for research projects related to structural composites and has been a leader in collaborations with academia, industry (Boeing, GE, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota) and government laboratories in the USA. The CSL has facilitated many collaborative projects with other academic and industrial partners for research and training purposes in the field of composite materials and composite structures. The Composite Structural Labs leaded by Prof Waas, which acts as reference person in FULLCOMP deals with composite aerostructures in a variety of structural designs that encompass a combination of different materials. These multi-material structures (MMSs), which include continuous fiber reinforced laminates, textile laminates, textile composites for high-temperature applications, layered materials, sandwich structures with a variety of cores (honeycombs, foams, truss grids, functionally graded materials), and nanoparticle reinforced polymers, require advanced analysis tools for characterizing their mechanical, thermal, and electrical behavior. In many instances, we find that examples from nature, like the nacre structure in sea shells, the composite character of soft biological tissues, and the grain patterns in wood, provide us clues and guidance to improve synthetic structures. A lot of insights can be gleaned by studying and understanding nature structures. The development of validated analytical and computational methods to understand how a structure (such as an air vehicle wing, a fuselage, the load-bearing structure of a land vehicle, the wing of an insect, a wind turbine blade) made of MMSs responds to external environments is the overarching goal of our research group. To achieve this goal, we perform a combination of experiments, computational modeling and analysis, and theoretical developments when necessary.
Professor Anthony M. Waas