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Fu-Kuo Chang

Aeronautics and Astronautics
Story originally published on Jul 2016
As humans we have a nervous system, so we can sense and communicate about what’s ailing us.

When we’re tired or in pain, we are able to use that sensory information to stop what we are doing or seek help. My research focuses on giving all manmade structures the ability to communicate when they are in “pain” or when they are in danger of collapsing or failing. This area of research is known as “Structural Health Monitoring.” The eventual goal is to equip all manmade structures with a nervous system so that they can communicate with humans about their “aches” and “pains.” To do this, I’m working to develop intelligent sensor networks that can be integrated into structural materials. I want to enable these nerve-like sensor networks to generate, collect, and then process sensor signals and provide information about the health of various structures that include planes, buildings or cars. This information would be invaluable in elongating the life of structures. Moreover, this could help us design more efficiently. With better information, we could more quickly adopt new materials into building designs to create more advanced and intelligent planes, cars, buildings, oil/gas pipelines, etc

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