[10/19/2009] -- Have you ever wondered how engineers can tell if a structure needs repairs? Weidong Zhu, professor of mechanical engineering at UMBC, is determined to make this process easier and more accurate. In conjunction with his graduate students, he has developed a unique method for testing and monitoring stationary objects for structural soundness.
Zhu, whose research focuses on continuous system vibration and structural damage detection, is being recognized for his development of a vibration-based damage detection method that uses changes in natural frequencies of a structure to accurately detect the locations and extent of structural damage. Currently, structural damage can be detected through either visual inspection or ultrasonic testing, but these methods are not as thorough and have limited accuracy in detecting internal damage.
Zhu has also worked with other industries. In particular, his group has developed traveling cable and hoist cable vibration models for Otis Elevator, Mitsubishi Electric and ThyssenKrupp Elevator. A native of China, Zhu was recently named a Visiting ChiangJiang Scholar Chair Professor in General Mechanics by China’s Ministry of Education. For his three-year appointment, he will conduct short-term research at the Harbin Institute of Technology in the field of dynamics and vibration, with the goal of developing a collaborative research program with Chinese universities. Zhu has previously received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for his work on continuous system vibration.
Zhu received his Innovator of the Year Award on October 14 at an awards ceremony at the American Visionary Art Museum.
Original Story: www.umbc.edu/window/zhu.html