College of Aeronautics and Engineering Partners with the American University of Beirut

A relationship forged between Kent State University’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering (CAE) and the American University of Beirut (AUB) is on track to establishing a research foundation for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM), rotor dynamics and advanced environmental barrier coatings technology.

Samir Mustapha, Ph.D., assistant professor at the AUB’s Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA), has expertise in the field of SHM, numerical modeling and composite materials. His visit to Kent State as the guest of Ali Abdul-Aziz, Ph.D, CAE associate professor, includes working on establishing prerequisites for a mutually beneficial academic partnership.

Mustapha and Aziz’s studies include performing detailed finite element studies on coated components made out of ceramic-based composite materials under harsh operating conditions applicable to gas turbine engines. The analyses will eventually lead to the development of a physics-based model to predict failure and crack initiations in coated ceramic matrix composites substrates and coatings. Other research undertakings involve performing detailed analysis, of a turbine-like rotor disk that undergoes rotational load to assess the performance of newer sensor technology. This technology includes non-contact microwave-based sensors to monitor the rotor disk operational health and pre-predict pre-existing defects and anomalies in the disk before a catastrophic event. Data from the analytical model will be compared to experimental findings.

Mustapha’s visit is expected to lead to establishing the foundation for a research base that will give Kent State”s CAE an international recognition and high-level reputation. The AUB is considered among the most prestigious universities worldwide. It was established in 1866 in Beirut-Lebanon, It is globally ranked as No. 235, a prominent rank. 

Aziz traveled to the AUB in May 2017 upon invitation to speak about his research activities and work on establishing a collaborative relationship.

Modal analysis of a blade system under rotational load – Bending mode (left) and Flexural mode (right).
Modal analysis of a blade system under rotational load – Bending mode (left) and Flexural mode (right).


Material Testing System
Application of ultrasonic guided waves in the detection of barely visible indentation damage – Experiment set-up using Material Testing System (MTS-Link)  (left) and damage localization (right).