PIRE-ISHM program details

Northwestern University is leading an NSF-funded five-year program (2007-2012) to establish a global partnership of universities, laboratories, and companies to engage in cutting-edge research and education in the area of Intelligent Structural Health Management of safety-critical aerospace, civil & mechanical structures.


Research Theme

Intelligent Structural Health Management systems incorporate diagnostic sensor data to make closed-loop prognosis of remaining structural integrity, thereby facilitating timely remedial actions to prevent catastrophic structural failure.


Program Features

The goal of the PIRE-ISHM project is to develop globally-engaged scientific / technological leaders with a unique set of cross-disciplinary skills that is marketable across the globe and across disciplines. The program includes several unique features:

  • Cross-disciplinary curriculum
  • International team projects
  • Extended training & research visits to China, India and Korea for graduate students and research fellows
  • Coordinated MS/PhD programs with global partners
  • Summer internships for undergraduates
  • Summer Schools
  • Language and culture training
  • Exposure to issues relating to innovation and invention in a global context
  • Industrial internships for graduate students at global research centers of major US-based multinational companies prior to or after graduation

Research Topics

  • Sensor Technology
  • Smart Structures
  • Multifunctional Materials
  • Materials Science
  • Nondestructive Characterization
  • Structural Analysis
  • Failure and Damage Models for Materials
  • Probabilistic Prognosis of Remaining Lifetime
  • Decision-making

Management Framework



  • NSF funding of $500K~ per year for 5 years
  • NU cash support of $64K+ per year for 5 years
  • ITI/NU research funds $200K per year for 5 years
  • UIC support of $50K+ per year for five years
  • NU graduate student support for 4 students for 8 years
  • NU tuition scholarships for international graduate students (12 quarters per year for 5 years)
  • NU to host ISHM web portal
  • Honeywell to fund research project
  • GE, Honeywell to host interns
  • Boeing, Goodrich participation

Contact Info

PI: Sridhar Krishnaswamy
Co-PIs: J.D. Achenbach (NU) & Farhad Ansari (UIC)

International Partners: Jinping Ou (China), Joon-Hyun Lee (Korea), Krishnan Balasubramaniam (India)

NSF Award # OISE-0730259
Project Period: 2007-2012

Contact Info: s-krishnaswamy@northwestern.edu
URL: http://www.cqe.northwestern.edu