About our Lab
A vibrant discovery & learning community
LASIR is a vibrant discovery and learning community populated by students, staff-in-residence, and faculty who make use of the laboratory as a destination for doing collaborative experiments at a realistic scale to maximize the impact of their research. Our graduate and undergraduate students are at the center of the learning community leading to unique networking and career opportunities. Students conduct scholarly research while having a significant impact on state-of-the-art sensing and simulation tools that are solving some of the nation’s grand challenges in energy, security and other areas. From projects to develop more efficient hybrid vehicles with brake energy recovery systems to programs that enable the design of future aerospace systems including intelligent aircraft and satellites, students are exposed not only to their own research topic but also to interdisciplinary challenges their colleagues from diverse backgrounds are facing.
LASIR is unique among universities
LASIR is unique in terms of the scale, impact, innovation, and interdisciplinary nature of its work. The laboratory serves as a proving grounds at Vanderbilt University for creating and scaling up technologies for application in the energy, security, and manufacturing sectors. LASIR researchers from across the School of Engineering and other schools and colleges on campus collaborate to perform and understand one-of-a-kind experiments on full-scale test beds. For example, by combining powerful sensing and simulation tools, we are discovering how advanced composite materials can make future infrastructure safer and more affordable. The research that is done at LASIR is connected to studies of micro- and nano-scale systems providing a continuum of capability at Vanderbilt that spans multi-scale phenomena, which govern the performance and reliability of engineered systems of the future.
LASIR is big
The 20,000 square foot high-bay LASIR facility has state-of-the-art instrumentation for conducting realistic experiments to reveal new phenomena.
- A 3D high-speed scanning velocimeter and digital image correlation system are used to visualize hidden sources of damage in materials and structures.
- An electrohydraulic vehicle simulator, wind tunnel, high velocity impact tower, and suite of material and environmental test machines are used to mimic real-world operating conditions to ensure that our experiments capture the true system failure modes.
- And, 100’s of channels of sensing and data acquisition equipment are used to monitor our experiments to explore the system behaviors of interest.
The impact of our work includes scholarship and technology, which our partners adopt to improve the performance and reliability of engineered systems. For example, sensing and data analytic systems we have invented are being deployed to support the nation’s key military platforms including combat vehicles and helicopters. In addition, we are developing unique measurement systems to support next-generation manufacturing of advanced composites for producing a new fleet of lightweight vehicles and clean energy technologies including wind turbines and energy storage systems.
LASIR is computational modeling and simulation techniques
A 10 GB dark fiber connection to Vanderbilt’s computing resources is also available for exploring a much wider range of phenomena than experiments alone can support. For example, probabilistic analytical and simulation-based methods our researchers develop are used by manufacturers across the equipment and construction industries to reduce costs and improve the reliability of the systems they design and build. Predictive models are also being developed for risk-based decision-making systems to support the operation of the nation’s nuclear power plants. The combination of measurement systems and computational frameworks being developed at LASIR are supporting the optimization and control of the energy and security systems we all rely on to sustain our way of life.