Matlack wins grant to improve lab instrumentation


Katie Matlack
Katie Matlack
Assistant Professor Kathryn Matlack was recently awarded the Haythornthwaite Foundation Research Initiation Grant from the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for her project, “Phononic metastructures as ultrasonic filters for nondestructive evaluation measurements.”

The award targets university faculty engaged in research in theoretical and applied mechanics who are at the beginning of their academic careers. The intent of the grant is to assist with the purchase of equipment or instrumentation, fabrication of a unique apparatus, travel, or other items that serve the researcher’s proposed objectives.

The grant will fund an expansion of Matlack’s laser vibrometer measurement system to operate at higher frequencies, allowing her group to make non-contact and full wave-field measurements of phononic metastructures, which behave as passive frequency filters due to their geometry and structure. 

“We are studying their ultrasonic response to understand how we can use these to make more accurate nondestructive evaluation (NDE) measurements with ultrasound. These devices will improve diagnostics to infer material and system properties, with applications to detect early damage of components in aircraft, nuclear reactors, buried pipelines, and other transportation and energy infrastructure,” said Matlack.

The award was presented at ASME’s International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE) conference in November. IMECE is the largest interdisciplinary mechanical engineering conference in the world. IMECE plays a significant role in stimulating innovation from basic discovery to translational application. It fosters new collaborations that engage stakeholders and partners not only from academia, but also from national laboratories, industry, research settings, and funding bodies.

The Robert M. and Mary Haythornthwaite Foundation supports scientific research, primarily in the field of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. Robert Haythornthwaite was founder and first president of the American Academy of Mechanics.