You are here

Lawrence N. Virgin

Virgin

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Professor Virgin's research is centered on studying the behavior of nonlinear dynamical systems. This work may be broadly divided into two components. First, investigation of the fundamental nature of nonlinear systems based on a mathematical description of their underlying equations of motion. Both analytical and numerical techniques are used with special attention focused on the loss of stability of dynamical systems.

The second area of interest is to apply recent results from nonlinear dynamical systems theory to problems of practical engineering importance. These include the nonlinear rolling motion of ships leading to capsize; buckling of axially-loaded structural components; aeroelastic flutter of aircraft panels at high supersonic speeds; vibration isolation based on nonlinear springs; energy harvesting; damage detection and structural health monitoring; and the dynamics of very flexible structures including solar sails and marine risers. Professor Virgin conducts mechanical experiments to complement these studies.

The flavor of much of this work is contained in the books:

Introduction to Experimental Nonlinear Dynamics, L.N. Virgin, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Vibration of Axially Loaded Structures, L.N. Virgin, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Information

Education

  • Ph.D. University of London (United Kingdom), 1986
  • M.S. Cardiff University (United Kingdom), 1982
  • B.S. University of Manchester (United Kingdom), 1981

Research Interests

Study of the behavior of nonlinear dynamical systems, including the investigation of the fundamental nature of nonlinear systems based on a mathematical description of their underlying equations of motion and the application of recent results from nonlinear dynamical systems theory to problems of practical engineering importance, especially in aerospace engineering.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Frocht Award. Society for Experimental Mechanics. 2016
  • International Gas Turbine Institute's (IGTI) J. P. Davis Award. American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 2012

Courses Taught

  • CEE 647: Buckling of Engineering Structures
  • COMPSCI 524: Nonlinear Dynamics
  • ME 391: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 473: Aerospace Structures
  • ME 490: Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 527: Buckling of Engineering Structures
  • ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 591: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
  • ME 592: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
  • NCS 513: Nonlinear Dynamics
  • PHYSICS 513: Nonlinear Dynamics

Representative Publications

  • Xu, Y; Virgin, LN; Wiebe, R, Inferring unstable equilibrium configurations from observed dynamics, Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series (2021), pp. 199-201 [10.1007/978-3-030-47626-7_29] [abs].
  • Xu, Y; Virgin, LN, Force probing to access potential energy, Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series (2021), pp. 55-57 [10.1007/978-3-030-47626-7_9] [abs].
  • Ehrhardt, D; Virgin, LN; Spottswood, SM, Experiments on probing the configuration space of post-buckled panels, Journal of Applied Mechanics, vol 87 no. 12 (2020) [10.1115/1.4048197] [abs].
  • Guan, Y; Virgin, LN, Stability and Bifurcation in Discrete Mechanical Systems: An Experimental and Analytical Study, International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, vol 30 no. 9 (2020) [10.1142/S0218127420300244] [abs].
  • Thompson, JMT; Virgin, LN, Instabilities of nonconservative fluid-loaded systems, International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, vol 29 no. 14 (2019) [10.1142/S0218127419300398] [abs].