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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

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
  • ME 391: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 394: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • ME 473: Aerospace Structures
  • ME 490: Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 492: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 493: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • ME 494: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • ME 527: Buckling of Engineering Structures
  • ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 592: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
  • ME 742: Nonlinear Mechanical Vibration

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Virgin, LN, A shear center demonstration model using 3D-printing, International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education, vol 50 no. 3 (2022), pp. 739-748 [10.1177/03064190211057429] [abs].
  • Virgin, LN, Interrogating the Lead-Up to a Critical Speed in Rotordynamics, Journal of Vibration and Acoustics, vol 144 no. 3 (2022) [10.1115/1.4053190] [abs].
  • Virgin, LN; Holland, DB, Experiments on the symmetry-breaking effect of orientation on a pair of connected cantilevers, Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, vol 164 (2022) [10.1016/j.ymssp.2021.108236] [abs].
  • Virgin, LN, A note on lumped parameter modeling, Mechanics Research Communications, vol 116 (2021) [10.1016/j.mechrescom.2021.103750] [abs].
  • Virgin, L, Simultaneous buckling, contact, and load-carrying capacity, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, vol 147 no. 5 (2021) [10.1061/(ASCE)EM.1943-7889.0001926] [abs].