The Waas-Pineda model that shows how damage accumulates around a slit in the composite

Anthony Waas awarded AIAA Dryden Lectureship

Michigan Aerospace Chair Anthony Waas has been chosen to give the 2022 Dryden Lecture in Research by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Michigan Aerospace Chair Anthony Waas has been chosen to give the 2022 Dryden Lecture in Research by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). This is one of AIAA’s premier lectures, presented as an award, representing the great importance of basic and applied research to the advancement in aeronautics and astronautics. It is typically given at the Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (SciTech), one of AIAA’s main conferences, as a keynote speech.

The award was named in honor of Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, known for his research into boundary layer flow and directorship of NACA, in 1967, and has since been awarded to leaders in aerospace research. It was last awarded to a University of Michigan professor in 2009 when Prof. Peretz P Friedmann, the François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor in the Aerospace Engineering and Director of the FXB Center for Rotary and Fixed Wing Air Vehicle Design,  gave the lecture on the topics of Vibration Control in Rotorcraft and Hypersonic Aeroelasticity. Dr. Waas will be the second speaker from the University of Michigan to be awarded this lectureship.

Anthony Waas, Richard A. Auhll Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Waas will give the lecture on the topic of Digital Tools for Designing Composite Aerostructures of the Future. Dr. Waas is currently the head of the University of Michigan’s Composite Structures Lab (CSL), where he leads the study of composite aerostructures and how they respond to external environments. Over the past 20 years or so, the CSL has pioneered many digital tools, including the widely used EST model, software that helps simulate road vehicle and aircraft dynamics. With the need to reduce costs of production and certification cost of flying vehicles, there is an urgency in increasing automated manufacturing of large aerospace structures, a segment that will be increasingly dominated by composite materials. The development and use of robust, high-fidelity computational models for the structural analysis of airplanes made of composites and multi-material systems will be an activity that will continue for the next decades. Furthermore, additive manufacturing of composites using 3D printing will also emerge as a strong contender for air vehicle structures. Dr. Waas discussed the benefits of using computer modeling to predict the reliability of composites made using steering automated fiber placement (AFP) concepts in a recent article titled “Modeling Structural Strength” in Aerospace America magazine.The CSL is currently at the forefront of this research, and the Dryden Lectureship is an excellent opportunity for them to share their developments with the rest of the aerospace community.

The CSL’s past research has introduced new methods of simulating composite structures, notably in using industry-standard Finite Element solvers, like ABAQUS, to simulate how different composite production methods determine mechanical performance. NASA has singled out these methods and their applications in their Vision 2040 study, outlining how important the understanding and simulation of composites is to the industry going forward. 

This lecture award allows me to inform the community of the importance of integrated digital tools that can accelerate the insertion of new structural concepts, exploiting the benefits of composites for lightweight aerostructures of the future.


Anthony M. Waas is the Richard A. Auhll Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where he holds the Felix Pawlowski Collegiate Chair since September 1, 2018. Prior to that he was the Boeing Egtvedt Endowed Chair Professor and Department Chair in the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington, Seattle. Professor Waas’s research interests are: computational modeling of lightweight composite structures, robotically manufactured aerospace structures, 3D printing in aerospace, damage tolerance of composites, mechanics of textile composites and data science applications in aerospace engineering. Professor Waas is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), the American Academy of Mechanics (AAM), the American Society for Composites and the Royal Aeronautical Society, UK. He is a recipient of several best paper awards, the 2016 AIAA/ASME SDM award, the AAM Jr. Research Award, the ASC Outstanding Researcher Award, the 2017 AIAA James Starnes, Jr. Award, the 2020 AIAA ICME Prize, the 2020 ASME Warner T. Koiter medal, and several distinguished awards from the University of Michigan. Prof Waas serves as a member of the National Academies Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board.


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