NSF-MRI grant will help Kettering University acquire a 3D Digital Image Correlation System

Dr. Javad Baqersad, faculty member in the Kettering University department of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded a National Science Foundation - Major Research Instrumentation (NSF-MRI). The award is Kettering’s ninth NSF-MRI award since 2012.

Dr. Javad Baqersad, faculty member in the Kettering University department of Mechanical Engineering, along with collaborators from multiple disciplines across campus have been awarded a National Science Foundation - Major Research Instrumentation (NSF-MRI) grant for $183,835.

The grant will allow Baqersad to acquire a 3D Digital Image Correlation (DIC) System to enhance research and teaching at Kettering.

The award is Kettering’s ninth NSF-MRI award since 2012 which is the most of any higher education institution in the state of Michigan over that time.

“There are many areas we are going to use this grant, including vibration measurement of lightweight structures, material testing, biomechanics and crash analysis,” Baqersad said. “We will have two high-speed cameras, a work station and a new software package. The high-speed cameras can record 80,000 frames per second. That’s so fast.”

The equipment will be under the direction of Baqersad, along with Dr. Azadeh Sheidaei, Dr. Daniel Ludwigsen, Dr. Theresa Atkinson and Dr. Massoud S. Tavakoli.

The digital image correlation system enables high fidelity, full-field, and non-contact measurements of geometry, displacement and strain. The 3D DIC system will be used as a shared teaching, training and research tool to support interdisciplinary, collaborative research and education in the broad areas of structural dynamics, biomechanics, non-destructive inspection, crash safety, vehicle dynamics, and material science at Kettering and other local higher education institutes.

There are already more than 10 interdisciplinary projects that have applications for the new equipment. Between Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Chemical Engineering and Math, there is a lot of collaboration ready to happen, Baqersad said.

With the new equipment, researchers can focus on projects such as structural health monitoring and damage detection, material science particularly in the field of polymers and polymer nano-composites, orthopaedic biomechanics and mechanical evaluation of fracture fixation techniques, structural dynamics and lightweight material testing, crash safety and crash worthiness analysis, structural vibration of musical instruments, and vehicle durability and tire dynamics.

“With crash dynamics, right now we can only measure 2D displacement. What we can measure with this new equipment is 3D displacement and strain,” Baqersad said. “Before we had this new equipment we would look at displacement at single discrete points. This can do global measurement or full field measurements.”

This could help with finding the optimal pressure for healing bones. Also, it can be used to extract the deformations of a tire while rolling down the road, or measuring the vibrations of a vehicle body, a wind turbine, or helicopter rotors, to name a few. These results will be eventually used to improve the performance of these machines.

“Having so many applications was one reason we received the MRI grant. That was very good news,” Baqersad said. “We will not only have collaboration within our university but with other schools, such as Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University.”

The grant can also be used for teaching by allowing undergraduate students to have hands-on experience with the equipment.

The acquisition will also support student clubs and organizations such as Formula SAE team by providing an instrument that can scan the engine components and help the students evaluate their designs.

“Having this state of the art equipment is going to be very beneficial. This was very good news for me,” Baqersad said. “This is a great achievement.”


Written By Sarah Schuch | Contact: Sarah Schuch - sschuch@kettering.edu - (810) 762-9369