Lawrence N. Virgin

Image of 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 focussed 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; 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
Contact Information:
Education:

  • Ph.D. University of London, 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

Courses Taught:
  • CEE 647: Buckling of Engineering Structures
  • COMPSCI 524: Nonlinear Dynamics
  • ME 473: Aerospace Structures
  • ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 492: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 493: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • ME 494: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • ME 527: Buckling of Engineering Structures
  • ME 742: Nonlinear Mechanical Vibration
  • PHYSICS 513: Nonlinear Dynamics

Representative Publications: (More Publications)
    • D.J. Wagg and L.N. Virgin, Exploiting Nonlinear Behavior in Structural Dynamics (2012).
    • R.H. Plaut and L.N. Virgin, Vibration and snap-through of bent elastica strips subjected to end rotations, Journal of Applied Mechanics, vol 76 no. 041011 (2009).
    • B. Yellen and L.N. Virgin, Non-linear dynamics of superparamagnetic beads in a traveling magnetic field wave, Physical Review E, vol 80 no. 011402 (2009).
    • L.N. Virgin, Vibration of Axially Loaded Structures (2007).
    • S.T. Santillan, R.H. Plaut, T.P. Witelski and L.N. Virgin, Large amplitude oscillations of beams and columns including self-weight, International Journal of Nonlinear Mechanics, vol 43 (2008), pp. 761-771.
    • L.N. Virgin, Introduction to Experimental Nonlinear Dynamics (2000).
    • L.N. Virgin, S.T. Santillan, and R.H. Plaut, Vibration isolation using extreme geometric nonlinearity, Journal of Sound and Vibration, vol 315 (2008), pp. 721-731.
    • R.B. Davis, L.N. Virgin and A.M. Brown, Cylindrical shell submerged in bounded acoustic media: a modal approach, AIAA Journal, vol 46 (2008), pp. 752-763.
    • M.A. Tahir, L. Guo, L.N. Virgin and B.B. Yellen, Transport of superparamagnetic beads through a two-dimensional potential energy landscape, Physical Review E, vol 84 no. 011403 (2011).
    • D.B. Holland, L.N. Virgin and R.H. Plaut, Large deflections and vibration of a tapered cantilever pulled at its tip by a cable, Journal of Sound and Vibration, vol 310 (2008), pp. 433-441.
    • A.E. Jeffers, R.H. Plaut and L.N. Virgin, Vibration isolation using buckled or pre-bent columns. Part 2: three-dimensional motions of horizontal rigid plate, Journal of Sound and Vibration, vol 310 (2008), pp. 421-432.
    • L.N. Virgin, S.T. Santillan and R.H. Plaut, Vibration isolation using extreme geometric nonlinearity, Journal of Sound and Vibration, vol 315 (2008), pp. 721-731.