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Advanced Materials and Structures Lab

Under the leadership of Andrew Makeev, the Advanced Materials and Structures Lab is using its state-of-the-art facilities and an innovative approach to enable a fundamental shift from relying on the traditional time-consuming trial-and-error experimentation loops and empiricism in the design of composite materials and structures, to efficient diagnostics and prognosis methods. These rely upon three-dimensional imaging and performance prediction based on accurate computational tools.

This fundamental shift is needed in many engineering, biological, and medical applications. One example is the critical need for more durable composite materials for warfighting aircraft flight-critical components and structure. Previous efforts to develop analysis techniques capable of predicting the life of aircraft composite structures by the materials and structures research communities were not successful during the last few decades due to poor understanding of the complexity and interaction of failure modes in composite structures. AMSL researchers, in collaboration with Bell Helicopter Textron under the ONR-funded Integration of Design and Manufacturing Processes to Improve Performance of Composites project, have unequivocally demonstrated that inherent variability of the manufacturing processes of composite parts introduces defects which affect their structural performance.

The analysis technology being developed at AMSL is able to (1) capture the material structure geometry including anomalies such as manufacturing defects in three dimensions; (2) measure all key mechanical properties associated with their highly-anisotropic structure using the minimum number of tests; and (3) transfer the material topography and properties into a multi-scale structural analysis model that captures multiple, interacting failure modes dominated by the building blocks of the composite material system. It is not the individual elements of the analysis technology but their integration that enables the breakthrough in the development of an infrastructure to accelerate the pace of discovery and deployment of the advanced composite materials and structures in the United States to achieving global competitiveness in the 21st century.


  • Andrew Makeev, Ph.D., Director
  • Erian Armanios, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
  • Yuri Nikishkov, Ph.D., Faculty Research Associate
  • Brian Shonkwiler, Engineering Research Scientist
  • Guillaume Seon, Ph.D., Engineering Research Scientist

Current Graduate Students

  • Sarvenaz Ghaffari (Ph.D.)
  • Bastiaan van der Vossen (Ph.D.)
  • Md. Saddam Hossain (Ph.D.)


  • Guillaume Seon, Ph.D. (AMSL)
  • Ekaterina Bostaph, Ph.D. (SpaceX)
  • Paige Carpentier, Ph.D., (Motorola R&D)
  • Julia Cline, Ph.D., (ARL)


  • Office of Naval Research
  • Boeing

Selected Publications

  • Makeev, A., Seon, G., Nikishkov, Y., Nguyen. D., Mathews, P., Robeson, M. (2016)  Analysis Methods Improving Confidence in Material Qualification for Laminated Composites, Proceedings of the American Helicopter Society 72nd Annual Forum, West Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Nikishkov, Y., Seon, G., Makeev, A., Shonkwiler, B. (2016) In-Situ Measurements of Fracture Properties in Composite Laminates, Materials and Design, 94 (2016) pp. 303-313.
  • Seon, G., Nikishkov, Y, Makeev, A., & Shonkwiler, B. (2016) Mesh Morphing Methodology for Strength Predictions in Composites, Composite Structures, 140 (2016) pp. 612–620.
  • Makeev, A., Seon, G., Nikishkov, Y., Lee, E., (2015) Methods for Assessment of Interlaminar Tensile Strength of Composite Materials, Journal of Composite Materials, 49 (2015), pp. 783-794.
  • Makeev, A., Seon, G., Cline, J., Shonkwiler, B. (2014) In Quest of Methods for Measuring 3D Mechanical Properties of Composites, Composites Science and Technology, 100 (2014), pp. 105-112.
  • Seon, G., Makeev, A., Cline, J., Shonkwiler, B (2015) Assessing 3D Shear Stress-Strain Properties of Composites Using Digital Image Correlation and Finite Element Analysis Based Optimization, Composites Science and Technology, 117 (2015), pp. 371-378.
  • Seon, G., Nikishkov, Y., Makeev, A. (2014),  Structures Perspective for Strength and Fatigue Prognosis in Composites, Best Paper in the Structures and Materials Sessions of the American Helicopter Society 70th Annual Forum, Montréal, Québec, Canada, Journal of the American Helicopter Society, 60 (1), 2015.
  • Makeev, A., Nikishkov, Y., Seon, G., Armanios, E.  Effects of Defects on Interlaminar Performance of Composites, Proceedings of the 39th European Rotorcraft Forum, Moscow, Russia, 2013.
  • Makeev, A., Bakis, C., Strauch, E., Chris, M., Holemans, P., Miller, G., Nguyen, D., Spencer, D., Patz, N.  Advanced Composite Materials Technology for Rotorcraft through the use of Nanoadditives, Journal of the American Helicopter Society, 60 (3), 2015.
  • He, Y., Makeev, A. (2014) Nonlinear Shear Behavior and Interlaminar Shear Strength of Unidirectional Polymer Matrix Composites: A Numerical Study, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 51 (2014), pp. 1263-1273.
  • Makeev, A., Carpentier, P., Shonkwiler, B. (2014) Methods to Measure Interlaminar Tensile Modulus of Composites, Composites: Part A, 56 (2014), pp. 256-261.
  • Seon, G., Makeev, A., Nikishkov, Y., Lee, E. (2013) Effects of Defects on Interlaminar Tensile Fatigue Behavior of Carbon/Epoxy Composites, Composites Science and Technology, 89 (2013), pp. 194-201.
  • Nikishkov, Y., Airoldi, L., Makeev, A. (2013) Measurement of Voids in Composites by X-Ray Computed Tomography, Composites Science and Technology, 89 (2013), pp. 89-97.
  • Nikishkov, Y., Seon, G., Makeev, A. (2014) Structural Analysis of Composites with Porosity Defects based on X-Ray Computed Tomography, Journal of Composite Materials, 48 (17), pp. 2131-2144.
  • Makeev, A., He, Y. (2013) Short-Beam Shear Method for Assessment of Stress-Strain Curves for Fiber-Reinforced Polymer-Matrix Composite Materials, Strain (2013) 49, pp. 440-450.
  • Makeev, A. (2013) Interlaminar Shear Fatigue Behavior of Glass/Epoxy and Carbon/Epoxy Composites, Composites Science and Technology, 80 (2013), pp. 93–100.
  • Nikishkov, Y., Makeev, A., Seon, G. (2013) Progressive Fatigue Damage Simulation Method for Composites, International Journal of Fatigue, 48 (1), pp. 266-279.
  • Nikishkov, G., Nikishkov, Y., Makeev, A. (2013) Finite Element Mesh Generation for Composites with Ply Waviness based on X-Ray Computed Tomography, Advances in Engineering Software, 58 (2013), pp. 35-44.
  • Makeev, A., He, Y., Carpentier, P., Shonkwiler, B. (2012) A Method for Measurement of Multiple Constitutive Properties for Composite Materials. Composites: Part A, 43 (12), pp. 2199–2210.
  • He, Y., Makeev, A., Shonkwiler, B. (2012) Characterization of Nonlinear Shear Properties for Composite Materials Using Digital Image Correlation and Finite Element Analysis, Composites Science and Technology, 73 (2012), pp. 64–71