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D’Souza earns NSF grant to advance next-generation damping devices, energy harvesters

Kiran D'SouzaA National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will support Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Kiran D’Souza’s work to improve the design process of a variety of engineered systems where rubbing and intermittent contact between components significantly affects performance.

“This research will provide new understanding and analysis tools for systems that contain nonlinearities due to intermittent contact, friction contact, cracks, large displacement joints and stiffness changes,” explained D’Souza.

These systems include damping devices for aircraft engines and turbomachinery, and energy harvesters such as water buoys that provide green energy. Current techniques are not able to predict the response of these complex systems and hence obstruct the development of new technologies. The project will benefit greatly from the computational expertise of the Gas Turbine Laboratory, which D’Souza co-directs.

Administered through the NSF’s Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation, the $413,876 grant will fund the study and related educational outreach initiatives from May 2019 through April 2023.