Our research aims to discover new methods and computational models to simulate and design morphing and lightweight structures, especially those inspired by origami and tensegrity. There is also interest in the application of shape memory alloys, shape memory polymers, and thermally responsive composites on morphing structures. The overarching goal of our research is the development of structures with properties such as minimal mass, minimal energy usage, optimal shape changes, and tailorable stiffness and thermal expansion.
Under the guidance of Prof. Edwin A. P. Hernandez, the Morphing Structures Group aims to make breakthroughs in the following areas:
- Design of deployable structures and morphing wings that enable new technological advancements in the aerospace field
- Novel frames and shock absorbers with high energy dissipation and energy absorption per unit mass
- Energy-, time-, and cost-efficient manufacturing approaches across scales ranging from self-folding for microfabrication to laser origami for metal forming
- Structures with tailorable stiffness and thermal expansion for high performance aerospace vehicles and energy applications
Overview of Research Topics