Students - Aerospace Structures and Materials Laboratory

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Several topics for thesis projects are available in each field of research covered by the ASM Laboratory.

The students are encouraged to look into the advertisements published in the section below, where the announcements are reported listed according the specific topic.

Generally, thesis works are part of research programs and/or in collaboration with local companies and international research centers. Depending on the topic, intra and extra moenia projects are available.

Each proposed topic will be accomplished by one or more students in 5-6 months with the support of ASM staff.
For every further information, please contact the reference person indicated within the advertisement.
Available Thesis

_Structural Health Monitoring_

  • Damage detection in composite stiffened panels by guided waves
Description: The damage assessment in stiffened composites is of particular interest due to criticalities induced by disbonding defects during aircraft lifetime. Using a sparse array of sensors integrated with the structure, guided waves are excited and sensed in a local-based approach to identify, localize and characterize the damage because they interact with existing discontinuities and emerging defects. Looking into the physical phenomena of wave propagation and scattering, the trainee will develop new techniques to detect damage and reconstruct its characteristic size with a fewer sensors possible.
Focus: Numerical application by finite element modelling
Traineeship: Intra-moenia
Contact: Dr. Ing. Vittorio Memmolo (

  • Structural health monitoring of composite structures using machine learning
Description:The damage assessment using guided waves allow to detect emerging flaw within composite structures. However, it is quite challenging to identify the damage and predict its size correctly. As a matter of facts, it is crucial discern damage induced changes in wave field from perturbations due to noise. In addition, according to the damage indicator adopted, it is hard define the size of the defect without previous correlation. Neural Networks approaches can be used to close that gap in view of a reliable SHM system.
Focus: Numerical and experimental application along with algorithm development
Traineeship: Intra-moenia
Contact: Dr. Ing. Leandro Maio (, Dr. Ing. Vittorio Memmolo (

_Ultrasonic De-Icing_

  • Optimal layout of actuators for a de-icing on-board system based on ultrasound
Description: The investigation concerns a de-icing on-board system based on ultrasound and characterized by limited weight and power consumption. The study is addressed numerically. The system consists in piezoceramic actuators placed on the inner side of the skin and generating guided waves. Guided waves are a class of mechanical waves that propagate in structures, structural elements or waveguides that have characteristic dimensions comparable to the wavelength. Guided waves are acknowledged as the most promising and versatile SHM technology. The actuators are arranged close to the leading edge for bonding reasons associated with the airfoil curvature. The finite element model of the skin with circular piezoelectrics having discrete dimensions is useful to start investigation of such system. Ice accretion on the leading edge zone is taken into consideration by discretizing an additional external layer with the ice characteristics. The optimal layout of the actuators useful to achieve the de-icing will be studied in depth.
Traineeship: Intra-moenia
Contact: Dr. Ing. Leandro Maio (

_Computational Mechanics_

  • Guided wave propagation by finite element methods and peridynamics
Description: Most ultrasonic field modeling problems that do not have analytical solutions are solved by either traditional numerical techniques like finite element. The majority of these methods model only linear ultrasonic behavior which is good for nondestructive evaluation and detection of relatively large cracks. If the cracks have dimensions larger than the wavelength of the ultrasonic wave used to detect them then those cracks are classified as large cracks. Very small cracks or micro-cracks that are generated due to fatigue, aging, cyclic thermal loading, stress corrosion and various other causes often cannot be detected by linear ultrasonic techniques. Nonlinear ultrasonic techniques are used to detect such cracks. However, modeling nonlinear ultrasonic behavior is not an easy task and most of numerical techniques, such as the finite element method, fail to do it properly. The thesis’s work will be focused on this new approach based on peridynamic theory to model the nonlinear ultrasonic response.
Contact: Dr. Ing. Leandro Maio (

_Aircraft Design_

  • Preliminary Design of non conventional aircraft by hybrid analytical/semi-analytical approach with statistical perspective
Description: Modern aircraft configurations are quite complex and include a variety of construction singularities. The well known approaches established to predict and estimate tha mass of the airframe for conventional aircraft are not anymore able to satisfy such categories. That is the reason why a detailed analysis of aircraft structures according to design configuration is nedeed for size and predict the aircraft weigth accurately. Specifically, the case of hybrid electric aircraft will be investigated to define a preliminary design procedure accounting static and dynamic effects.
Traineeship: Intra-moenia
Contact: Dr. Ing. Vittorio Memmolo (vittorio.memmolo@unina)

  • Aerostructural optimization for sizing of non conventional aircraft
Description: Aircraft structures are generally designed to withstand operative loads according to the mission profile. However, the structures are quite complex inducing a iterative design stage to achieve the best ratio between performance and weight. Aerostructural optimization techniques are demanded during the design phase to elaborate and evaluate every design parameter, including aerodynamic performances and structural constraints. Specifically, the case of hybrid electric aircraft will be investigated to define a preliminary design procedure accounting static and dynamic effects.
Traineeship: Intra-moenia
Contact: Dr. Ing. Vittorio Memmolo (

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