Lawrie N. Virgin

Lawrence N. 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 (UK), 1986
  • M.S. Cardiff University, 1982
  • B.S. University of Manchester (England), 1981

Research Interests

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 recent discovery of chaos has stimulated much research in this area across the breadth of science and engineering.

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; and aeroelastic flutter of aircraft panels at high supersonic speeds. Professor Virgin conducts mechanical experiments to complement these studies.

Specialties

Nonlinear Dynamics
Aerospace
Chaos, Dynamics
Structural Engineering
Vibration

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 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 473: Aerospace Structures
  • ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 492: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 527: Buckling of Engineering Structures
  • ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 742: Nonlinear Mechanical Vibration
  • ME 759: Special Readings in Mechanical Engineering
  • PHYSICS 513: Nonlinear Dynamics

Representative Publications

  • Plaut, RH; Virgin, LN, Equilibria and vibration of a buckled beam with attached masses or spring–mass systems, Journal of Sound and Vibration, vol 379 (2016), pp. 166-176 [10.1016/j.jsv.2016.05.043] [abs].
  • Knight, JD; Virgin, LN; Plaut, RH, Predicting Critical Speeds in Rotordynamics: A New Method, Journal of Physics, vol 744 (2016), pp. 012155-012155 [10.1088/1742-6596/744/1/012155] [abs].
  • Virgin, LN; Wiebe, R; Spottswood, SM; Beberniss, T, Inferring unstable equilibrium configurations from experimental data, Journal of Physics, vol 744 (2016), pp. 012090-012090 [10.1088/1742-6596/744/1/012090] [abs].
  • Wiebe, R; Virgin, LN, On the experimental identification of unstable static equilibria., Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, vol 472 no. 2190 (2016) [abs].
  • George, C; Virgin, LN; Witelski, T, Experimental study of regular and chaotic transients in a non-smooth system, International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics, vol 81 (2016), pp. 55-64 [10.1016/j.ijnonlinmec.2015.12.006] [abs].