Video: Sutton presents MechSE Distinguished Lecture


University of South Carolina professor and MechSE-Illinois alumnus Michael Sutton (PhDTAM '81) presented a MechSE Distinguished Seminar on August 31. His lecture was titled, "StereoDIC Measurements with Modeling in Composite Manufacturing and Drone-Based Wide Area Measurements."

Recent introduction of automated fiber placement (AFP) offers an efficient and accurate method for placement of fibers along curvilinear paths to obtain variable stiffness properties that improve buckling performance and increase first ply failure strength, increasing the range of design options for tailoring properties in composite structures.  Using StereoDIC, the full-field shape and deformation of unidirectional tows are measured during AFP, showing the presence of out-of-plane wrinkles during tow placement when the radius of curvature is reduced below 1 meter. Next, the authors measured the traction-separation law for the soft epoxy used in uncured tows by developing a rigid double cantilever beam specimen, with the soft epoxy matrix serving as the adhesive bond layer. Both σ-δ and τ-δ measurements are presented for Mode I and Mode II loading conditions, respectively. The as-measured traction-separation laws are then employed to perform finite element simulations of AFP along curvilinear paths, with predictions of wrinkle formation during processing in very good agreement with experimental observations. Finally, recent studies focused on the development and validation of an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS, commonly known as drone) with an onbo ard stereovision system are discussed. The as-developed UAS has been shown to be capable of acquiring, storing and transmitting images, providing essential baseline results that confirm its potential as a mobile platform for civil infrastructure measurements.  

Michael A. Sutton received his Ph.D. in 1981 from the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at the University of Illinois under the direction of Prof. Charles E. Taylor (NAE, 1979). In 1982, Dr. Sutton joined the faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina and was awarded a Carolina Distinguished Professorship in 1992. He is currently a Research Professor and Director of the State Center for Mechanics, Materials and NDE, while also serving as the Chief Science Officer for Correlated Solutions, Incorporated, the only US-based R&D and provider of digital image correlation measurement systems.

Prof. Sutton, a Fellow and Past-President of the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM), a Fellow of American Society for Mechanical Engineering (ASME) and the founding President of the International Digital Image Correlation Society, has received numerous national and international honors for his contributions in the fields of experimental mechanics, computer vision in solid mechanics and fracture mechanics. In 2020, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and in 2021 he was elected to the Slovenian National Academy of Engineering. Prof. Sutton has published over two hundred and thirty archival articles. As one of the inventors of the digital image correlation (DIC) methods, he has co-authored the only book on image correlation methods, written eight research book chapters, a chapter for a well-known textbook and given numerous national and international presentations.

Prof. Sutton’s current areas of research interest include 3D computer vision for deformation measurements in civil infrastructure (train rails and ties, bridges, roofing systems), measurements and modeling for composite bonding during manufacturing, including measurement of traction-separation laws for prediction of defect formation during manufacturing.