Durham NC, April 17th, 2014
In most aerospace structures there are two primary concerns: performance - often dictated by thermo-fluid considerations, and integrity - which is heavily influenced by materials and structural dynamics. On April 17th David Ewins, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge and Professor gave a talk on the efforts which are under way to improve this aspect of the state-of-the-art aerospace designs of the future. The first part of the talk was a strategic overview of the whole area of Structural Dynamics, seeking to identify some of the crucial topics that present the most urgent challenges for further progress. Dr. Ewins discussed the critical importance of obtaining the correct balance between the three core competences that must be deployed in almost every application – Theoretical Modelling, Numerical Analysis and Experimental Measurement. Then, Dr. Ewins discussed the importance of the integration of test analysis activities which is necessary to carry out Validation and Verification of models.
In the second part of the talk, Dr. Ewins described some of the recent specific developments in the aero-engine and rotorcraft sectors. First amongst these is the importance, and challenges, of taking proper account of the interfaces and joints which separate the many components in any engineering structure. This leads inevitably to much more frequent encounters with nonlinear behavior, and the need for both modeling and - especially - experimental methods to deal with these effects. Of particular interest throughout was the need to provide technology capabilities that allow industry to be able to analyze, design and test for realistic in-service operating conditions.