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Smart Vehicle Concepts (SVC)

Ohio State University

Last Reviewed: 12/17/2019

The mission of the Smart Vehicle Concepts Center (SVC) is as follows: (1) conduct basic and applied research on smart materials and structures applied to ground and aerospace vehicles; (2) build an unmatched base of research, engineering education, and technology transfer with emphasis on improved vehicle performance, unprecedented safety improvements, and enhanced vehicle efficiency; and (3) prepare next-generation engineers at the PhD and MS levels who possess both theoretical and experimental expertise applicable to auto and aerospace vehicles.

Center Mission and Rationale

The Center focuses on novel and emerging trends in vehicle design where smart structures, next-generation suspension or mounting devices, vastly improved actuators or valves, intelligent sensors, and improved health monitoring and diagnostic systems are integrated to develop ground and aerospace vehicles of the future. Fundamental and applied research is conducted to analyze, model, characterize and design innovative engineered components capable of providing built-in actuation, precision motion control features, self-diagnostics, sensing, and self-healing capabilities while satisfying increasingly stringent vehicle design requirements.

Research program

Interfacial Mechanisms: Characterization, Constitutive Modeling, System Integration (Sensors, Actuators, Dynamic Simulation)

  • Characterization and modeling of rubber bushings

  • Analysis of automotive system isolators

  • Inverse identification method for radiator mounts

  • Multiscale finite element simulation of the mechanical behavior of fiberglass insulation


Safety, Comfort, and Health Monitoring: Machine and Material Diagnostics, Human-Machine Interface, Strain Energy Management

  • Smart condition detection and monitoring

  • Mechanoluminescent paintable light sources in automotive lighting systems

  • Embedded fiber optic sensors for structural health monitoring

  • Architecture for mechanoluminescent structural sensors and sensing platforms

  • Multi-functional structural panels with electroluminescence

  • Digital programmable actuators for distributed actuation

  • Dynamic self-reforming lithium/solid electrolyte interface for solid-state battery

Adaptive Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH): Active Noise and Vibration Control, Adaptive Structures, System Integration

  • Morphing panels for aerodynamic performance

  • Multifunctional magnetostrictive systems: experiments and computer simulation

  • Design matrix and particulates for 3D printing

  • Flexible piezoelectric sensors for vehicle application

Emerging Vehicle Technologies: Vehicle Electrification, Autonomous Vehicles, Lightweighting

  • Vibration damping and energy harvesting

  • Effect of ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) process on manufactured parts

  • UAM process modeling

  • UAM structural reinforcement

  • Robust Integrated magnetic composites (RIMaC) for magnetic gears

  • Dynamic friction characterization of icy road surfaces

Special Activities

The Smart Vehicle Concepts Center (SVC) was granted Phase III status in August 2017.  In addition to providing relevant research results to industry and government, the SVC is a source of information and education, not only to university students, but also to practicing engineers. As a major national center, the SVC is uniquely poised to provide industry and other educational institutions world-class scientific knowledge at the interface between smart materials and transportation research, thereby enabling the practical solutions necessary for 21st century vehicle systems. As evidenced by an increasing number of patents and the growing strategic research thrusts in this area, smart materials will have a significant influence in future vehicle sub-systems and components. This research area is relatively new, and there is a steep learning curve for new entrants into the field. By providing not only technical results and solutions but also being a major educational and advanced training source, the SVC will help the U.S. automotive and aerospace industries to remain competitive in an increasingly challenging global economy. The Ohio State University has an excellent track record in research, education, and cooperation with automotive and aerospace industries. Current efforts represent a unique synergy in research and education that benefits not only the students, academia, and the community, but also industry and the U.S. economy at large. The researchers are working to recruit women and minority undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the SVC through existing outreach campus organizations.

Facilities and Laboratory

Research is conducted in Scott Laboratory of The Ohio State University, located at 201 West 19th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio. Scott Laboratory is a $72.5M state-of-the-art facility with a total surface area of 240,000 square feet exclusively devoted to mechanical engineering instruction and research. Scott Laboratory is home to several state-of-the-art laboratories that are central to the SVC. The Smart Materials and Structures Laboratory, established in 2001, is a 1500 square foot facility at Ohio State focused on creating experimental and theoretical methods to study active and magnetic materials, mechanical vibrations, and system design, from both a fundamental and applied viewpoint. Major equipment include digital data acquisition and control systems, magnetic field measuring equipment, vibration and general testing equipment, amplifiers, and other instrumentation. The Acoustics and Dynamics Laboratory (over 2,500 square foot facility at Ohio State) houses dedicated experimental and computational facilities in noise and vibration, acoustic chambers, dynamic signal processing equipment, sensors and exciters, and state of the art computer software.  The Integrated Systems Laboratory investigates the physics of transduction in various ionic active materials, soft polymers, and biological materials for the development of novel electrochemical batteries, supercapacitors, electroactive polymers, etc.  Facilities include a PARSTAT-4000 Potentiostat/Galvanostat + Electrochemical Impedance Analyzer; Warner Instruments BC-535 Bilayer Clamp Analyzer; HEKA ElProScan (ELP3) Scanning Electrochemical Workstation; EMS Quorumtech Sputter Coater; and Sutter P-2000 micropipette puller.


Ohio State University

201 West 19th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio, 43210

United States