Professor Lynch’s research interests are centered in the exciting field of smart structure technologies. The collection of sensor data from large-scale structures is important for assessing long-term structural performance, to rapidly diagnosis structural health, and to understand the flows of energy intrinsic to the construction and operation of civil engineering structures.
For example, Prof. Lynch and his students have extensive experience in the instrumentation of wireless sensor networks in operational wind turbines to monitor their performance under wind load. Monitoring wind turbines to lower their operational and maintenance costs can increase the cost-competitiveness of this renewable energy source. In a similar effort, Prof. Lynch is also exploring the instrumentation of dense arrays of sensors in civil infrastructure systems (e.g., bridges, buildings, dams) to monitor their deterioration. Civil infrastructure require massive amounts of natural resources to construct accompanied by undesirable environmental impacts (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions).
By tracking the health of civil infrastructure, longer service lives can be attained which allow for their initial carbon footprint to be amortized over longer periods of service. Finally, Prof. Lynch is currently extending the notion of wireless sensors and actuators for monitoring and controlling the energy consumption of buildings. His efforts in this space are through extensive collaboration with the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Currently, Professor Lynch’s research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, University of Michigan and the NSF-sponsored Wireless Integrated Microsystem Engineering Research Center.