Panel Member: Charles R. Farrar

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) Engineering Institute


Chuck Farrar is currently the director of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) Engineering Institute, a research and education collaboration between LANL and the Univ. of California San Diego’s (UCSD) Jacobs School of Eng. His research interests focus on developing integrated hardware and software solutions to structural health monitoring (SHM) and damage prognosis problems.  The results of this research have been documented in over 400 publications and most recently in a book entitled Structural Health Monitoring A Machine Learning Perspective. His work has been recognized at LANL through his reception of the inaugural Los Alamos Fellows Prize for Technical Leadership and by the SHM community through the reception of the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in Structural Health Monitoring.  Each year he teaches a graduate course on SHM for UCSD. Additional professional activities include the development of a structural health monitoring short course that has been offered more than 35 times to industry and government agencies in Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S.  In 2012 he was elected as a Fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is also a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Society for Experimental Mechanics. 

Instrumentation and Measurement Challenges Being Addressed at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Engineering Institute

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Engineering Institute (EI) is a research and education collaboration between LANL and the University of California San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering. Many of the collaborative research topics being explored at the EI are focused on the development and application of new sensing technologies for a diverse array of LANL mission-relevant applications. This presentation will give a brief overview of the wide variety of instrumentation and measurement systems being developed at LANL along with the challenges associated with these systems, many of which are deployed in extreme environments (e.g. Mars, high radiation and extreme temperatures and pressures). A specific example from structural health monitoring will highlight the evolution of sensing technologies that has occurred over a 20-year time span. The talk will also focus on the need for coupling the data analysis process with the sensing system hardware and the need to embrace the principles of cyber-physical systems in the development of new instrumentation and measurement systems. In conclusion, I will question if our education process is evolving to train new engineers in a more multi-disciplinary manner so they are better prepared to address many of the instrumentation and measurement challenges in the future.